Guitar World’s Dave Reffett recently conducted an interview with MOUNTAIN legend LESLIE WEST. In part one of the interview West talks about his new album Unusual Suspects, music piracy, and more. Excerpts from the interview are below:
Dave Reffett: ‘One More Drink For The Road’ is a great lead-off track. How did that one come to be?
Leslie West: “My songwriting partner, Joe Pizza, wrote it a long time ago. I’m not really a drinker; it’s just an expression. But it turned into a really good shuffle, like a boogie. And Steve Lukather played great acoustic guitar in the front behind the piano. He just walked into the studio one day and ZAKK WYLDE was there recording with me and Steve was close by and wanted to see my producer, and I said, “Steve, you’re just the one to do this,” and I gave him the part I wanted him to play. He is such a great studio musician, I knew he could knock it out in two minutes. I was really thrilled he was on there.”
Dave Reffett: What are your thoughts on music piracy?
Leslie West: “What, you mean people stealing my shit?"
Dave Reffett: Exactly.
Leslie West: “Well, in Europe we started our own bootleg label because there was so much bootleg shit out there. I was tired of seeing people coming up to us at concerts with boxes of albums that never were albums and asking me to sign them. It just pissed me off. It's almost like someone sticking their hands in your pocket and trying to pick your pockets. It's stealing, you know? And even some of my friends who are musicians, they get real excited and say, "Wow, I've got this great bootleg of Hendrix," and I say really? It pisses me off.”
Dave Reffett: In the videos I've seen, you seem like you really have a great sense of humor. Out of all your fellow Dean guitar artists, when you guys are hanging at the NAMM show, is there a particular group of people you really have a good time joking around with?
Leslie West: “I like hanging out with MICHAEL SCHENKER because it's hard to understand a fucking word he says (laughs). He speaks pretty good English; Uli too. Going up there is great. You get to see guys you haven't seen in forever. In fact, I should've been on tour with Uli and Michael now but believe it or not, we could not find a tour bus for me that had a wheelchair lift. Because I can't walk on my leg with a walker; I'm just learning. I’ve only had it for a few weeks.
But there is not one tour bus in the whole United States that is equipped with a wheelchair lift on the outside. The aisles on a bus are very narrow and this one company was going to do a bus and they were willing to do it for free, but there wasn't enough time for them to rip it apart and make the insides bigger, the aisles bigger and make it easier to get into the bathroom to shower, and so there wasn’t enough time to do it. So we had to put it off and postpone the tour. I thought I would be ready, but I didn't realize we were going to run into that problem.”
Read the rest of part one at this location.