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Mountain at Cincinnati Pop: “Theme For an Imaginary Western”

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.

Other worthwhile clips are Roll Over Beethoven and Never in My Life, which is from Nantucket Sleighride.

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.

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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