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Jan 31 2017
Lead Singer Of Rock Group Asia, John Wetton, Dies @ 67 Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 1.56.09 PMJohn Wetton: (Images via Geffen)

Sad news: John Wetton, co-founder, lead singer and chief songwriter for the '80s group Asia, ASIA_ASTRA-101308has died at 67 of colon cancer.

Wetton had recently canceled upcoming tour dates to embark on a new cycle of chemo, but seemed optimistic that he had more time left.

I loved that first Asia album. I remember being captivated by the Heat of the Moment and Only Time Will Tell music videos, with their cheesy (but, back then, new) visual gimmicks, like the slow-mo face slap, the flaming cymbal, that hammer-crushed hourglass, the TV screens with disembodied faces, the gymnast's eternal flips.

(I also found the drummer, in his skintight white vest, awfully cute — he had such a good time making that first video. Carl Palmer?)

Also good: “Sole Survivor.” It's hard to believe now, but their debut album was the #1 hit of 1982, and it did so on the strength of just one #4 and one #17 single. Nothing else charted in the U.S. on the Hot 100.

I kept up with them through their next record, too, with these gems (love the Indiana Jones knock-off):

Wetton is survived by his wife, a son, a brother and his mom.

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