John Wetton, Leader of the Supergroup Asia, Dies

Asia Promotional Photo, 1982. John Wetton is lower left.
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Asia Promotional Photo, 1982. John Wetton is lower left.
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Asia Promotional Photo, 1982. John Wetton is lower left.

Another icon from the 80s has fallen away.  John Wetton, co-founder of the group Asia and member of King Crimson, has died at 67.

John Wetton, a co-founder of the supergroup Asia and a member of King Crimson, has died at 67.  The English bassist, singer, and songwriter was also associated with a number to well-known bands from the era, and a core contributor to 70s and 80s rock.

Aside from Asia and King Crimson, John Wetton also played with Roxy Music, Uriah Heep, Brian Eno, and Bryan Ferry.  Wetton, a highly-respected bass player, also contributed to material from Yes and Genesis, among other big names.

Wetton passed away after a protracted battle with colon cancer.  Leading up to his death, the bassist was forced to cancel a tour involving Asia and Journey, as well as various solo projects.

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Carl Palmer, a bandmate from Asia (and also a member of Emerson, Lake & Palmer), offered the following statement:

“John was a gentle person who created some of the most lasting melodies and lyrics in modern popular music. As a musician, he was both brave and innovative, with a voice that took the music of Asia to the top of the charts around the world. His ability to triumph over alcohol abuse made him an inspiration to many who have also fought that battle. For those of us who knew him and worked with him, his valiant struggle against cancer was a further inspiration. I will miss his talent, his sense of humor and his infectious smile.”

Aside from Palmer, Asia also featured Yes’ Geoff Downes and Steve Howe.

In its time, the supergroup had little trouble selling millions of albums.  Their biggest track was easily ‘Heat of the Moment,’ a song still played on classic rock stations, Spotify playlists, and even movie soundtracks.

Earlier today, @OriginalAsia broke the news of John’s passing.

“We regret to announce that iconic singer, John Wetton, passed away in his sleep this morning.

Rest in Peace, John.
12/06/1949 – 31/01/2017″

2 Responses

  1. Paul Joseph

    Asia and King Crimson formed a generation of artists and writers.
    God rest your soul, John