Mountain Frontman Leslie West Says It Was My Leg or My Life
Mountain frontman Leslie West talks about his recovery from his recent leg amputation in a new interview with Billboard.com. The veteran rocker admits he was really scared by the emergency June 20 procedure, but he's glad he can still play music.
"I cried a couple f--kin' times. I look down -- 'Where is it?!' You still feel the nerves and stuff like that. I had to make a decision -- lose my leg or lose my life. What are you gonna do?" remarks West. "But I'll tell you, it's a good thing it wasn't one of my arms. Then I'd be really f--ked."
West is currently in a New Jersey rehabilitation facility, where he is learning to live without the lower portion of his right leg. He is set to return home to his New Jersey apartment in a few days. Later on, he'll be fitted for a prosthetic.
Despite the trauma, West is soldiering on with his music. His new album, 'Unusual Suspects,' features guest spots form ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, Zakk Wylde, Slash, Joe Bonamassa and Toto's Steve Lukather. Billboard reports that the disc is set to drop Aug. 13, but a recent press release lists the due date as Sept. 20.
"I'm glad the album was all done before [the leg amputation] happened, because ... there's no way I would even care about doing an album if it wasn't," West admits. "But I'm glad it's all done and it came out great and I'm really proud of it. Everybody on there is a top-flight guitar player. ... It was only up to me to f--k it up!"
On Aug. 13, West will make his first post-surgery appearance at Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp in New York City. He's also planning a tour with "two other guitar heroes" in the fall. "I'm hoping I'll have my prosthetic by then," says West.
Watch a Video in Which Leslie West and Zakk Wylde Talk and Play Guitars