Head cheese

We could gob on for hours about the merits of Leslie West and Mountain. Like a lineman springing the tailback into the secondary, these ’70s stoner-rock prototypes did lots of heavy lifting without receiving much glory for their contributions to rock ’n’ roll. In short, their 1970 debut, Mountain Climbing!, influenced generations of thud specialists, from April Wine, Bad Company and Pat Travers to Guns N’ Roses and, yes, Nirvana. Guitarist Leslie West’s gruff croak and hard-blues guitar heroics have always been the band’s, uh, weighty centerpiece. Mountain’s biggest side, “Mississippi Queen,” is given the Ozzy once-over (with West guesting on guitar) on his new retrospective 4-CD set, Prince of Darkness. And with that, the trimmed-down West is huge again!

5. Senility? Huh?: We toured with Black Sabbath on their first tour of the States, over 30 years ago, and yesterday I was with Ozzy — he remembers getting snowed in with us at the Sheraton Cadillac for four days. We can’t remember 20 minutes ago, but we remember that over 30 years ago. Incredible, Ozzy is.

4. Let it rain: Spring started last Sunday and it snowed last night. What kind of crap is that?

3. Detroit Rock City: I can’t wait to get back to Detroit! I love Detroit!

2. The Mississippi Queen reference: I better start practicing because now that Ozzy has a hit with “Mississippi Queen” with my playing, I have to go back to work next week and I haven’t picked up a guitar in two friggin’ weeks.

1. It’s called PR fortitude: Why am I doing this when I should be practicing?


Sunday, April 3, at the Magic Bag (22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-544-3030).

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