[–] cynicaloldfart 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

According to drummer Corky Laing, he had developed some of the lyrics and the drum part prior to his joining the band. Corky Laing started working on this song with David Rea, who was a friend of the band and frequent collaborator - he and Mountain bass player Felix Pappalardi were in Ian & Sylvia's band. Later, when guitarist Leslie West was looking for lyrics for a guitar part he had written, Laing pulled out "The Queen" and the two worked out the song together. When the group proceeded to record "Mississippi Queen", Pappalardi insisted on numerous takes. Leslie West explained: "The cowbell in the beginning was just in there because Felix wanted Corky to count the song off. So we used the cowbell to count it off - it wasn't put in there on purpose. And it became the quintessential cowbell song."

Mississippi is a special place for Leslie West not only because of this song, but because it's where he had part of his leg amputated. On June 18, 2011, the day after playing a show at the Hard Rock Cafe in Biloxi, West's right leg began to swell and he was taken to the emergency room in a Biloxi hospital, where it was amputated below the knee to save his life (West is diabetic). West told us: "When I play 'Mississippi Queen' now, I think Jesus Christ, of all places to lose my leg, it was Mississippi."