The Bassist and singer John Wetton, one of the founding members of the Eighties supergroup Asia, was found dead at 67 after a hard fought battle with Colon Cancer.
Wetton lives on through his family: his only son Dylan, his wife Lisa, brother Robert and mother Peggy, and his influential music career. The death was not a sudden one, as Wetton was alraedy forced to drop out of Asia’s current tour with Journey prior due to health complications, according to his own website. He was then replaced with Yes bassist Billy Sherwood
As an 11 year sober recovering alcoholic himself, Wetton was known to give back and help the cause by doing things such as volunteer time in fellowship to share past experience and wisdom.
Carl Palmer, drummer of Asia, had this to say of Wetton in a statement found on Rolling Stone, “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.”
Geoff Downes, fellow founder of Asia and former member of the band Yes, expressed this in a statement to Rolling Stone about keeping the work moving. “Life will not be the same without him,” Downes said. “And words are not really enough to describe the loss I feel right now, and the many friends and fans all over the world will also be feeling. It is the end of an era for all of us. But we will soldier on – the music of John Wetton needs to be heard loud and clear from the rooftops.”
Tony Franklin, known as the Fretless Monster, has also taken to twitter to voice his loss in Wetton’s passing. One of the tweets in his honor can be found below. Franklin is a fellow bassist and native to Willington, Derbyshire, where Wetton was born.
Aside from his stint with Asia, Wetton also enjoyed a very successful solo career as well has his work with the band, King Crimson, back in the Seventies during their iconic Red Era. He was also part of the bands Mogul Thrash, Family, Roxy Music/Bryan Ferry, Uriah Heep, U.K. and Wishbone Ash. Before his work on the new tour with Journey was cut short, Wetton was also working on a reissue of his solo Studio Recordings Anthology via his own Primary Purpose label.
RIP John Wetton, bassist, musician, songwriter, vocalist of King Crimson and Asia. A sweet soul & huge talent. Rest peacefully my friend. ❤ pic.twitter.com/QAKCaqhuuI
— Tony Franklin (@FretlessMonster) January 31, 2017