Michael Stewart and West

John’s brother, Michael, passed away on November 13, 2002, at the age of 57.

Michael was involved in music for most of his life. In the 60’s he performed with a group called The Ridgerunners who worked with his brother John on several projects. He later moved to San Francisco and teamed with Jerry Burgan and Bev Bivens to form We Five. There must have been two others in the group, as well.

After We Five dis-banded Michael formed a group called West. West was a Bay Area group who released two or three albums. They were mostly covers of popular songs of the time including several of John’s. I actually owned these albums before I owned any of John Stewart’s.

Michael later became a record producer who produced Billy Joel’s Piano Man. Interestingly enough, the harmonica at the beginning of Piano Man is played by Michael and John’s good friend, Henry Diltz.

Michael then went into the software development field with Adobe and others and was a leader in sound engineering software.

Here is West doing Looking Back Johanna.

Looking Back Johanna


  1. Cat

    Somehow Paul, until now, I had missed out on West being part of Michael’s past. I too had a West LP which was quite a favorite of mine.

  2. Rexx

    I had two or three West LPs that I obtained while I was a College Radio Music Director, 1967-1969. They disappeared in a theft a few yeras after I graduated. One of my favorite tunes was “Looking Back Johanna.” I did not know this was John Stewart music. John’s album, “Bombs Away Dream Babies” was also stolen.
    Though I have been successful regaining some of John’s music, I have been unable to find any sources to do the same for the music from “West”.

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