John Wetton of Asia Battling Cancer

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John Wetton via his Facebook page

John Wetton, best known as lead singer and bassist of such classic rock acts as Asia, UK, Uriah Heep, the Red-era of King Crimson, and his extensive solo catalog, announced today (Jan. 11) that he “will soon be starting a new medical chemotherapy procedure.” Wetton was scheduled to tour with Asia this year, opening for Journey. Instead, current Yes member Billy Sherwood will take his place.

Here is Wetton’s complete statement:

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.

John Wetton
January 11th 2017

Wetton had a cancer procedure in 2015. As a singer, bassist and songwriter, Wetton initially rose to fame in King Crimson. He then co-founded UK and later was the frontman and co-principal songwriter of the supergroup Asia, his biggest commercial success. Tickets for those Journey-Asia dates are available here.

Asia was formed by musicians who were already established stars in their own right. Each member came with a proven pedigree: singer/bassist Wetton, drummer Carl Palmer (Emerson Lake and Palmer), guitarist Steve Howe (Yes) and keyboardist Geoff Downes (Yes, Buggles).

The band’s self-titled debut album was 1982’s biggest selling album in the U.S. and featured the huge radio hits “Heat of the Moment” and “Soul Survivor.”

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