MOUNTAIN - Purple Deep, Mountain Climbing!
by Martin Popoff

US hard rock pioneers Mountain are in the news again these days, due to OZZY OSBOURNE covering 'Mississippi Queen' lately, Ozzy and the Sabs having a long history with Leslie West and Corky Laing, going back to SABBATH's 1970 back-up slot with the proto-metal movers.

But the present gig is a middle slot on an esteemed jaunt with another hard rock legend, DEEP PURPLE.

"We go way back," says Corky, with respect to the Purps. "We did a major European tour with them in 1985; they were doing their Perfect Strangers tour, and we played every date with them in Europe - it was a very successful tour. And then we played a couple festivals with them, over in England and Sweden. So yeah, I don't know, it's just that Ian Paice is a very close friend of mine, and he's a great drummer. It's just one of those things. You have bands you connect with on the road."

Look for Mountain to be in fine form, including, explains Corky, a toned-down and trimmed-down Leslie West. "In the past... am I allowed to swear in this? What is this? Is this X-rated? Before he was a nasty prick, now he's a happy prick. That's my general consensus. And he'll agree with that. In fact, that's what he calls himself, the happy prick. But he's in great shape health-wise. And apart from everything carrying on that happens with anybody at a certain age, I think he's playing as well as he's ever played. Again, we don't do a three-hour show. We do a 75 minute, 90 minute show, and he picks it up and puts it out for 90 minutes. His disposition, let's put it this way, this is the longest we've ever been together, in terms of 35 years working together and being friends. This is the longest group of dates we've done consistently. We're going into our fifth full year. We've had reunions over the periods of the years, and they've gone two, three years at a time, different records, and this is in the longest one."

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