Bands: Asia, King Crimson, Uriah Heap
John John Wetton died aged sixty-seven on 31st January 2017 from complications of colorectal cancer at Christchurch Hospital in Christchurch, Dorset, U.K. He was survived by his wife Lisa, son Dylan, brother Robert and his mother Margaret .
On 17th June 2017, Asia performed a special concert in John Wetton's memory, titled An Extraordinary Life and some King Crimson songs were also performed at the event.
Just 2 months earlier, John had married Lisa Nojaim, a drummer.
John Wetton was born John Kenneth John Wetton on 12th June 1949 in Willington, Derbyshire, U.K. and grew up in Bournemouth, Dorset, U.K. He was in a number of early bands including Mogul Thrash and after live work with Renaissance, he joined Family and also did various sessions.
John Wetton's first big break came when he joined Robert Fripp in a then new line-up of King Crimson in 1972, allowing him to come to the fore as a lead singer and composer. John Wetton remained with the band until Robert Fripp unexpectedly disbanded it in 1974. John Wetton continued to work on various projects, including a tour with Roxy Music and two albums with Uriah Heep. In 1977, after failed attempts to reunite King Crimson and to create a new band with Rick Wakeman, John Wetton formed U.K. with Bill Bruford, who had been in King Crimson alongside him. John Wetton recruited keyboard/violin player Eddie Jobson, while Bruford brought in guitarist Allan Holdsworth. Upon Bruford and Holdsworth's departure, American percussionist Terry Bozzio joined, making U.K. a threesome. This version of U.K. released the studio album Danger Money in 1979 and toured in support of Jethro Tull.
After the break-up of U.K., John Wetton released his first solo album, Caught in the Crossfire, in 1980. Later that year he had a brief stint in Wishbone Ash, contributing bass and vocals to their album Number the Brave in 1981. Also in 1981, at the urging of Geffen Records' John Kalodner, John Wetton started working and writing with Steve Howe, who had most recently been in Yes. They went on to form Asia with whom John Wetton worked until 1983. In that year, John Wetton was fired from Asia at the insistence of Geffen Records, ostensibly because of lower-than-expected sales of the Alpha album. He was brought back into Asia in 1985, with Mandy Meyer replacing Steve Howe, to complete Astra in 1985.
In the late 1980s John Wetton's collaboration with former Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera was released as John Wetton/Manzanera , with drums provided by Yes's Alan White. Also around this time, John Wetton began working again with Geoff Downes and Carl Palmer in an attempt to restart Asia without Steve Howe.
The 1990s saw John Wetton mostly out of Asia and focusing on a solo career. In 1999, another attempt to reform Asia resulted in John Wetton participating in the short-lived progressive rock group Qango with Carl Palmer, John Young and Dave Kilminster. The group performed several shows in the UK and recorded one live album, Live in the Hood, before disbanding when John Wetton and Carl Palmer returned to their solo projects.
In the early 2000s, John reunited with Geoff Downes for iCon. In 2006, an official reunion of the original Asia line-up finally occurred. The studio album titled Phoenix in 2008, the original band's first since 1983's Alpha, was released in April 2008. The original line-up released two more studio albums, Omega in 2010 and XXX before Howe departed in January 2013. With new guitarist Sam Coulson, Asia released Gravitas in March 2014.
In 2013, John guested on the album Grandine with Renaissance, with whom he had played live forty-two years previously.