January 31st 2019--- Today we remember the second anniversary of John's passing.
Once again, the brightest ring around the moon will darken...
Many of John's lyrics were not just a line in a song, but a philsophy that he followed in life.
Open Your Eyes and see the world that stands before you now.
Carpe Diem - Seize the day.
An Extraordinary Life.
January 5th 2019--- A King Crimson 1972 - 1974 boxed set featuring Steven Wilson's stereo mixes of the Larks' Tongues-erawill be released on LP for the very first time and is available for pre-order.
The box contains the band’s three classic albums by the celebrated 1972 – 1974 line-ups - “Larks’ Tongues in Aspic”, “Starless and Bible Black”** and “Red” plus a fourth album containing a complete alternate version of “Larks’ Tongues in Aspic” mixed and produced by Steven Wilson featuring the LP’s original US artwork.*
King Crimson 1972 - 1974 presents the band’s celebrated trio of studio albums from that period “Larks’ Tongues in Aspic”, “Starless and Bible Black”** and “Red” in their 40th anniversary edition mixes as mixed and produced by Steven Wilson and Robert Fripp in 2009 - 2012.
This is the first time that these mixes have appeared on vinyl.**
All albums are presented in their original sleeves.
Additionally, a fourth LP features an Alternate “Larks’ Tongues in Aspic” mixed and produced by Steven Wilson, with ‘Easy Money’ appearing in its 2012 mix by David Singleton and Alex R Mundy and presented in the album’s original American sleeve art.
The vinyl set is completed with the inclusion of the expanded version of the live USA album, presented in its 2013 mix with interior gatefold art based on the original imagery.
A 24 pages photographic booklet and album art poster are also included.
All albums are pressed using 200gram super heavyweight vinyl for the best audio reproduction.
The albums were cut at Loud Mastering by Jason Mitchell from original hi-res sources as prepared by Steven Wilson and approved by Robert Fripp.
*except ‘Easy Money’ (alt. mix), Mixed and Produced by David Singleton and Alex R Mundy
**excluding ‘Trio’ and ‘The Mincer’, presented in original mixes as multi-track tapes for these tracks remain lost
Pre-order on Burning Shed here: https://burningshed.com/king-crimson_1972%E2%80%931974_vinyl-boxset?filter_name=King%20Crimson&filter_sub_category=true
Pre-order on Inner Knot here: https://shop.schizoidshop.com/king-crimson---1972---1974-limited-edition-vinyl-boxed-set-p1767.aspx
December 9th 2018--- UPDATE! Work continues on a John Wetton box set...
Fans are encouraged to send memories, photos and tributes to John and how his music has affected people's lives.
There have already been some remarkable tributes to John from his friends and peers. This project is fully endorsed by John's family.
Please send to MANAGEMENT@QEDG.CO.UK
December 9th 2018--- PROG Magazine has an ongoing advent calendar of Christmas songs and on the 9th day of Christmas, they showcased John Wetton's recording of Happy Christmas (War is Over).
November 9th 2018--- There has been a definitive re-release of Phenomena II - Dream Runner, which includes John Wetton singing "Did It All For Love" which went on to be a #1 hit across South America.
This remastered re-release includes new liner notes, previously unseen publicity photographs of John as well as the hit song.
A promo video was made for the song and an official upload to YouTube can be seen here: https://youtu.be/Ir4zpL4xh78
Amazon CD: http://geni.us/Phenomena2
September 30th 2018--- A new King Crimson download, this time of the 5th April 1973 show in Rome, has been made available by DGM:
August 19th 2018--- DGM has made an audience recording of King Crimson live in Rome on the 6th April 1973 available for download.
Part of the description of the show is re-published here:
The second night of King Crimson’s first ever visit to Italy turns out to be an astonishingly powerful gig. If you ever doubted how formidable John Wetton was as a bassist you need only listen to this frenetic rendition of Larks’ Tongues In Aspic. After the cross-picking section there comes a storming blowing section in which Wetton holds forth between slashing chords from the guitarist, the pair of them passing the baton between each other as the piece rages toward the violin solo.
It’s Wetton once again who takes the lead in the improv coming out of Easy Money. Although Bruford’s percussive embellishments are somewhat lost to the boomy sonics of the venue Wetton’s string-popping outing is intensely rhythmic providing a focal point for the audience to latch onto...
August 10th 2018--- A new 'hot tickle' track, The Golden Walnut, recorded during John Wetton's time in King Crimson has been made available by DGM:
June 14th 2018--- Wetton Downes' iCon Trilogy of Studio Albums Re-Released with Bonus Tracks – OUT NOW !
London - The John Wetton Estate and Geoffrey Downes are pleased to announce the re-release of the iCon Trilogy of albums, now remastered with bonus tracks in six panel digipacks.
The re-releases have been personally overseen by Geoff Downes and are intended to be a return to the marketplace of individual albums for fans who may wish to purchase a definitive edition.
Of his song-writing relationship and the formation of iCon, Geoff Downes says, “Throughout my entire career, there is no doubt in my mind, that some of my proudest achievements have been the songs that I wrote with the late John Wetton. Not only were we great friends, but also blood brothers in the song-writing department. His magic rubbed off on me immensely, and outside of the hugely successful Asia template, we decided to step out together with our Icon project. It was a 'bromance' made in heaven, because here we had the chance to expand our innermost thoughts and variety of influences, without interference. It was effectively 'us'. We also had the luxury of working with some of the finest musicians in the world who were willing participants in the project.”
For fans of the whole iCon legacy, a box set is being planned out featuring these albums and all the other recordings of the iCon duo, including previously unreleased material.
Geoff Downes continues,“The Wetton Downes Icon catalogue spans across some 4 studio albums, this trilogy plus a prequel album called Zero and various live releases, and incorporates some of our greatest collaborations I firmly believe, and I am happy to impart the news that this entire body of work is being re-released with all of the bonus tracks and some previously unheard renditions of our classic songs. It is in fact Icon in its entirety. If you appreciate the music of John & I, then I sincerely hope you will appreciate these re-issues. Please sit back and enjoy. I know John would be equally proud to see these projects back on the market. All of these recordings mark special periods in our personal and creative lives.
“'Icon 1' was the foundation of the Asia reunion. 'Rubicon' is thronged with the mysticism, symbolism and multi layers that illuminate John's lyrical prowess, virtually unrivalled in any era of creativity. John married events occurring in both our personal lives with Classical events in Roman History, crossing the Rubicon, the die is cast and some intensely personal reflections. His vocal performance is astounding. I look forward to discussing this amazing period in our lives at greater length in the box set planned for Christmas 2019.
“'Icon 3' was a further milestone for us, with Dave Kilminster reuniting with John, a Japanese tour and possibly the most fulfilling DVD I have ever been involved in, Urban Psalm, filmed in St Mary Le Bow Church. I could reflect for hours and hours, take up the entire booklet, but for now...May our music live on forever.”
The albums are OUT NOW on the duo's own Epicon Records via Cherry Red.
iCon II Rubicon: http://geni.us/iCon2
iCon 3: http://geni.us/iCon3
A previous re-release of the Wetton/Downes recordings of the 1980s, re-vitalised and re-packaged as iCon Zero continues to be available on Amazon ( http://geni.us/icon0 ) and iTunes ( http://geni.us/icon0dig )
June 13th 2018--- We are planning an Extraordinary Box Set commemorating John's career, for release on John's 70th birthday in 2019. We invite fans to send memories, mementos, videos, photos, thoughts etc which can be incorporated. Please send to MANAGEMENT@QEDG.CO.UK
May 16th 2018--- DGM has released another audience recording from Hamburg's Audiomax in November 1973 which find the Larks'-era quartet on fine form.
May 5th 2018--- American guitarist Fernando Perdomo has just released a new studio album, Out to Sea, which features a cover of Starless as a tribute to the late John Wetton.
Fernando will be donating $1 per sale, which will be matched by the label, to a charity chosen by John Wetton's widow Lisa.
To purchase the album, click here: http://geni.us/OutToSea
May 3rd 2018--- DGM has released an audience recording in Dusseldorf, the third gig in the Larks' band's first proper European tour in 1973.
February 16th 2018--- DGM has released two recordings of King Crimson at the Rainbow in 1973.
February 16th 2018--- An (unofficial) John Wetton Lego minifigure has been created, see the full article here:
December 7th 2017--- King Crimson's classic appearance in Rome in 1973 is now available as a download.
November 16th 2017--- DGM has released an archive audience recording which captures the Larks-era Crims on terrrific form in 1973.
November 10th 2017--- John Wetton & Geoff Downes’ iCon Zero Now Available on CD and Download!
iCon Zero is a revised presentation of the Wetton/Downes album and is a precursor to their iCon series of albums. It is essentially a collection of tracks mostly recorded in the late 1980s through the time of their brief reformation in 1990.
The original version of the album was released in 2002 and in retrospect seemed like an iCon album from a previous era, so both John and Geoff readily agreed to it being brought into the iCon family. John came up with the name Zero, and both John and Geoff approved the new front cover artwork.
The album has received a 2017 remaster and includes two previously unreleased bonus tracks.
Geoff Downes reminisced about this time period in their joint career with these comments: Icon Zero brings back many fond memories of working with John back in the early-mid 80s. Despite being the principal writers for Asia, we both felt there was at least one other string to our bow. This manifested itself in later years as the Icon project, and this album is an insight into the inner workings of our early relationship, not just as members of Asia, but also as songwriters. These recordings were made largely at weekends when we rented demo studios to try out our ‘other’ ideas and simply - have some fun time away from the pressures of the music business. Most of these songs were put together in a few hours, and written on the fly. Then, they were recorded straight down that same day. One great aspect of this was, we always seemed came up with something new, and as the inspiration flowed it was captured there and then even in its embryonic form.
Sadly John Wetton passed away in January 2017, but this release was already on the cards, with his Estate and Geoff Downes approving it going ahead as originally planned.
Geoff Downes had these further comments about his late bandmate: “John was a genius in every sense of the word, and I am most privileged to have been a big part of his career. The Icon project in itself stands alone as a complete cycle of our work together, and this album (Icon Zero) displays an important part of that development. The great John Wetton’s unique presence can be felt on every note and lyric of these songs. Please enjoy.”
iCon Zero will be followed by definitive edition re-releases of the subsequent three iCon albums, with bonus tracks, during 2018 with Geoff Downes’ personal approval.
To purchase John Wetton & Geoff Downes iCon Zero:
Amazon CD: http://geni.us/icon0
October 11th 2017--- John Wetton's AKUSTIKA – LIVE IN AMERIKA & AKUSTIKA II – RETURN TO AMERIKA 2-CD Now Available!
This 2-CD set AKUSTIKA – LIVE IN AMERIKA & AKUSTIKA II – RETURN TO AMERIKA includes a 2017 remaster of the acoustic album AKUSTIKA and a previously unreleased acoustic show from 2005.
The booklet features specially written recollections of close friends and fans who attended the 2005 show with previously unseen photographs.
The release is on the imprint label John Wetton started during his lifetime, Primary Purpose, via Cherry Red Records.
This new release was personally selected by John before his passing as one of the many back catalogue titles to be reissued in the near future.
Amazon CD: http://geni.us/PP008CD
June 6th 2017--- Wetton/Downes iCon announces the mainstream release of Urban Psalm on 2CD/1DVD OUT NOW!
The collaboration of the ASIA co-founders, John Wetton and Geoff Downesâ€™ iCon, has led to the formation of Epicon Records (via Cherry Red) and its first release of Urban Psalm as a 2CD/1DVD set. The release was planned before John Wettonâ€™s death in January 2017 and is fully approved by Geoff Downes and the Wetton Estate.
The concert was filmed at the iconic St Mary-le-Bow church in London and features a unique set including iCon songs, heritage tracks and the greatest hits of ASIA. This release of Urban Psalm is the first in a series of definitive re-releases of the iCon catalogue.
The Urban Psalm recording also features Dave Kilminster (Roger Waters, Keith Emerson) on guitars, Pete Riley (whom John called "the best drummer in the world" and played with Keith Emerson alongside Dave), Panic Room's Anne-Marie Helder on vocals and ELO's Hugh McDowell played cello.
Of the release Geoff Downes said: â€śUrban Psalm emerged out of a very special one-time concert featuring the music of John and I. Set in an historic church in London, the concert was recorded and filmed. Concert goers received a DVD as part of their attendance. Few people had the opportunity to see this live and until now has had very limited fan-based distributionâ€ť
The setting was historic and intimate and the film has not been shared widely until now, although fans came from around the world to participate.
You're in for a rare treat.
Order on Amazon 2CD/1DVD: http://geni.us/icon6
Order on iTunes: http://geni.us/cG4tsgs
March 8th 2017---
AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE
AN INTERACTIVE CELEBRATION
OF THE LIFE & MUSIC OF JOHN WETTON
JUNE 17, 2017 AT THE BERGEN PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
ASIA and their fans will pay tribute in a special concert to the late singer / songwriter, John Wetton, who spearheaded the legendary British band. The event is called “An Extraordinary Life” and will be a fully interactive celebration whereby fans can contribute to the remembrances of the acclaimed musician. It will be held on Saturday, June 17th at the Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood, NJ.
John Wetton, who was the lead vocalist, bassist and co-writer with the iconic group, lost his brave fight against cancer on 31st January 2017, just as the band was about to embark on a four month tour as special guests of Journey, recreating the days when both bands were world best sellers.
“An Extraordinary Life”, a reference to one of the band’s most popular songs, will pay tribute to John. Special guest Billy Sherwood of YES is filling in as bassist and vocalist. Also appearing will be current ASIA members Carl Palmer, Geoff Downes, and Sam Coulson. The group will do a full set of ASIA music, as well as some of the best loved songs from the members’ previous super-groups, bands such as King Crimson; YES; The Buggles; and Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
In addition to the ASIA performance, the evening will be highlighted with rare video clips of John and the band, historical footage and fan remembrances of John and his music. ASIA fans will be encouraged to send in written or video accounts of their love of the music and the man behind much of it. Still photos of fans with John are also welcomed and will be projected onto the screen. Fans who send media to the band in advance will be balloted to share memories on the evening.
Fans can send their media before June 1st, 2017 to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos must be sent in a Jpeg format and fan video testimonials should be in mov. or MP4 format. These should not ordinarily exceed 30 seconds in length. Any written testimonials should be formatted as a text, or MS word file, and should not exceed 250 words.
A Q&A session will be held between the audience, ASIA and members of ASIA’s management. Along with this, never-before seen interview footage of John shot during the making of the band’s documentary film, “ASIA-30 Years On” will be shown.
Tickets available at: www.bergenpac.org
For further information, please visit: www.originalasia.com
ASIA contact: Bruce Pilato
Pilato Entertainment Marketing & Media LLC
• Fans can send their text memories, video testimonials, or photos of themselves taken with John before June 1st, 2017 to: email@example.com
• Photos must be sent in Jpeg format;
• Fan video testimonials should be in mov. or MP4 format and should not ordinarily exceed 30 seconds in length.
• Written testimonials should not exceed 250 words as a text or MS word file.
• ASIA 2013 LLC and QEDG Management reserve the right to edit or remove submissions they feel are inappropriate.
• Once submitted, ASIA 2013 LLC, The Estate of John Wetton, and QEDG Management will have the right to use and distribute media submissions. This will include any commercial or non-commercial releases, media outlets or forms of social media as appropriate. The person submitting photos or videos must have permission from anyone who assisted in taking the shots.
Rock Music Legend John Wetton Dies (12th June 1949 – 31st January 2017)
Rock music legend John Wetton sadly passed away in the early hours of this morning, Tuesday 31st January 2017, after a long and courageous battle against colon cancer.
John rose to fame with King Crimson in the early 70s during the iconic Red era and later formed the band UK. In the early 1980s he was a founder member of supergroup ASIA which was his biggest commercial success. The band’s 1982 self-titled debut album was the biggest selling album in the world that year and gave fans and mainstream radio the mega-hit Heat of the Moment.
John also enjoyed a successful solo career, including the seminal album Battle Lines, and formed iCon with ASIA bandmate Geoff Downes. In 2006 the original line-up of ASIA reformed and toured the world several times to promote four new studio albums.
John had been planning to tour with ASIA for the band’s forthcoming US arena tour with Journey and following the success of his solo Studio Recordings Anthology, to continue working on the ongoing re-issue programme of his solo albums, via his own Primary Purpose label.
John valued his over 11 years of sobriety and volunteered time in fellowship with other alcoholics to share his experience, strength and hope with them. John is survived by his recently wed wife Lisa and 18 year old son Dylan, brother Robert and mother Peggy.
The very last studio song of John Wetton’s career was the closing track on the most recent and indeed final ASIA album “Gravitas” and included the profound lyrics “Think the best of me, till we meet again.”
Official Website: www.johnwetton.com
Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158 (USA), firstname.lastname@example.org
Personal and management enquiries: Martin Darvill, QEDG Management, email@example.com
January 24th 2017--- ASIA has announced the tour dates second leg of the tour with Journey can be found HERE
January 11th 2017--- 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
December 23rd 2016--- John Wetton (@arkangel2605) on Twitter: "TFIF. On the eve of Xmas Eve,a wish for health & happiness to Tweetstadt. Gratitude for happy sobriety to abstinent friends."
December 12th 2016--- Frontiers Music Srl is pleased to announce the release of ASIA's new live album "Symfonia - Live In Bulgaria 2013" on February 24th, 2017.
Available on 2CD/DVD, Blu-Ray, and MP3 (audio only) the album was recorded during a special show on September 21st, 2013 during the Sounds of the Ages Festival at the magnificent Second Century Roman Theater in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. On some of the songs during the band's set, Original Asia was joined by The Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Levon Manukian.
Says John Wetton: "The show in the glorious Roman Theater of Plovdiv, with orchestra, along with the massive Sweden Rock Festival and the shows in the UK and the show European tour thereafter, were the first dates of the new chapter of ASIA-and in my opinion, the band has never sounded better."
Pre-orders are available now here: http://radi.al/Symfonia
December 5th 2016---Asia will be touring with Journey in 2017! John, Geoff, Carl and Sam are excited to see you on the road.
“Asia is honoured to be asked to share the stage with Journey,” says ASIA’s lead singer and bassist John Wetton, who has been fighting cancer since 2015 after the band finished its last US tour. “On a personal note, this couldn’t have come at a better time for me; I remain determined and my road to a full recovery continues. I look forward to seeing everyone on the tour next year”.
A full list of tour dates can be seen here: http://originalasia.com/journey-asia-2017-tour-dates/
Listen to the radio promo or watch the TV spot.
November 18th 2016--- The “Official Bootleg Archive” collects together three of Wetton's previously released “Official Bootlegs” - which have been out of print for nearly 10 years!
The “Official Bootleg Archive Vol 1” six CD set's audio has been remastered and includes new artwork, fully approved by John Wetton. The set is the seventh title released on John Wetton's own Primary Purpose imprint via Cherry Red Records.
To purchase John Wetton's “Official Bootleg Archive Vol 1”: http://geni.us/PP007CD
November 17th 2016--- John has posted this on Twitter: "It is with huge regret that I announce my withdrawal from the role of King Arthur in the 'Excalibur' Arena tour of GAS countries in Dec. I will miss working with Manfred, Alan Simon,& the superb Prague Symphony Orchestra.My role will be ably taken by old friend Michael Sadler!"
November 15th 2016--- Here is the latest poster for Cruise to the Edge:
October 20th 2016---
For Grammy® Consideration:
BEST SPOKEN WORD (Action Moves People United)
Various Artists (Dan Aykroyd, Julian Lennon, Alan White, John Wetton (Asia), Janis Ian (Grammy Winner), Lillias White (Tony/Emmy Award Winner), Kathy Sledge (Sister Sledge), Patrick Moraz (The Moody Blues/Yes), Timothy Graphenreed (Score Writer of The Wiz), Geoff Downs(Asia/Yes/Video Killed The Radio Star writer and performer), Dorin Prunariv (Cosmonaut), Colin Andrews (Paranormal Researcher/N.Y. Times Best Selling Author), Annie Haslam (Renaissance), Sharon Katz and The Peace Train, and many other award-winning artists.
Listening link: http://www.actionmovespeopleunited.org/listen
September 20th 2016--- A double CD album by ACTION MOVES PEOPLE UNITED with 45 tracks of Musical Spoken Word and Songs will be officially released on Sept 21, 2016. Read the full press release here: http://www.actionmovespeopleunited.org/press/
March 23rd 2016--- John will be joining "Cruise to the Edge" next February, sailing from Tampa on February 7 and returning on February 11. Please follow John's Twitter for more information, and follow @cruisetotheedge for more information relating to the cruise.
February 19th 2016--- John is delighted to announce he will be a special guest star of the new “Excalibur” rock opera, which is touring German arenas in December 2016. More details to follow.
Tickets can be order via this link:
October 9th 2015--- JOHN WETTON is the lead singer of ASIA, UK and the “Red” era of KING CRIMSON, with an extensive solo catalogue, which now includes “Live via Satellite” OUT NOW !
This 2 CD set collects together both of John Wetton’s acoustic solo concerts for radio broadcasts. The XM radio broadcast was only available for sale via his website over 10 years ago and has never had a commercial release.
The Swedish radio broadcast (previously unreleased) was thought lost in a fire, until a duplicate of the master tapes was found thanks to a long and tireless search by John Wetton’s fans.
Of the release, John Wetton said: “Both of these shows are from the same time period, but come from very different sources. The first, a Circus tent-like venue in a funfair in Stockholm: the second, a state-of-the-art facility in Washington DC, so the repertoire is similar, but venues could not be more different. Recording production is superb on both, it's a document of a slice of my life.”
As a lead singer, bassist and songwriter, John Wetton initially rose to fame with King Crimson and after that Wetton co-founded UK. In the early 1980s he was the frontman of the super-group Asia, his biggest commercial success. ASIA’s self-titled debut album was the biggest selling album in the world in 1982 and the band continues to this day.
He later formed the duo Icon with Geoff Downes (YES and The Buggles) and has had a successful solo career releasing a large number of studio and live albums, including the recent compilation The Studio Recordings Anthology.
John Wetton's “Live via Satellite” will be released 9th October 2015 and is part of the ongoing release schedule of his own Primary Purpose label, working via Cherry Red.
1. THE CIRCLE OF ST. GILES
2. HEAT OF THE MOMENT
3. BOOK OF SATURDAY
4. BATTLE LINES
6. THE SMILE HAS LEFT YOUR EYES
7. EASY MONEY
9. 30 YEARS
10. HOLD ME NOW
11. RENDEZVOUS 6:02
12. THE NIGHT WATCH
13. YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY ONE
2. THE CIRCLE OF ST. GILES
3. HEAT OF THE MOMENT
4. MONDRAGO / BOOK OF SATURDAY
5. THE SMILE HAS LEFT YOUR EYES
6. 30 YEARS
7. HOLD ME NOW
10. SOLE SURVIVOR
11. RENDEZVOUS 6:02
12. THE WATER IS WIDE
14. BATTLE LINES
15. THE CELTIC CROSS
Amazon CD: http://geni.us/1A9M
Amazon Digital: http://geni.us/1jj0
August 25th 2015--- A special note from John Wetton: "I start chemo 2moro--I urge everyone to be checked for cancer regulary 'cause cancer growth is rapid--and before you know it---agonising"
May 26th 2015--- Orchestra conductor Charles Hazlewood explores the progressive rock music of the 1970s. After Bill Bruford and Tony Banks, this week it is John Wetton’s turn to be interviewed. Ian Anderson finishes the series next week.
May 25th 2015--- JOHN WETTON STATEMENT - On May 16, John underwent surgery for the successful removal of a 1 kilo [2.2lb] malignant mass. John wishes to extend his thanks to Mr Chan and his team. John is also beyond grateful for the wonderful wishes and prayers received. John is recuperating. Messages can be sent via the management office to firstname.lastname@example.org
May 3rd 2015--- John Wetton’s BBC Radio 2 interview with acclaimed conductor Charles Hazlewood explores the progressive rock music explosion of the 1970s. One of four mainstream interviews with 1970s rock legends.
Episode 1 – 11th May - interview with Bill Bruford
Episode 2 – 18th May - interview with Tony Banks
Episode 3 – 25th May - interview with John Wetton at 22:00.
Episode 4 – 1st June - interview with Ian Anderson
May 3rd 2015--- An all-star gathering of musical luminaries bring their warmest performances to a brand new tribute album featuring 16 acoustic renditions of the best song’s by The Beatles! Keep Calm And Salute The Beatles offers heartfelt and inviting contributions including by John Wetton who belts out a passionate and playful version of “Penny Lane.”
Purchase the CD version: CLICK HERE
Purchase the special bonus track version on iTunes: CLICK HERE
February 11th 2015--- Dates announced for UK's Final Tour - America
- Apr 21 The Regency Theatre SF
- Apr 23 World Cafe Live PA
- Apr 24 The Highline Ballroom NY
January 29th 2015--- We have been alerted to advertising for a concert on May 8 at the Temple of Music Arts, Tucson Arizona, featuring John Wetton. Please note, for the avoidance of doubt, that this is a spoof. It is not happening. As always, we remind you that unless a concert, CD, book, merchandise item or any John Wetton related issue is endorsed on Chasing The Dragon, it can be assumed to be piracy, or not officially endorsed, or both. Please do not part with your money.
January 26th 2015--- John Wetton is pleased to announce the forthcoming release of two more titles on his own Primary Purpose imprint, both of which are available to pre-order now:
John Wetton and The Les Paul Trio - New York Minute (Release date: 2nd March 2015)
New York Minute sees John playing a selection of the songs that inspired him, many of which are not available on any other release.
1. DO IT AGAIN
2. WHAT’S GOING ON?
3. GOD ONLY KNOWS
4. CAN’T FIND MY WAY HOME
5. NEW YORK MINUTE
6. ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER
7. LADY MADONNA
8. HEAT OF THE MOMENT
9. BATTLE LINES
John Wetton - The Studio Recordings Anthology (Release date: 9th March 2015)
The Studio Recordings Anthology collects together the best of his six solo studio albums across a 2 CD set with extensive new liner notes.
1. THE CIRCLE OF ST. GILES
2. THE LAST THING ON MY MIND
3. HOLD ME NOW
4. WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
5. ANOTHER TWIST OF THE KNIFE
6. I'VE COME TO TAKE YOU HOME
7. I CAN'T LIE ANYMORE
8. LOST FOR WORDS
9. BATTLE LINES
10. CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE
12. RIGHT WHERE I WANTED TO BE
13. NOTHING'S GONNA STAND IN OUR WAY
14. SECOND BEST
16. REAL WORLD
1. HEART OF DARKNESS
2. SAY IT AIN'T SO
3. COLD IS THE NIGHT
4. YOU'RE NOT THE ONLY ONE
5. RAISED IN CAPTIVITY
6. STEFFI'S RING
7. WALKING ON AIR
8. TAKE ME TO THE WATERLINE
10. BATTLE LINES (ACOUSTIC)
11. I LAY DOWN
12. ROCK OF FAITH
13. WHO WILL LIGHT A CANDLE?
14. YOU AGAINST THE WORLD
16. AFTER ALL
December 22nd 2014--- New UK date at LEAMINGTON Assembly on 2nd March 2015. More details to follow...
November 14th 2014--- Here is the current list of dates for 'UK's Final Tour - Europe.'
22 Feb 2015 WROCLAW - Polish Radio Concert Hall
24 Feb 2015 WARSAW - Progresja Music Zone
26 Feb 2015 OSLO - Cosmopolite
28 Feb 2015 ZOETERMEER - De Boerderij
01 Mar 2015 LONDON - Under The Bridge
October 31st 2014--- ASIA's concert at Christchurch has SOLD OUT! The venue has released some standing room only tickets, but these are selling quickly!
October 11th 2014--- District 97 with John Wetton's live album ONE MORE RED NIGHT is out now!
One More Red Night is a live CD capturing a set of KING CRIMSON songs performed by DISTRICT 97 and former King Crimson lead singer JOHN WETTON.
The album includes three songs from the iconic landmark album RED which inspired many musicians including Kurt Cobain.
This CD also captures several other well-known songs from the three King Crimson studio albums John Wetton played and sang on, plus their earlier hit ‘21st Century Schizoid Man’.
This is the first release of this recording and features many tracks which are now rarely heard live.
1. ONE MORE RED NIGHTMARE
2. THE GREAT DECEIVER
4. THE NIGHT WATCH
5. FALLEN ANGEL
6. BOOK OF SATURDAY
7. 21ST CENTURY SCHIZOID MAN
9. EASY MONEY
The album is currently available to order from all good digital and physical retailers including...
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/More-Night-District-With-Wetton/dp/B00N3SE9US/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/More-Night-District-With-Wetton/dp/B00N3SE9US/
Cherry Red: http://www.cherryred.co.uk/shopexd.asp?id=4842
iTunes US: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/one-more-red-night-live-in/id912870501
iTunes UK: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/one-more-red-night-live-in/id912870501
October 13th 2014--- John Wetton will be participating in the Rock Meets Classic arena tour in Germany in 2015.
Ingolstadt - Saturn Arena
Dresden - Messe Dresden Halle 1
Neu-Ulm - ratiopharm arena
Würzburg - s. Oliver Arena
Zürich - Club Hallenstadion
Sursee - Stadthalle
Kempten - BigBox
Stuttgart - Porsche Arena
München - Olympiahalle
Wien - Stadthalle D
Leipzig - Arena Leipzig
Berlin - Tempodrom
Regensburg - Donau-Arena
Nürnberg - Arena Nürnberger Versich...
Frankfurt am Main - Jahrhunderthalle
Passau - Dreiländerhalle
Bamberg - brose Arena
Halle/Westfalen - Gerry Weber Stadion
October 10th 2014--- This is a quick reminder that you can follow John Wetton on twitter, including his recent updates on the ASIA US tour.
October 10th 2014--- John Wetton is on the Planet Rock Prog takeover show on Monday 20th October with Darren Reddick.
October 9th 2014--- Leslie Hunt from District 97 was guest backstage tonight at ASIA's show at Arcada Theatre. District 97 with John Wetton's live album "One More Red Night" was released in many territories last week and is out in America this coming Tuesday.
August 12th 2014--- ASIA to release live "High Voltage" CD/DVD on 25th August 2014
Recorded on the 24th July 2010 at the inaugural High Voltage Festival in Victoria Park, London, this ASIA live CD / DVD captures the band, in its original line-up of Geoff Downes, Steve Howe, Carl Palmer and John Wetton, performing classic material from the 80's, plus songs from the first two albums of its reunion, "Phoenix" and "Omega".
The show was performed to an enthusiastic festival crowd, ready to hear ASIA's eponymous debut album - the world's biggest selling album of 1982 - performed in its entirety for the first time in Europe.
Track list: Only Time Will Tell, Wildest Dreams, One Step Closer, An Extraordinary Life, Time Again, Cutting it Fine, Without You, I Believe, Here Comes the Feeling, Sole Survivor, Heat of the Moment.
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/High-Voltage-CD-DVD-Asia/dp/B00KSF53WM/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/High-Voltage-CD-DVD-Asia/dp/B00KSF53WM/
August 11th 2014--- ASIA is playing the Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls, NY on 19th September 2014. Tickets are on sale here
The new Niagara Falls show replaces the previously announced Akron, NY show at Braun’s Concert Cove.
The full list of ASIA dates can be seen through the Calendar link above.
July 25th 2014--- Statement from “Rock Meets Classic” orchestral arena tour
“We’re proud to announce that Classic Rock Icon John Wetton of Asia & King Crimson will join the Rock Meets Classic Tour 2015. “Asia” the debut album by Asia was the biggest selling album in the world in 1982. Number 1 on Billboard album chart for 9 weeks. 7 USA radio hits including the worldwide smashes “Heat of the Moment” and “Only Time Will Tell”. Please welcome John Wetton!”
More information to follow
July 23rd 2014--- John Wetton thanks Japanese fans on promoter Udo’s website:
July 18th 2014--- ASIA date change for the Wulfrun Hall. The dates are now as follows:
28th October 2014 Sage H2, Gateshead
29th October 2014 RNCM, Manchester
31st October 2014 The Regent Centre, Christchurch
1st November 2014 Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton
2nd November 2014 Shepherds Bush Empire, London
Please note existing Wulfrun tickets for 30th October remain valid.
June 25th 2014--- By popular demand, the two albums from the recent John Wetton and Richard Palmer-James twofer are now available on iTunes - in their original individual form.
The twofer CD edition remains available from all good retailers and directly from Cherry Red here: http://www.cherryred.co.uk/shopexd.asp?id=4562
June 20th 2014--- ASIA has revised the California (USA) leg of the 2014 Gravitas tour as shown below:
- Thur Oct 16 San Juan Capistrano, CA
- Fri Oct 17 Las Vegas, NV
- Sat Oct 18 Beverly Hills, CA
- Sun Oct 19 Agoura Hills, CA
- Mon Oct 20 Solana Beach, CA
June 20th 2014--- ASIA High Voltage Blu-ray + CD was #1 yesterday on Amazon Japan Hard Rock DVD chart!
June 18th 2014--- Asia’s show this evening, at Osaka Sankei Hall Breeze, is a sell-out!
June 17th 2014--- Asia’s show this evening, at Nagoya Zepp, is a sell-out!
June 10th 2014--- On the eve of beginning its UK tour, ASIA is pleased to announce its US tour:
Thu 9/11 Norfolk, CT Infinity Hall
Fri 9/12 Shirley, MA Bull Run
Sat 9/13 Verona, NY Turning Stone Casino
Sun 9/14 Hartford, CT Infinity Hall
Wed 9/17 York, PA Pullo Center
Thu 9/18 State College, PA State Theater
Fri 9/19 Niagara Falls, NY Rapids Theatre
Sat 9/20 New York, NY BB Kings
Mon 9/22 Warrendale, PA Jergel's
Wed 9/24 Newark, OH Midland Theater
Thu 9/25 Morristown, NJ Mayo Performing Arts Center
Fri 9/26 New Hope, PA (Phil) Havana (Rosh Hashanah)
Sat 9/27 Englewood, NJ Bergen Performing Arts Center
Sun 9/28 Wilkes-Barre, PA Mohegan Sun Casino - Poconos
Tue 9/30 Annapolis, MD Rams Head
Wed 10/1 Annapolis, MD Rams Head
Fri 10/3 Atlanta, GA Variety Theater
Sat 10/4 Biloxi, MS Hard Rock Casino
Sun 10/5 Franklin TN Franklin Theater
Tue 10/7 Milwaukee, WI Pabst Theater
Wed 10/8 Royal Oak, MI Royal Oak Music Theater
Thu 10/9 St. Charles, IL Arcada Theatre
Sat 10/11 Dallas, TX Granada Theater
Mon 10/13 Tucson, AZ Fox Theater
Tue 10/14 Phoenix, AZ The Press Room
Thu 10/16 Agoura Hills, CA The Canyon
Fri 10/17 Las Vegas, NV Red Rock Casino - Rocks
Sat 10/18 Beverly Hills, CA Saban Theater
Sun 10/19 San Juan Capistrano Coach House
Mon 10/20 Solana Beach, CA Belly Up Tavern
A full press release can be seen on the ASIA website by clicking here.
June 9th 2014--- John congratulates Krista Wallhagen and Kevin Mackie following Action Moves People winning the Independent Music Award in the "Spoken Word (with Music Accompaniment)" category. John voiced Krista's poem Grace Within.
June 5th 2014--- Asia is pleased to announce its UK Autumn Tour.
28th October 2014 Sage H2, Gateshead
29th October 2014 RNCM, Manchester
30th October 2014 Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton
31st October 2014 The Regent Centre, Christchurch
2nd November 2014 Shepherds Bush Empire, London
The pre-sale link for Gateshead, Manchester and Wolverhampton is www.eventim.co.uk/cgi-bin/tickets.html?fun=erdetail&doc=erdetaila&erid=1115310&affiliate=RLR
The Regent Centre tickets can be purchased at (from 10am UK time) http://www.regentcentre.co.uk/
The Shepherds Bush Empire tickets can be purchased at http://www.o2shepherdsbushempire.co.uk/event/67058/asia-tickets
May 21st 2014--- ASIA will be playing Shepherd's Bush Empire on 2nd November 2014. Tickets are now on sale here.
April 25th 2014--- Check this story from Prog:
April 16th 2014--- Listen back to John Wetton's interview with Team Rock Radio;
You can hear the interview at 1hr 15min
April 1st 2014--- Listen live to John's interview with Firebrand Rock Radio. This will air tonight (01/04/2014) between 7-9pm UK Time http://www.firebrandrr.co.uk/radio-player/
March 31st 2014--- Listen live to John's interview with Express/Forest FM this evening at 8.45pm [UK Time] http://www.expressfm.com/programmes/the-soft-rock-show/
March 28th 2014--- Listen live to John's interview with BBC Radio Berkshire this afternoon at 1.40pm [UK Time] http://www.bbc.co.uk/radioberkshire
March 27th 2014--- Listen live to John's interview with BBC Radio Suffolk this evening at 6.45pm [UK Time] http://www.bbc.co.uk/radiosuffolk
March 24th 2014--- ASIA's new single, Valkyrie, is currently at #7 in the US Mediabase Radio Play chart.
March 20th 2014--- ASIA's new album, Gravitas, is currently at #26 in the national charts in Japan.
March 17th 2014--- Listen back to John's interview with Flying Radio. You can hear Gravitas at 25min 20sec and the interview at 33min 20sec
March 14th 2014--- ASIA is proud to announce that they will perform some of the tracks from their well-
received current album ‘Gravitas’ for the first time ever at a couple of select UK shows in
June. The dates, at the Malvern Theatre and the Holmfirth Picturedrome, are on sale now.
‘Gravitas’ sees the legendary British band moving into the next phase of its extraordinary
career; this is a brave new album that explores different musical landscapes while
embracing its familiar musical past. Produced and written by band members John Wetton
and Geoff Downes, the album also introduces the world to the band’s new guitarist, Sam
Coulson, who replaces Steve Howe in the line-up.
ASIA’s debut album exploded onto the music scene in April 1982 and was the best selling
album in the world that year. Featuring Geoff Downes (keyboards), Steve Howe (guitar),
Carl Palmer (drums) and John Wetton (lead vocal and bass), the group was the logical
successor to their collective bands of the 70’s - Yes, ELP, King Crimson, UK and The
Malvern Theatre, Worcestershire
Ticket price: £25
Doors 7pm, on stage 7.30pm.
Box office: 01684 892277 or www.malvern-tickets.co.uk
Holmfirth Picturedrome, West Yorkshire
Ticket price: £24.75
Box Office: 0844 249 1000 or www.picturedrome.net
For ASIA's long-devoted fans, the band’s return to the concert stage cannot come soon
enough. As Carl Palmer says: "Performing on stage is where this band truly comes into
its element. Seeing the fans reacting to our music is what makes it all worthwhile. It is the
fuel that drives this train we call ASIA." John Wetton added, “Aware of the debt to our
homeland, we look forward to playing these two special dates in June to preview
'Gravitas', and introduce the latest, exciting chapter of this extraordinary band”. From
Geoff Downes, "We are very much looking forward to playing in front of our UK fans
once more. It's been quite a while, so of course we are extra-excited this time to bring our
music back to you all again. And in particular, we shall be including songs from our
brand new album 'Gravitas' - see you there!"
For more information or to request interviews please contact Chris Hewlett on 0845
601 2833 or email email@example.com
March 13th 2014--- Valkyrie has debuted at #13 on the Mediabase Classic Rock chart.
February 25th 2014--- The Huffington Post interviewed John Wetton, Carl Palmer and Geoff Downes about the new album, Gravitas. The interview can be read on their website.
February 25th 2014--- The EPK for ASIA's new album Gravitas is available on the Huffington Post's website.
February 24th 2014--- ASIA introduces its new album, Gravitas, with an exclusive premier of the Valkyrie promo video on USA Today.
February 17th 2014--- ASIA's forthcoming album Gravitas is available to pre-order on iTunes:
February 7th 2014--- ASIA is pleased to announce that GRAVITAS is #1 in the Japanese HMV pre-order chart.
February 5th 2014---
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
John Wetton – lead vocal and bass
Carl Palmer – drums
Geoff Downes- keyboards
Sam Coulson- guitars
grav·i·tas ('gravi,täs/ -noun)
1. dignity, seriousness, or solemnity of manner.
“a post for which he has the expertise and the gravitas”
ASIA, the legendary British band, moves into the next phase of its extraordinary career with Gravitas, a brave new album that explores different musical landscapes while embracing its familiar musical past. Produced and written by band members John Wetton and Geoff Downes, Gravitas is deeply introspective within a clearly accessible sound. The album also introduces the world to ASIA’s new guitarist, Sam Coulson, who came at the recommendation of Mr. Big’s Paul Gilbert.
Scheduled for release on Frontiers Records on March 5th (Japan); March 21st (Europe); and March 25th(North America), the album will be available in two configurations: a standard CD and a Deluxe Edition, that will include two bonus tracks and a DVD containing the “Valkyrie” music video, a promotional film, and footage of classic live ASIA tracks such as “Heat of the Moment,” recorded with the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra in Bulgaria.
From the title track, Gravitas, which chronicles a man’s struggle in the battlefield of life, to the powerfully compelling tale of unrequited love, “The Closer I Get To You,” the album is a tour de force for the band whose music has become a staple to rock fans around the world.
“Pure, unadulterated and stereotypical ASIA, with raw energy, enthusiasm and free from impurities,” says John Wetton. “ It conveys the spectrum of emotion and colour from real life agonies to ecstatic fantasy of escapism. Great songs, fabulous performance. Gravitas is ASIA by ASIA. At last.”
“With the addition of Sam it allowed us to take the band in a slightly different, and perhaps tougher, direction.” says Carl Palmer. “He brings a different feel to ASIA with his guitar work. As a band we have been able to grow, while at the same time, remain true to the classic ASIA sound that our fans know and love.”
Gravitas, like its definition, brings dignity and a powerful artistic statement with some of the best songs Wetton & Downes have ever written and ASIA has ever recorded. On “Joe Di Maggio’s Glove,” Wetton sings of a man trying to understand how the power of love had changed him using the metaphor of the soft leather that that makes up baseball’s most famous glove: “I’ve never been completely lost/ I’ve never been so in love/ How did my heart become so soft?/ Like Joe Di Maggio’s glove…”
“Nyctophobia,” a haunting rocker built upon driving rhythm and vocal harmonies, looks at a person’s debilitating fear of darkness: “There is no air in here/ I’m drowning in my fear/ And if I close my eyes, the ground will disappear…” Gravitas‘ epic track, however, is “The Closer I Get To You,” likely to go down as one of Asia’ s most powerful ballads ever. Exemplifying a man’s frustration over his inability to rest in the sanctuary of the woman he loves, Wetton sings: “Our existence is just floating at sea/ Cut adrift from the people we are.” Musically, it features a blistering guitar solo from Coulson over the rich, layered vocals that have become part of the band’s trademark sound. Gravitas, the band’s fourth studio album since reuniting eight years ago, is already being heralded as the band’s freshest album since the classic records of the early 1980s.
“The idea was to give the band a new sound that would still complement the classic ASIA sound of our best known material,” says Geoff Downes. “We tried very hard to blend the cocktail just right where we could offer something different and still maintain the musical legacy we have built.”
Asia’s debut album exploded onto the music scene in April,1982, with several Top 10 singles. In the end, it was the best selling album in the world in 1982.. Featuring Geoff Downes on keyboards; Steve Howe on guitar; Carl Palmer on drums; and John Wetton on lead vocal and bass; Asia was the logical successor to their collective bands of the 70s – Yes, ELP, King Crimson, UK, and The Buggles.
Labeled a “supergroup” by critics and the media from the onset, it was a tag they had never asked for. Asia’s music- and its rock’n’roll stage charisma- developed organically and effortlessly. Though all four men had seen chart-topping success in their previous bands, Asia had a special chemistry that fans and music industry insiders were quick to recognize.
Asia became one of the most played acts during the first year of MTV. Throughout most of ’82, Asia ruled the radio airwaves and MTV. They sold out every date on tour, and the debut album crushed all the competition at record stores around the world.
The original line-up of ASIA reformed in 2006. It was the first time the four original members had worked together in 23 years. They regrouped with no more expectations than to play a single, reunion tour. Prior to Gravitas, ASIA had completed several world tours, released three brilliant studio albums (2008′s Phoenix, 2010′s Omega, and 2012′s XXX), as well as three live albums and Blu-rays / DVDs.
ASIA will embark on a world tour starting in June, and set to include Japan, UK, Europe, Canada and the United States.
Says Wetton: “Last summer, ASIA played live dates which opened in the UK, took in the massive Sweden Rock Festival, a short Germany/ Austria/ Switzerland/ Denmark tour, and a TV show in the glorious Roman Theater, Plovdiv, with orchestra. These were the first dates of the new chapter of ASIA—and in my opinion, the band has never sounded better. “
“It always was a great live band, but this time the dragon has awakened with fresh energy, direction and purpose. Extensive touring from June 12th to support Gravitas will consolidate any speculation regarding ASIA’s live credentials. Great songs, fabulous performance. Do not miss.”
“As with any new Asia album, putting it all together presents something of a challenge,” says Downes. “ In the case of Gravitas, it’s fair to say everyone involved rose way above and beyond this challenge. We sincerely hope you like the result.”
“There is a renewed energy when we step on stage now,” says Downes. “We can feel it and I know the fans can feel it.”
For ASIA’s long-devoted fans, the band’s return to the concert stage can not come soon enough. As Palmer says: “Performing on stage is where this band truly comes into its element. Seeing the fans reacting to our music is what makes it all worthwhile. It is the fuel that drives this train we call ASIA.”
Preorder ASIA Gravitas at:
Regular Edition: http://smarturl.it/GravitasRegAmazon
Deluxe Edition: http://smarturl.it/GravitasDlxAmazon
For all things ASIA, please visit: www.originalasia.com
Follow ASIA on Facebook: www.facebook.com/asiatheband
January 31st 2014--- John is pleased to announce two albums he made with Richard Palmer-James are being re-issued as a 2 CD set. This 2014 re-mastered set features Monkey Business which has been out of print for nearly 10 years and Jack-Knife which has been out of print for nearly 20 years.
The release can be pre-ordered through the below link, with digital links to follow.
January 31st 2014--- ASIA is pleased to present the Roger Dean artwork album cover for the forthcoming Gravitas CD.
Click on the below thumbnail for a larger image.
The album is available to pre-order from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk
January 30th 2014--- John has written this blow by blow of the songs on the forthcoming ASIA album Gravitas:
As an ASIA record, Gravitas shows a whole spectrum of musical, lyrical and sonic material, a mix of prog, rock, pop, folk, classical, melodic, alternative---all as it should be, accessible songs about real-life relationships and situations. The album's original title was 'Valkyrie', and indeed that is the opening track of the collection. This song was the first to emerge from our (myself and Geoff Downes) many writing sessions that take place before the formal recording takes place.
I remember clearly we were in Wales (all our writing for this album was done either at Geoff's studio in Wales or in Dorset, where I live. I had the title and a chord sequence, and we tossed this around for a while, until something clicked, and there was a moment, that spark that ignites the afternoon, and tells us that we have something---the muse gives it her blessing, and another ASIA song is conceived.
The title had been buzzing around for a while in my head, and in my heart---I have read enough Scandinavian folk lore and literature to know what the function of this super-male sacred feminine can do---her purpose to choose between those who live or die on the battlefield, and to escort them safely and gloriously to the next world. I tried a version of Valkyrie which would be a modern, 21st Century businesswoman---but went back to the Valkyrie's original purpose of safe delivery to the afterlife, whatever that may be. It's wishing safe passage to someone who passed away---the imagery is of a battlefield where the storyteller is lifted by the Valkyrie and taken to a safe place---the recurrent Guardian Angel theme in the lyrics of Gravitas comes from personal experience.
The location of the birthplace of the song is echoed in the introduction, an Asian Welsh male voice choir. Haunting cello is provided by the lovely Katinka Steijns, who graces the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
As with 'Valkyrie', I had the title "Gravitas' before the track was written, and it was at a band meeting where the majority vote went to this title for the album.
I wrote the intro/chorus chords on the 'magic piano' at home (on which many ASIA songs were written by Wetton/Downes from 1981 onwards---this piano has followed me through three major domestic location changes over the last 30 + years). However, the opening chords were destined to be played on a noisy, in-your-face electric guitar. The 'Gravitas' lyric is a fairly jaundiced view of emotional split/divorce, and all the acrimony that it entails, with a plea to leave the other party at least some of their dignity. Great guitar solo from Sam on this one---what gets me every time is just as you think he might be running out of steam, he kicks into another tone, and just nails it. Fabulous drums from Mr.Palmer on this, as on all the songs---he hits harder than any drummer I've ever worked with, he plays what is right for the track while maintaining his unique identity. 'Gravitas' is preceded by 'Lento', a beautiful Mahleresque adagio by Geoffrey---the calm before the storm.
‘The Closer I Get to You’ was one of the last two tracks written for this album. An intimate A and B section leads you into a huge chorus. The story is of the disintegration of a relationship. Most of us have experienced this, and it's not pretty, so it does strike a chord in most people---- including the two authors of this song. I tried to get the verses to sound as close as possible---no reverb, as if I'm speaking to you. The chorus is the opposite---kitchen sink meets The Hollies----definitive chords from GD, and our storyteller is confused and more than a bit angry. I thank Rob Aubrey, the vocal sound engineer, for his patience in the recording of this, it took a long time to capture the mood, many takes, and some tortuous editing.
'Nyctophobia', again one of the first batch of songs to be written---about fear of the dark. I had the opening line, and at my house in Bournemouth, Geoff and I expanded the sequence, and birthed the song. I hardly ever write about anything that I haven't experienced myself, and this is no exception---all of the characters you hear about are real, too---they may not do the jobs they appear to in the lyric, but they are real people---their names just fit the bill perfectly---it's the same with situations and locations, the songwriter's licence to adapt can be a mischievous device, but it also protects the anonymity of the person/location.
'Russian Dolls' ---the germ of this idea started on an iCon tour some years ago, when we took the mid-Winter midnight train after a club gig in Moscow, en route to an ice-stadium in Saint Petersburg. The trip takes all night, plenty of time to document the atmosphere of this incredible journey. Moscow Main Station in sub-zero snow at midnight, with all the steam, hustle, bustle was amazing, and the journey itself, down to the tea Samovar in your sleeper car, and the fur-trimmed uniform of the stewardesses---so evocative. Arrival in the morning---still freezing, but clear blue skies and the phenomenal city of St.Petersburg---it had to be documented. Geoff's verse, my chorus---and if anyone asks the question about 'as close as Russian Dolls' ---the answer is that one fits inside the other---and it doesn't get any closer than that.
'Heaven Help Me Now' was also in the first batch of songs that Geoff and I started playing with---it started with a chord sequence, and mushroomed from there. The 'Tryptich' nature of this song starts with a small request to a Guardian Angel, a short hymn, ‘Wings of Angels' which began its life 20 years ago in Vancouver B.C., into the second part, 'Prelude', which I remember Geoff playing at a sound check (Ton Probe) in Darmstadt on our last tour of Germany in 2013. When I heard it, I just asked GD to remember it, we agreed that it would be terrific in sequence on the album. The main body of the song is a plea to whatever is out there---sometimes I need a little extra help, if I'm running on my own power, it's simply not enough.
'I Would Die For You' was written by Geoff and myself around 1987, at a time when we would just go into a studio for a weekend and record as many new songs as we could. The Snake Ranch on Lots Road, Chelsea, Hans Zimmer's studio on Fulham Road, we would be toiling away writing and recording---of course we had no idea that any of it would be useful decades later, but IWDFY is a stonking, riffy, no-nonsense tune about love in the first blossom of lust. The guy just can't get enough of this poor girl, and would die for her---which leads onto the only uplifting love song of the album…………..
…………….’Joe DiMaggio's Glove', where the hero, a cynical, battle-hardened bachelor is tamed by a summer with the woman who loves him. The juxtaposition of his life before, then the change in his heart, is documented here, and for once, it's a happy ending. Is Joe's glove that soft? I've no idea, but it sounds great.
'Till We Meet Again" ends the album. It was not our intention to write a 'closer' for this collection, but this song seems to slip comfortably into that role--- a rocky, Celtic, rootsy hoedown. I'd been to a rock gig the night before in Southampton, and my ears were still ringing with this miscellany when GD and I started work at my house the next day. It's a
celebration of friendship, and a farewell to the audience to be well and think good thoughts until we meet again---in this world, or the next. Which is where 'Valkyrie' starts………
John Wetton, New Forest, Jan 30, 2014
December 24th 2013--- Asia's concert in Plovdiv, Bulgaria will be aired on Bulgarian National TV on the 30th December 2013 (with the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra).
December 22nd 2013--- ASIA announces its first 2014 dates, please click on the below image for more details:
November 28th 2013--- Asia announces its new album GRAVITAS for release Spring 2014.
November 25th 2013--- John has been interviewed for Dr. Craig Wax's radio show which can be heard by CLICKING HERE
Dr. Craig M. Wax welcomes back the "Sole Survivor," himself, John Wetton, vocalist & bassist of Asia, UK & King Crimson. Today's episode of Your Health Matters is, "Surviving Rock Stardom." John Wetton talks about his music career spanning four decades and his health challenges as this "Phoenix," rose from the dust of deadly alcohol & cigarette addiction back to superstardom. John says he tells his story, "If I can help someone out, Ill gladly do it."
November 12th 2013--- John is once again helping to raise funds and awareness for testicular and prostate cancer through Movember.
John would like to thank people who have kindly donated so far.
October 28th 2013--- John guested on Aryeon's The Theory of Everything recently and the album was released today!
The album can be ordered here: http://store.arjenlucassen.com/preorders.html
October 27th 2013--- Following the standing ovation John received when he appeared with Steve Hackett at a sold out Royal Albert Hall, he is now back in the studio with ASIA working on their next studio album.
September 26th 2013--- Please click here for John's recent interview with Radio Tangra prior to the show in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
September 11th 2013--- For those following John's guest appearances, you may be interested to see the two fronts covers that have just been published for the first time: Ayreon's The Theory Of Everything and Prog Collective 2. Click on each image for a larger version.
September 3rd 2013---
Iconic vocalist John Wetton joins progressive band District 97 for a two week US tour featuring the music of King CrimsonJohn Wetton (Asia, UK, King Crimson) records and performs with rising talents District 97 which features popular American Idol female finalist Leslie Hunt.
John said "It goes without saying that I am very much looking forward to once more sharing the stage with District 97---the most exciting, explosive and musical band of its generation. Audiences can also enjoy a little of what blazed the trail 40 years ago in the same evening. How magical!"
10/6-Shank Hall, Milwaukee, WI
10/7-Winchester Music Hall, Lakewood, OH
10/8-Jammin' Java, Vienna VA
10/9-Sellersville Theater, Sellersville, PA
10/10-The Lost Horizon, Syracuse, NY
10/11-Regent Theater, Arlington, MA
10/12-Chameleon Club at Cara Irish Pub, Dover, NH
10/13-Roxy and Duke's Roadhouse, Dunellen, NJ
10/15-Iridium, New York City, New York
10/17-Reggie's Rock Club, Chicago, IL
*10/14-John Wetton with The Les Paul Trio, Iridium, New York City, New York
Please visit http://district97.net/shows
for more details and ticket info.
District 97 with John Wetton can be seen performing 21st Century Schizoid Band here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJZu4Mylqis
August 30th 2013--- John is pleased to announce that he appears on the new Action Moves People CD. You can hear John's appearance here:
ACTION MOVES PEOPLE is a collection of poems and songs that are an inspiration to people of all ages. A strong message of self understanding, self empowerment and global oneness are themes woven throughout this album with an acknowledgement that we are all one people, regardless of race, religion, age and lifestyle; that we can all endure the challenges of life, uplift ourselves and one another, and help each other through life's easy and difficult moments. Within this collection, the artists deliver heartfelt and sincere performances of stirring poems and songs.
All proceeds from the sales of this CD benefit the MOVE THIS WORLD charity, which is a global nonprofit that uses creative movement to address and transform conflict and violence in communities. In partnership with schools, community-based organizations, families and corporations, MTW is building and connecting more peaceful communities with over 10, 000 individuals across 22 cities and 4 continents.
Produced by a team including Kevin Mackie, Krista Wallhagen, Whitney Peyton, Rave Tesar, Kevin Frank, and Bobby Susser, The CD is being distributed via CD Baby. It is also available online at iTunes and Amazon.
August 30th 2013--- For reasons beyond ASIA's control, Stuttgart, Gothenburg and Oslo are cancelled. Please contact ticket outlets for refunds.
August 30th 2013--- John is pleased to confirm that he will be singing on the next Aryeon album. You can see how the news was announced here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psrN65MpaOk
August 23rd 2013--- Asia is headlining the Roman Theatre, Plovdiv, Bulgaria on September 21st, 2013. John is looking forward to this show in particular and commented "This will be a unique show as an orchestra will be joining the band on stage for some pieces. The venue is of outstanding natural beauty and the whole show will be filmed to become our first DVD with new guitarist Sam Coulson."
August 9th 2013--- John will be touring with Eddie Jobson and Sonja Kristina in Japan this November. Two shows on the 9th and 10th November at Club Citta in Kawasaki have been confirmed.
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July 24th 2013--- John will be touring with District 97 in the US at the following dates:
10/6-Shank Hall, Milwaukee
10/7-Winchester Music Hall, Lakewood, OH
10/8-Jammin' Java, Vienna VA
10/9-Sellersville Theater, Sellersville, PA
10/11-Regent Theater, Arlington, MA
10/13-Roxy and Duke's Roadhouse, Dunellen, NJ
10/15-Iridium, New York City, New York
10/17-Reggie's Rock Club, Chicago, IL
*10/14-John Wetton w/Les Paul Trio, Iridium, New York City, New York
July 22nd 2013--- John recently had a sneak preview of the new stereo CD with 5.1 DVD of the Steve Hackett Genesis Revisited Hammersmith Apollo show. John is special guest on “Afterglow”. It sounds magnificent.
This will be released in October (actual date not yet announced). We'll let you know when we get press / further details from Steve.
Don’t forget, John will be reprising the guest spot at The Steve Hackett Genesis Revisited Royal Albert Hall show on October 25.
July 22nd 2013--- ASIA will be playing Harley Davidson Festival in Faak Am See, Austria on the 6th September.
July 21st 2013--- John will be singing with The Les Paul trio at The Iridium, New York City, on October 14th.
July 4th 2013--- John has just returned from a trip to Germany and is now returning to fulfil his schedule, which includes several days in the studio and song writing for Valkyrie. John will also be working on a plan for the re-release of his solo catalogue with bonus material.