What is Leslie West's net worth? A look at Mountain frontman's massive fortune after his death at 75
The hard rock artist’s work has influenced genres such as hip-hop and heavy metal, and has even inspired artists such as Jay Z and Kanye West
Leslie West has died at 75 years of age, according to reports. West was rushed to a hospital on December 21 after suffering a cardiac arrest at his home near Daytona, Florida, but he never regained consciousness.
West, who was a lead vocalist and guitarist of the hard rock band Mountain, is considered a pioneer in "heavy" guitar playing with his work's influence stretching across various genres ranging from metal to hip-hop. He was active in the music industry since 1965 and was associated with labels such as Sony, Blues Bureau International and Lightyear.
He landed his first professional gig with a Long Island-based group known as The Vagrants, who played garage rock and recorded several singles that were popular in the New York City area. Together, they formed a new group and became Mountain. The group's musical style primarily consisted of hard rock, blues rock and heavy metal.
Mountain played only a few shows before being booked to perform at 1969's Woodstock, an opportunity earned while sharing an agent with Jimi Hendrix. The band released their gold-certified studio album 'Climbing!' in 1970, which saw the fruition of 'Mississippi Queen', their best-known track which is widely regarded as a staple of hard rock and their most covered song by other artists.
Another widely recognized Mountain hit, 'Long Red', remains one of West’s lasting legacies. Numerous artists in the rap game have sampled from the song, including De La Soul, the Game, ASAP Rocky, and, most notably, Kanye West in 'The Glory' and Jay-Z in '99 Problems'. According to Blues Blast magazine, in 2015, West spoke of its integration into hip-hop. ”There was something about that song that appealed to rappers,” he said. “I’ve got six different platinum albums on my wall from all these different guys sampling my stuff. When I wrote that song in 1969, there was no hip-hop. It just so happens that song has a hip-hop beat.”
When Mountain broke up after just two years, West soldiered on in the years that followed, recording two studio full-lengths and a live album with former Mountain drummer Corky Laing and former Cream bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce.
As of 2020, West has an estimated net worth of $3M, according to Wealthy Genius. Not much of what makes up that figure has been disclosed, but some of that value is tethered to his famous equipment. West's most popular and favored guitar was a Gibson Les Paul Jr with P-90 pickups. He used Sunn Amplifiers, which contributed to his unique sound. Other notable instruments include a Dean Leslie West signature model and an Electra signature MPC model. In 2005, West received a sponsorship from Carlsboro Amps and he also used Buddha Amplification and Marshall Amplifiers.
West, who had moved to Florida last month, is survived by his wife Jenni Maurer, the couple married onstage at a Woodstock 40th anniversary concert in 2009. The legend is also survived by his brother Larry West Weinstein and nephew Max.