Asia frontman, ex-King Crimson bassist John Wetton dies

Tributes pour in for a prog legend

Tributes have been paid after the death of Asia frontman and former King Crimson bassist John Wetton.

The prog rock veteran died at the age of 67, after losing his battle with colon cancer.

He found fame by playing and singing with the likes of Family, Mogul Thrash, Uriah Heep, Roxy Music, Wishbone Ash and King Crimson, before he formed prog supergroup UK, and then later the acclaimed and successful Asia with Geoff Downes, Steve Howe and Carl Palmer. As well as enjoying a successful solo career, he also played with the likes of Brian Eno, Phil Manzanera, David Cross, Ayreon and District 97.


John Weeton

Palmer has led the tributes to his friend and bandmate, writing on Facebook: “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.”

King Crimson’s Jakko Jakszyk added: “Truly and genuinely saddened by the news that John Wetton has passed. I was honoured to call him a pal. Love to you, JW.”


Wetton is survived by his wife Lisa, son Dylan, brother Robert and mother Peggy.

He joined King Crimson two years after the departure of Greg Lake, who sadly died last month.