Very sad to hear news of the death of John Wetton. Being a massive fan of Asia since hearing their classic ‘Alpha’ many moons ago. I have made many a good acquaintance and friendship with fellow Asia fans, a band I have seen a fair few times although only once with John Wetton.
It was after finding John Wetton’s solo album ‘Caught In The Crossfire’ on cassette back in the late 80’s that it lead me onto discovering many other bands and artists linked to John Wetton and his music. Artists like John Young, who co-wrote songs on John’s solo albums plus was a member of the short lived Quango. Then there is John Mitchell, JW’s solo band guitarist, who has a whole host of bands that tweaked my musical interest including Arena, Frost* and Kino. Plus his stints in more ‘name’ bands like Uriah Heep and Roxy Music. All these musical paths lead back to John Wetton and Asia. RIP
Below is the press release from Asia’s record label Frontiers:
Rock Music Legend John Wetton Dies
(12th June 1949 – 31st January 2017)
Rock music legend John Wetton sadly passed away in the early hours of this morning, Tuesday 31st January 2017, after a long and courageous battle against colon cancer.
John rose to fame with King Crimson in the early 1970’s during the iconic ‘Red’ era and later formed the band UK. In the early 1980’s he was a founder member of supergroup ASIA, which was his biggest commercial success. The band’s 1982 self-titled debut album was the biggest selling album in the world that year and contained the mega-hit ‘Heat of the Moment’.
John also enjoyed a successful solo career, including the seminal album ‘Battle Lines’, and formed iCon with ASIA bandmate Geoff Downes. In 2006 the original line-up of ASIA reformed and toured the world several times to promote four further studio albums.
John had been planning to tour with ASIA for the band’s forthcoming US arena tour with Journey and, following the success of his solo Studio Recordings Anthology, to continue working on the ongoing reissue programme of his solo albums via his own Primary Purpose label.
John valued his over 11 years of sobriety and volunteered time in fellowship with other alcoholics to share his experience, strength and hope with them. John is survived by his recently wed wife Lisa, 18 year old son Dylan, brother Robert and mother Peggy.
The very last studio song of John Wetton’s career was the closing track on the most recent ASIA album ‘Gravitas’, which included the profound lyric Think the best of me, till we meet again.”
A new live album by ASIA entitled ’Symfonia – Live In Bulgaria 2013’ is released on the Frontiers label on 24th February.