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Leslie West Returns to Touring, Thanks to a Generous Gift

Leslie West / MV-1 Car
Mario Tama, Getty Images / Vehicle Production Group

After being forced to have his lower right leg amputated as a result of diabetes complications last year, guitar legend Leslie West, 66, was forced to cancel a tour — not because he was unable to perform, but because he didn’t have transportation equipped for a wheelchair.

But now, thanks to an incredibly generous gift from The Vehicle Production Group, those worries are behind him.

The company, a new American car manufacturer that designs, engineers and distributes specialty vehicles, has given West a brand new MV-1 — described as “the only factory-built mode of transportation that meets or exceeds the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) direct from the factory.”

Fred Drasner, Chairman of The Vehicle Production Group, said, “From my days at Woodstock, to the release of [West's new album] ‘Unusual Suspects,’ I always thought Leslie was the best. When I heard his tour was cancelled because of a lack of accessible transportation, I was thrilled to be in a position to help him get back on the road.”

For his part, West is overwhelmed, saying, “This is nicer than any guitar I have ever owned, and I’ve had some pretty incredible instruments … I was speechless. People would be proud to own this vehicle. [This gesture is the] most generous I have experienced in my life.”

Leslie West is, of course, revered as a guitar god by artists and fans alike. His performance with his band Mountain at the Woodstock Festival launched him into historical lore, and his new release ‘Unusual Suspects’ features other guitar greats like Billy Gibbons and Slash.

Want to see him on tour? Thanks to his tricked-out new ride, you can. Here are a few upcoming dates:

Leslie West 2012 Tour Dates:

1/31 – New York, NY
2/01 – Foxborough, MA
2/03 – Sellersville, PA
2/04 – Sayreville, NJ

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