During the era of fellow guitar heroes Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Eddie Van Halen, West was revered as an equally talented, legendary guitar player.
Born on Oct. 22, 1945, the New York native, who grew up in Hackensack, New Jersey, kicked off his career as a member of the Vagrants, a soul band that gained success in the '60s. He changed his surname to West after his parents split.
His band, Mountain, was founded in 1969 and rose to stardom after performing at the Woodstock Festival which they landed in the first year of their inception.
Even after his countless accomplishments throughout his decades-long career, West will forever be immortalized as the roaring voice behind Mountain's timeless, smash hit "Mississippi Queen."
West previously told Guitar Player that the track, "had just everything you need to make it a winner. You’ve got the cowbell, the riff is pretty damn good, and it sounds incredible. It feels like it wants to jump out of your car radio. To me, it sounds like a big, thick milkshake. It’s rich and chocolatey. Who doesn’t love that?”