John Wetton, bass player and singer for a multitude of bands, has died of colon cancer at the age of 67. He’d been ill for some time, having had surgery in 2015 to remove a 1kg(!!!) malignant mass from his abdomen. Wetton served in a number of prog bands, including King Crimson, UK, Asia and Family along with Roxy Music, Wishbone Ash and Uriah Heep. He also performed as part of Bryan Ferry’s band.
Asia was particularly successful where Wetton was the principal songwriter and lead singer. The group, which included Geoff Downes (the Buggles), Steve Howe (Yes) and Carl Palmer (ELP) had a couple of platinum albums, led by songs like this.
This is the third bandmate Carl Palmer has lost in the last. Both Keith Emerson and Greg Lake of ELP passed away in 2015. He released this statement.
“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.