Mountain guitarist Leslie West explained how "Mississippi Queen" came together: "When Corky (Laing, drummer) brought me the idea, it was a one-chord dance song. We got real high, took out a napkin, and I came up with the main riff and the chords. Then we fit the words over the sound." Laing says of the song: "I was madly in love with The Band, and I decided to put a 'Cripple Creek
' feel behind it. Later on, I told Levon Helm that I felt bad about ripping him off, but he said that he didn't hear any similarity between the two songs, and that we didn't owe them any money!"