12 Jan 2017
By: Gary “Uncle G” Brown
Feeling optimistic, I post the following statements. One from musician John Wetton, and the other, a response from musician Billy Sherwood. Long story short, musician John Wetton who I wrote about several times during my stay with Classic Rock Radio (UK) has cancer. He’s been in treatment for a while now. Better to let Mr. Wetton fill you in from here.
A PERSONAL STATEMENT FROM JOHN WETTON
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
From the desk of … Billy Sherwood
Re: ASIA: I’ve always loved John Wettons voice, playing and compositions. His work In King Crimson, UK and Asia and his solo works continues to be an inspiration to me. I’ve had the great fortune to work on many various projects over the years with JW, I recall saying after one of the sessions “we’ve worked on so many tributes, what do you think of creating an original piece of work”? he replied…. “Let’s make my new solo record together in your studio”. It was an amazing time, we had always done file share sessions before, now it would be in person, for the 1st time, creating new music with one of my all time heroes in music. We spent 29 days in my studio, and made “raised in captivity”, A record I am very proud of indeed !!!
We developed a great relationship over the years and a friendship that’s endured and one I cherish !!
John has been fighting cancer and bravely pushing forward to recovery…. Always looking to tomorrow in hope, my thoughts and prayers always with him
With the above said… I’m honored to have been thought of and asked by John to stand in while he continues the fight. Of course my heart breaks, understanding the circumstances which have me performing with Asia. It’s a tight knit community in Prog Rock, and Wettons a giant walking within it !! I shall work very hard to maintain the integrity and musical standards expected !!
I have said YES because I know what Asia means to JW and the guys…. and their dedication to the fans of the band. I’m a fan of the music too !!
I hope to represent that unique position on stage with humility, honor and a deep respect for the music, whilst john recovers and until his ultimate return !!!
All my best, see ya at the show !!!
GB Closing Statement
My hope is this new treatment will work, and Mr. Wetton could then be called a; cancer survivor. Fingers are crossed! I’ve been listening to John’s work since the 1970’s. I had the good fortune of seeing John play live twice in my life. Once in California (ProgFest ’97), and the other in Texas (Dallas 2008). My plans for the future is to see John play live again, here where I am now; Colorado. And it will happen. See you there.
Thank you Mr. Sherwood.
Photo: From the Gary Brown Classic Rock Photo Collection (used only with permission)
John Wetton Statement:
Billy Sherwood Statement:
Blast from the Past: Billy Sherwood_John Wetton Ad