Leslie West Recalls Meeting Eric Clapton
Mountain frontman Leslie West, who turns 66-years-young today, recently recalled the time he met one of his idols and inspirations – the one and only Eric Clapton! VH1 Classic Radio spoke to West, who experienced diabetic complications and ultimately endured a leg amputation over the summer, about his face-to-face with Clapton, whom he encountered in a studio! The first thing Clapton said? Something about West's weight!
"He was doing a blues album so I went to the studio and some guy hooked it up that I could go to the studio, the studio I record, in but Eric was there," West recounted. "And I went up to Clapton and I said, ‘I’m Leslie West’ and he said, ‘Whoa, you’re half the size I expected,’ and I said, ‘Yeah, I lost a lot of weight.’"
Weight small talk aside, it wasn't exactly a warm and fuzzy "getting to know you" session either. West attempted to further break the ice, saying, "I said, ‘Felix Pappalardi, bass player-producer for Mountain and Cream, he wanted to introduce me to you,’ and Eric just says, ‘Oh,’ and just walked away. It’s like, ‘Holy Jesus.’ I don’t know if he’s just like that, cold, who knows. But that was one of the strangest moments, meeting my hero and he says, ‘Oh’ (laughs).”
While the West-Clapton collision certainly left an imprint on West, we're sure many music fans out there have had similar experiences, if they just so happened to catch their heroes on bad days!