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Baker's Dozen

The Demon Advocates: Gene Simmons' Favourite Albums
Valerie Siebert , March 3rd, 2015 12:53

The Kiss man picks a giants-of-rock top 13 albums for Val Siebert (and finally gives drum machines the talking to they deserve)


Leslie West - Mountain
Leslie West - formerly Leslie Weinstein - was a New York guitar player who played with The Vagrants and lots of other local bands that were coming up in the New York scene. The thing about that record is the producer was Felix Pappalardi, who produced Cream as well as The Youngbloods, and was also an accomplished bass player. So, originally it was just going to be a Leslie West solo record, there was no Mountain, the name of the record was Mountain, but it was by Leslie West. But he didn't have a bass player so Felix Pappalardi played the bass, but the material started coming together so fast. I mean, songs like 'Long Red', I listened to those growing up and, in fact, a few of my songs had their beginning on Mountain songs. Bow buh duh doo dah duuh dow, that began a song called 'Watchin' You' that I wrote, with a flat third; you can hear where it crosses over, that's from 'Never In My Life', a Mountain song. His guitar playing is just undeniable. And of course 'Mississippi Queen' is great, just three chords! When I picked up the guitar and started to play licks and stuff like that, I sound like Leslie West, because intrinsically he's not about speed, he's about melody. Blues-based melody, I'll grant you, but it still holds up to me. I still play it.