Geoff spoke with 94.7 WCSX in Detroit for their podcast on February 1st. Listen to the interview.
John Wetton, Geoff’s long-time friend and collaborator, passed away this morning.
“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart, that I have to report we have lost my dearest friend, brother, bandmate and long term musical collaborator, John Wetton, who has passed away after a long and tenacious battle with cancer. He will be remembered as one of the world’s finest musical talents, and I for one of many was wholly blessed by his influence. It was a massive privilege for me to have worked with this genius so closely on our numerous projects together over the years. His bass playing was revolutionary. His voice was from the gods. His compositions – out of this world. His sense of melody and harmony – unreal. He was literally a ‘special one’.
But John was much more than a gigantic and unique musical talent. He was a supremely intelligent man, marked with his great observations and wisdom about life; all couched within his wicked sense of humour. The wit was dark and deep, only fully perceptible to those on his same wavelength. I was fortunate enough to be able to be on that wavelength, and discover that we had much in common. Many of his personal life experiences were reflected in his lyrical contributions to the songs. His heart was always in the music. That was John, through and through. It was always about – the music.
As a person, he was fiercely loyal, loving and generous, particularly to those he cared about. But he could be as stubborn as a mule or as gracious as a nobleman, depending on the mood that grabbed him on any particular day. There were some who couldn’t read his brilliant mind and complex personality. Some found him charming, others infuriating. But however you found John, there was no denying his rare talent as a musician and songwriter was second to none.
Both of us having been brought up with similar backgrounds in provincial England, we shared a love of many things – sport, and in particular – football, English church music, current affairs, comedy, literature, you name it….pretty much everything that 2 kids from the sticks were exposed to in our youth.
Our planets seemed to be immediately in alignment when we first met in early 1981. There was a laddish camaraderie that grew between us as we became as close as two non-related brothers could be. He was an avid reader and film enthusiast, something he pursued with great interest. This helped inspire him to some wonderful lyrics to the literally hundreds of songs we composed together. Back then, we immediately hit the ground running as we composed much of the debut ASIA album together and forged a formidable partnership which lasted right up until now. It was a wholly natural process for us, whereby we could knock out 2 or 3 songs in an afternoon. They were always greeted with our gentlemanly handshake and smiles once we had wrapped up another one in the bag.
Above all else though, his passion for life was to the fore. The battles he endured throughout were immense and well documented. Firstly with alcohol, which he so resolutely overcame, then open heart surgery and finally cancer, which sadly was to take his life in the end. He once observed to me that this disease is a “merciless assassin”. Just another example of his perception and the descriptive language that he was so richly blessed with. He took all of these battles on board with great bravery and almost a ‘laissez-faire’ attitude, tinged with his inimitable wry wit.
To say I will miss my him greatly is beyond understatement. He was such an inspiration to me. We were planning another album, but sadly he was not well enough to complete it. I feel heartbroken about this, as I knew John thought it was to be one of our finest albums to date. I remain as proud as ever of our Wetton/Downes writing partnership. I am hoping one day that I will be able to finish it, and that it will be appreciated by all those who loved his and our music, and most importantly, a legacy he would have been proud of.
Life will not be the same without him. And words are not really enough to describe the loss I feel right now, and the many friends and fans all over the World will also be feeling. It is the end of an era for all of us. But we will soldier on – the music of John Wetton needs to be heard loud and clear from the rooftops.
Dearest John, may you rest in peace brother.
Please join me in sending our sincerest thoughts and prayers to Lisa, Dylan and the entire Wetton family at this difficult time.”
Geoff will be on the road with Asia for a series of dates with Journey. Be sure to check for a show near you!
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
The members of ASIA have the following titles out ahead of a return to band activities in 2016. The band wishes its fans the best for the festive season and will be outlining future plans in a forthcoming announcement.
Geoff Downes’ DBA project with Chris Braide has released its second album, Suburban Ghosts, which follows on from the critically acclaimed Pictures of You. Chris Braide has written and produced for many artists including Sia, Lana Del Rey, David Guetta, Afrojack and recently produced Marc Almond’s album The Velvet Trail.
John Wetton’s Live via Satellite collects together both of Wetton’s acoustic solo concerts for radio broadcasts. The XM radio broadcast was an official website only title 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 Wetton’s fans.
Carl Palmer’s “Twist of the Wrist” and “The Rhythm of Light” collections are the first two in a series of signed and numbered prints on canvas featuring stunning visual images constructed from his unique drum performances. Working with acclaimed L.A. art team SceneFour, the artwork featured within combine motion, color, and lighting into some of the most compelling fine art visuals ever created. A career first, Carl Palmer has co-authored a comprehensive book about his fine art collections. Titled “Art in Rhythm: The Artwork of Carl Palmer,” the First Edition of the book is now available to collectors worldwide exclusively from:
Sam Coulson has released the first solo album of his career, Electric Classical, which features his interpretation of various classical pieces, entirely played on guitar. The album features some well-known and no so well-known pieces all played in his unique style for classical and rock fans alike.
GIVE THE GIFT OF ASIA FOR THE HOLIDAYS AND SAVE BIG!!!
Check out our BLACK FRIDAY sale all month at the original ASIA gift shop!
ALL REMAINING ASIA T-SHIRTS 50% OFF!!
ASIA CDs, DVDs, signed posters and lithos, and other items 30% OFF (while supplies last)!