In May, Asia vocalist and bass player John Wetton underwent surgery to remove a 2.2 pound cancerous growth.
Since that time, he has been continuing to battle the disease which caused him to pull out of an arena tour in December for the new rock opera Excalibur and, today, that he will be unable to play the early dates of Asia’s tour with Journey. In addition, he said he would not be able to go on the “Cruise to the Edge” cruise that features Yes, Kansas, Steve Hackett and a number of other artists.
John released a statement, saying:
I am disappointed to announce that, on the advice of my medical team, I have to withdraw from Cruise to the Edge, and from the first leg of the Journey tour, March 15 – April 4.
I will soon be starting a new medical chemotherapy procedure, under which I will not be able to fly.
I am grateful to the promoters of the cruise. I wish them pleasant sailing and I know my friends on the cruise, both artists and fans, will have a ball on the ocean wave, I will be with you all in spirit.
My good friend Billy Sherwood will fill in for me within Asia, keeping my seat warm during the initial 12 Journey dates. 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, dates soon to be announced.I know this decision will be in the best interests of my health and our fans, in the long run.
January 11th. 2017
Wetton’s career has included stints in Family (1971 to 1972), King Crimson (1972 to 1974), Uriah Heep (1975 to 1976), Wishbone Ash (1980) and Asia (a number of periods between 1981 and today).