Felix Pappalardi was the producer for a little band called Cream, that featured an artist named Eric Clapton. When Cream split up Felix went looking for another band to produce and found a very talented guitarist named Leslie West. Felix put together a band that included himself on base, Leslie on guitar, Corky Laing on drums, and Steve Knight on keyboards. Vocals were shared by Felix and Leslie. They named the band Mountain, and started climbing to the top. The first album from the entire group, named Climbing, became a classic with songs like Mississippi Queen.  Additionally,  Never In My Life, Theme for an Imaginary Western, For Yasgur’s Farm, and Boys in the Band. They followed up with Nantucket Sleighride, another classic, with songs like the title song, Don’t Look Around, Tuanta, and The Animal Trianer and the Toad. These two albums are truly part of rock history.

There were other albums, including a couple of live recordings, one of which was a double album called Twin Peaks. Two or the four sides of this album were taken up with a lengthy live version of Nantucket Sleighride.  Complete with guitar and drum solos in classic 1970’s fashion.

Mountain’s career lasted for only a few years in the 70’s, and was cut short in part by Felix’s near deafness, partially attributed to the loud volumes of his and other’s music, but their music lives on. Unfortunately, Felix Pappalardi died an untimely death in 1983, when he was apparently shot in his sleep by his wife of many years.  The reason; an affair that he was having. His wife, Gail Collins, was later sentenced to 4 years in prison for ‘criminally negligent homicide’.

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