By Hayden Wright
(RADIO.COM) – John Wetton, who fronted prog-rock supergroup Asia, passed away at age 67 after a battle with cancer. The rock veteran also played in bands like King Crimson and Uriah Heep. The announcement was shared through Asia’s Twitter account and few other details are available.
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After a two-year stint in the British progressive-rock band Family, Wetton first come to global fame as a member of guitarist Robert Fripp’s band, King Crimson. He sang and played bass with the 1972-1974 line-up that established a reputation as a fearsome live act. Wetton contributed to three albums — Larks’ Tongues In Aspic, Starless and Bible Black and Red — that are all considered among the band’s seminal recordings from the decade.
After Fripp disbanded the group in 1974, Wetton spent two years in Uriah Heep before founding the group U.K., a prog-rock supergroup that predated Asia and featured fellow King Crimson member Bill Bruford on drums along with guitarist Allan Holdsworth (Soft Machine, Gong) and violinist Eddie Jobson (Roxy Music, Frank Zappa).
Wetton would found Asia in 1981 with former Yes guitarist Steve Howe. The band also included drummer Carl Palmer of Emerson, Lake and Palmer and keyboardist Geoff Downes, who had played with the Buggles and Yes.
Asia’s self-titled debut album topped the charts for nine weeks and sold in excess of 10 million copies worldwide.
In addition to his work in hit rock groups, Wetton also had a successful career as a studio musician for Brian Eno, Bryan Ferry, Roxy Music and others.
See Asia’s announcement here:
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