Mountain had a dual personality. It was a great and influential power trio that played at Woodstock and had a direct link to Cream, the ultimate super group (bassist Felix Pappalardi produced three Cream albums). It created Mississippi Queen, one of the most recognizable songs in the history of rock-and-roll.
On the other hand, the band became a punch line of jokes about lead guitarist Leslie West’s size, his appearances on The Howard Stern show and the excesses of rock-and-roll.
The band’s second most known song is the title track for its best album, Nantucket Sleighride. Long Red, which is from the album Live: The Road Goes Ever On, shows that everything else notwithstanding, West is a brilliant guitar player. The beginning drum section is said to be one of the most sampled in hip-hop.
Pappalardi was killed by his girlfriend in 1983. Last year, West lost part of his right leg to an infection caused by type 2 diabetes. West seems okay, though: Here he leads a group through Stormy Monday at a rock-and-roll fantasy camp after the operation. Mountain’s short discography is here.