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John Wetton (King Crimson, Asia, Uriah Heep), RIP

King Crimson

Veteran prog rocker John Wetton passed away in his sleep this morning after battling colon cancer. He was 67.

John played in several bands over the years. He was a member of King Crimson from 1972-1974 and played on their albums Larks’ Tongues in Aspic, Starless and Bible Black, and Red. He spent the following two years in Uriah Heep and played on Return to Fantasy and High and Mighty. Around the time he was in those classic bands, he also played bass on Brian Eno‘s Here Come the Warm Jets and contributed to four Bryan Ferry albums and Roxy Music‘s Viva!.

From the ’80s to present day, John led a solo career and also fronted the supergroup Asia, which featured the recently-departed (and fellow former King Crimson member) Greg Lake, Lake’s ELP bandmate Carl Palmer, and others. Carl Palmer posted a statement on John’s passing:

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 humor and his infectious smile. May you ride easy, my old friend.

Rest in peace, John Wetton. You’ll be missed.

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