John Kenneth Wetton was an English singer, bassist, and songwriter who rose to fame playing for bands such as Mogul Thrash, Family, King Crimson, Roxy Music/Bryan Ferry, Uriah Heep, and Wishbone Ash. He died today at the age of 67. According to teamrock.com, his manager Martin Darvill confirmed he was battling colon cancer, and that Wetton had undergone major surgery in 2015 to have a mass removed from his abdomen.
He is survived by his family wife Lisa, son Dylan, brother Robert and mother Peggy.
Here are five fast facts you need to know about his family:
1. Wetton Was Recently Married & His Wife Was by His Side as He Battled Cancer
John had just married his wife Lisa on November 29, 2016. They were married while John was in the midst of battling colon cancer. According to John’s official site page, Lisa was prepared to do whatever it takes to get John healthy again.
Lisa would post messages on Twitter professing her love for John and wishing for a pain-free and speedy recovery.
2. Wetton’s Brother Robert Was a Church Organist & Choirmaster
John cut his teeth in music playing classical pieces of music with his brother Robert, according to rockmine.com. He often played the bass parts to help his brother rehearse tunes, and this led to John’s love of the bass guitar.
John talked about how the house was always filled with music. “I started out on the piano playing classical pieces of music with my brother. My brother would later become an organ player and choir leader in church, a thing he still does to the present day. Each day our house would be filled with classical music, according to rockmine.com.
3. Wetton’s Son Dylan Inspired Him in Life & Music
Two of the best things to happen to John were his son, Dylan and when he stopped drinking, according to newears.org.
John spoke of how much he valued his 11 years of sobriety, and that he volunteered time with other alcoholics to share his experience, strength and hope with them.
John Wetton recorded an acoustic concert, back on July 5, 1998, at the medieval castle of Vigevano, a town designed by Leonardo Da Vinci on the outskirts of Milan. It was the first time John had played in Milan since he played with the band Asia in 1982. According to Guitar Noise, Sub Rosa was recorded the day following the birth of Wetton’s son, Dylan. There is an understandable wealth of emotion in the performance of this album.
4. Wetton Needed Emergency Heart Surgery Back in 2006
During the Asia reunion tour, John required emergency heart surgery, according to John Wetton’s website. John made a remarkably quick recovery and, after a few short weeks, he returned to the road.
Asia then released its first studio album in 25 years following Wetton’s emergency heart surgery in August 2007. According to Frontier Records, the album Phoenix had a very poignant underlying theme placed at the intersection of love, discovery and reflection, no doubt due, at least partly, to Wetton’s unexpected serious health issues.
5. Kim Dancha Gave Us A Peak Into Wetton’s Life
John Wetton led a storied life as a progressive rock musician and his work with King Crimson was considered the high point of the band’s career.
Kim Dancha’s book, My Own Time: The Authorized Biography of John Wetton, attempts to give us a look into Wetton’s life. The book relies almost exclusively on three people for her quotes – Wetton, his then-wife Jill and musician Richard Palmer-James, Wetton’s childhood friend.
The book gives us some thoughts on among other things Wetton’s relationship with his mother, his relationship with bandmate Steve Howe, and his struggle with alcoholism. The book is a great primer for those unfamiliar with Wetton.