BornLeslie Weinstein,West first gained worldwide recognition in 1969 as the guitarist and singer in the groundbreaking rock band MOUNTAIN. Included among Leslie's many fans and disciples are six-string luminaries such as Eddie Van Halen,Randy Rhoads,John McLaughlin,JETHRO TULL'sMartin Barre,Warren HaynesandRitchie BlackmoreofDEEP PURPLE.Blackmorehas stated thatLeslie's phenomenal playing on"Mississippi Queen"served to redirect the course of DEEP PURPLE's music in an instant, ultimately resulting in the brutal hard rock intensity displayed on"Deep Purple In Rock".
In 2009,West married his wife Jenni. They exchanged vows on stage at theWoodstock40th-anniversary concert. West credited her with saving his life — first with her love, and then by making the difficult decision to permit his doctors to amputate while he was in a coma.