Charles Lane is a narrow cobblestoned alley that connects Washington Street and the West Side Highway. There is nothing particularly remarkable about it, except it feel like one of those narrow crevices in the city which time has forgotten, even though it is tucked into a peculiarly modern housing development.
What I most remember about the place was the fact that a band called Mountain had once rehearsed there. Large framed posters of the band were on the walls. And the amplifiers we plugged into had once belonged to the band themselves.
Mountain's front man was Leslie West, who is (or was) a very large man, with unruly hair. I remember staring with an odd kind of reverence at the pictures of him and the band on huge concert stages, rocking out. It made me feel special to be rehearsing in a place once occupied by such rock Gods. I had only heard one song of theirs, "Mississippi Queen", but that was enough.»
Now when I walk by Charles Lane it seems like a lost, quiet place, and I wonder vaguely about what parties and debaucheries took place at Charles Lane Studios those nights before our arrival.
You can read more about Mountain, if you want, at a website dedicated to Robin Trower, in which the author includes a respectful homage to Leslie West and Mountain.