There have been an outpouring of tributes to John Wetton, the singer and bassist for such bands as King Crimson, U.K. and Asia who died earlier today at the age of 67.
What is striking in almost all of these writings is that each did not simply say “RIP” or give some other short statement. They all had something to say about Wetton and how he changed their lives.
Carl Palmer (bandmate in Asia)
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.
Geoff Downes (bandmate in Asia)
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.
With our birthdays being only two days apart, and having grown up in England a short distance from each other, I always felt John Wetton and I shared a very special bond.
John was a talented musician with a powerful voice and presence, and he was a genuine friend through the years.
My deepest sympathies go out to his family and all who loved him; he will be greatly missed.
So sad to hear of the passing of John Wetton. I had just played on a new track of his. The 2 UK albums & King Crimson’s Red are Prog classics #RIPJohnWetton
I’m totally gutted about John Wetton’s death. Not only was he a wonderful singer and musician, but he was also an incredibly warm person and a particularly special pal.
I loved him like a brother.
You will always be in my heart, John.
Warmest wishes to all on this very sad day.
RIP John Wetton
A legend and a friend..
It was an honor to know him and work with him.
Andy Powell (Wishbone Ash)
R.I.P. John Wetton. Number the Brave was the album where he joined us displaying his prodigious musical skills. I think of that…. as I send condolences to his family. Sincerely ~ Andy.
Mick Box (Uriah Heep)
I am totally devastated at the news today that John Wetton has passed away. He was a part of Heep history and was a a super talented man. He was also a good friend who over the years I have shared many a laugh with on the road getting up to all sorts of shenanigans. He has left a wealth of music and wonderful songs that will live on forever, and he will be sadly missed. RIP my friend Mick URIAH HEEP
John Wetton has died. As Robert Fripp noted earlier today, “John flew away c. 05.25 this Tuesday morning, January 31st. 2017.” Our condolences and thoughts are with John’s family.
I am heartbroken to tell you that my Dear friend John Wetton of Original Asia and King Crimson has passed away from a brave and long battle with Cancer, his magnificent voice, bass playing and incredible songs will live on in those who saw and loved his music. I wrote the words to ‘Blood Silver Like Moonlight’ about John and I being in the Angels choir together, that is where we will meet again. A true joy to sing with him! God Bless you John, and condolences to Lisa, Dylan, Robert and Peggy and the rest of the world…who loved him.
John valiantly sharing his journey on social media inspired many, including me, to get proper screening and check-ups. Doing so he may have saved many lives. As singer for Original Asia his voice, and bass playing, were a constant in our lives in the 80s. Deepest condolences to his wife Lisa, and all who mourn his loss. Rest In Peace John Wetton.
Anne Marie Helder (Panic Room)
RIP John…. Your beautiful music and voice will be a huge part of this world’s soundtrack, eternally.
Sending so much love to all of John’s family and loved ones today….
especially Lisa, Dylan, & the family…
Martin & all of the Darvill clan…
& Of course John’s bandmates & dear lifelong friends, including Geoff Downes.
I had the pleasure of working with John & Geoff a few years ago on their album ‘Icon 3”…
We also played some live shows together, with Pete Riley on drums & Dave Kilminster on guitar.
Such an honour.
We wre part of an interconnected scene of friend & musicians, so I had the privilege of spending some great times with John over the last decade or so….
And like everyone else who knew him, as a man, I will remember him mostly for these things ~
his ever-present youthful human spark,
his razor-sharp wit & intelligence,
his hidden depths, which he often shrugged off with a joke but which were there in abundance, pouring out through his powerful songwriting and hugely emotive singing…
I always understood these qualities in him, and we would compare notes about what it was like to both be a ‘schizophrenic’ Gemini!
And in the end… I will always have huge respect for him as the man who fought and overcame his mortal demons, with such strength, determination, wisdom, and the honesty to share his mistakes and lessons learned with other people.
Rest in peace now, John….
Or better still, go & jam with your friends up there!
Mari of the late Keith Emerson’s Facebook
They had so much respect and admiration toward each other. They had a silent language that only true geniuses of music could understand.
Oh how we miss them.
Requiescat in pace, John and Keith.