Asia’s John Wetton dies from cancer aged 67
Rock icon John Wetton passed away this morning (31st January) at the age of 67. He had been battling cancer.
Breaking the sad news first on Twitter, John’s Asia bandmate Geoff Downes wrote: “Dear All, I am sorry to be the bearer of the very sad news that my dearest friend, bandmate and co-writer, John Wetton has passed away.”
Moments later, the official Asia account tweeted: “We regret to announce that iconic singer, John Wetton, passed away in his sleep this morning. Rest in Peace, John. 12/06/1949 – 31/01/2017”
Dear All, I am sorry to be the bearer of the very sad news that my dearest friend, bandmate and co-writer, John Wetton has passed away. — Geoffrey Downes (@asiageoff) January 31, 2017
We regret to announce that iconic singer, John Wetton, passed away in his sleep this morning.
Rest in Peace, John. 12/06/1949 – 31/01/2017 — Original Asia (@originalasia) January 31, 2017
Earlier this month John dropped out of Asia’s co-headline North American tour with Journey this March and April as he was undergoing chemotherapy.
He explained to fans at the time: “I will soon be starting a new medical chemotherapy procedure, under which I will not be able to fly.
“While I am naturally disappointed to miss the beginning of what I know will be an historic Asia tour, I am intending to return to the stage with Asia later in 2017. I know this decision will be in the best interests of my health and our fans in the long run.”
A sad day indeed. #rip #johnwetton pic.twitter.com/KlQWPduX4O — Geoffrey Downes (@asiageoff) January 31, 2017
Paying tribute to his friend and musical kindred spirit, Carl Palmer said in an official 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 humour and his infectious smile. May you ride easy, my old friend.”
In a lengthy and immensely heartfelt post, Geoff Downes heralded his friend as “a gigantic and unique musical talent” and a “fiercely loyal, loving and generous” person.
Vowing to continue Asia in John’s memory, Geoff added: “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.”