Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Goodbye, John.

John Wetton was a tough man.  For years he'd been fighting health problems, including heart problems, arm and shoulder problems that left his picking hand numb, and more recently cancer, but still continued to work when his health allowed.  It was the cancer that killed him.  He was 67.

Wetton came out of Bournemouth music scene, as did Robert Fripp, Greg Lake, Andy Summers, and various others.  After stints with Mogul Thrash and Family it was his time with King Crimson that brought him to prominence.  But after his time in Crimson, touring with Roxy Music and Uriah Heep, and being one of the founders of UK it was the band Asia that brought him the most commercial success.  The group's self titled 1981 debut would go on to sell more than 10 million copies, although they never managed to top that success.  He collaborated with many musicians over the years, both on his own solo material, as a co-leader of several projects, and as a session man.  For the last decade Wetton had been a member of a re-united Asia, and had been planning to tour with the group when his condition deteriorated. 

In memoriam here's "Starless," from King Crimson's 1974 album Red.  It's a great example of Wetton's bass playing and singing.  (Thanks to DGM Live for putting this up on YouTube.)

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