BILOXI, Miss. — Legendary guitarist Leslie West of Mountain fame is recuperating following emergency surgery to amputate his leg up to the knee.
West, 65, had flown in to Mississippi to perform at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino with his band, Mountain. On Saturday, his leg began to swell. West, who is a diabetic he was rushed to the emergency room, and the decision was made to amputate the limb up to the knee in order to save West's live, according to a statement issued by publicist Steve Karas of SKH Music.
Leslie West is expected to fully recover, but he also faces extensive rehabilitation. The family has requested that the public and media respect his privacy while he comes to terms with this life changing transition.
West has been revered by fans and fellow artists since his start in the 1960s. Known for bold guitar work on such hits as Mountain's "Mississippi Queen," West's most recent project was "The Unusual Suspects," where he is joined by Billy Gibbons, Slash, Zakk Wylde, Joe Bonamassa and Steve Lukather, alongside Kenny Aronoff.
“These guys don’t show up to play on everybody’s albums," West had said. "They’re stars in their own right and fantastic players – everyone with their own sound and style, and about as far from ‘the usual suspects’ as it gets.”
Goldmine will provide updates about West's recovery and the release date for "The Unusual Suspects" as they become available.