As listed in the official biography
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of John Wetton early this morning. There is so much that could be said about John’s “extraordinary life,” but Carl and Geoff wonderfully capture the feelings of the entire Asia family.
CARL PALMER STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF JOHN WETTON
“With the passing of my good friend and musical collaborator, John Wetton, the world loses yet another musical giant. 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. May you ride easy, my old friend.
GEOFF DOWNES STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF JOHN WETTON
“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart, that I have to report we have lost my dearest friend, brother, bandmate and long term musical collaborator, John Wetton, who has passed away after a long and tenacious battle with cancer. He will be remembered as one of the world’s finest musical talents, and I for one of many was wholly blessed by his influence. It was a massive privilege for me to have worked with this genius so closely on our numerous projects together over the years. His bass playing was revolutionary. His voice was from the gods. His compositions – out of this world. His sense of melody and harmony – unreal. He was literally a ‘special one’.
But John was much more than a gigantic and unique musical talent. He was a supremely intelligent man, marked with his great observations and wisdom about life; all couched within his wicked sense of humour. The wit was dark and deep, only fully perceptible to those on his same wavelength. I was fortunate enough to be able to be on that wavelength, and discover that we had much in common. Many of his personal life experiences were reflected in his lyrical contributions to the songs. His heart was always in the music. That was John, through and through. It was always about – the music.
As a person, he was fiercely loyal, loving and generous, particularly to those he cared about. But he could be as stubborn as a mule or as gracious as a nobleman, depending on the mood that grabbed him on any particular day. There were some who couldn’t read his brilliant mind and complex personality. Some found him charming, others infuriating. But however you found John, there was no denying his rare talent as a musician and songwriter was second to none.
Both of us having been brought up with similar backgrounds in provincial England, we shared a love of many things – sport, and in particular – football, English church music, current affairs, comedy, literature, you name it….pretty much everything that 2 kids from the sticks were exposed to in our youth.
Our planets seemed to be immediately in alignment when we first met in early 1981. There was a laddish camaraderie that grew between us as we became as close as two non-related brothers could be. He was an avid reader and film enthusiast, something he pursued with great interest. This helped inspire him to some wonderful lyrics to the literally hundreds of songs we composed together. Back then, we immediately hit the ground running as we composed much of the debut ASIA album together and forged a formidable partnership which lasted right up until now. It was a wholly natural process for us, whereby we could knock out 2 or 3 songs in an afternoon. They were always greeted with our gentlemanly handshake and smiles once we had wrapped up another one in the bag.
Above all else though, his passion for life was to the fore. The battles he endured throughout were immense and well documented. Firstly with alcohol, which he so resolutely overcame, then open heart surgery and finally cancer, which sadly was to take his life in the end. He once observed to me that this disease is a “merciless assassin”. Just another example of his perception and the descriptive language that he was so richly blessed with. He took all of these battles on board with great bravery and almost a ‘laissez-faire’ attitude, tinged with his inimitable wry wit.
To say I will miss my him greatly is beyond understatement. He was such an inspiration to me. We were planning another album, but sadly he was not well enough to complete it. I feel heartbroken about this, as I knew John thought it was to be one of our finest albums to date. I remain as proud as ever of our Wetton/Downes writing partnership. I am hoping one day that I will be able to finish it, and that it will be appreciated by all those who loved his and our music, and most importantly, a legacy he would have been proud of.
Life will not be the same without him. 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.
Dearest John, may you rest in peace brother.
Please join me in sending our sincerest thoughts and prayers to Lisa, Dylan and the entire Wetton family at this difficult time.”
John Wetton 1949-2017
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This 2 CD set collects together both of John Wetton’s acoustic solo concerts for radio broadcasts. The XM radio broadcast was only available for sale via his website over 10 years ago and has never had a commercial release...
For full description see our John Wetton Page.
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Axis XXX: Live San Francisco [Blu-ray]
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Symfonia – Live In Bulgaria 2013
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Sam Coulson has released the first solo album of his career, Electric Classical, which features his interpretation of various classical pieces, entirely played on guitar. The album features some well-known and no so well-known pieces all played in his unique style for classical and rock fans alike.
Amazon CD: http://geni.us/2EAb
Amazon Digital: http://geni.us/Gcf
Downes Braide Association Suburban Ghosts Read its official press release here!
Frontiers Music Srl is pleased to announce the release of ASIA’s new live album “Symfonia – Live In Bulgaria 2013” on February 24th, 2017.
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The Official John Wetton Website has been updated with various news items recently, such as the Phenomena II re-release.
PROG Magazine has an ongoing advent calendar of Christmas songs and on the 9th day of Christmas, they showcased John Wetton's recording of Happy Christmas (War is Over).
November 9th 2018--- There has been a definitive re-release of Phenomena II - Dream Runner, which includes John Wetton singing "Did It All For Love" which went on to be a #1 hit across South America.
This remastered re-release includes new liner notes, previously unseen publicity photographs of John as well as the hit song.
A promo video was made for the song and an official upload to YouTube can be seen here: https://youtu.be/Ir4zpL4xh78
Amazon CD: http://geni.us/Phenomena2
Jeff Conan Vargon
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Downes Lake Ride The Tiger Read its official press release here!
"Beer, friends and Asia. A great evening"
Member Alfonso Algora
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