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J_Leatherwood

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Posts: 93
Reply with quote  #1 
Like many of his fans, John Wetton meant so much to me on a musical level.  He was my vocal muse and one of my favorite bassists.  Though I eventually became an author and a professor of history, my early years were consumed by a desire to be a professional songwriter and musician.  John Wetton should be remembered as one of the finest English rock musicians and a master bard among songwriters.  He touched the lives of so many, writing about the human condition in such a unique way.    

As an American, I first discovered John through ASIA in my senior year of high school.  I had grown up in Western North Carolina, a region where country music was king.  Rock music was torn between two extremes -- the punks from Florida clashed with locals who liked AC/DC and Ozzy.  Being raised in an Episcopal household, I was a natural convert to progressive rock.  By 1987, I had acquired a nodding familiarity with prog-rock because Yes were in the charts and GTR had just enjoyed their heyday.  It was a matter of time before I would connect these two bands with ASIA.  

Our local radio station used to play the hits from the 1982 album, sometimes back-to-back.  John's brave voice immediately stood out to me, and I bought all three of their classic 1980s albums (beginning with Astra on vinyl) and even found a cassette copy of Wetton-Manzanera.  Being a curious guy (even then) I research back issues of the music magazines and newspaper reviews on microfilm (no Internet back then!) and I learned about John's earlier career with U.K. and King Crimson as well.

Unfortunately, I was in the Army overseas when ASIA reunited in 1990, so I missed their tour.  I never seemed to be able to catch John on his post-ASIA tours, though I kept up with his solo career.  I even corresponded a while with his Arkangel partner, John Young.  I rejoiced when the original ASIA reconciled and created a series of albums fulfilling the promise of their 1982 debut.  However, it would not be until the Gravitas tour that I would see the band in Atlanta, coinciding nicely with my birthday!

By that time, I had connected with this fan community on John Wetton's website, and I thank Agent Armstrong for welcoming me here.  I even exchanged a few posts with John Wetton, the man himself, who knew my online profile well enough to give me a nickname -- Leathers or Leathery (rhymes with Jeffrey!)  Unfortunately, with John's transition over to Twitter, I connected less often with him after 2014.  But I now have an autographed poster from ASIA, which currently hangs in my office.

I would like to extend my sympathies to the members of ASIA, past and present, who knew John throughout his illustrious career.  He had many friends outside of ASIA who keenly feel his absence.  My deepest condolences go to John's immediate family, including Mrs. Lisa Wetton and his son, Dylan.  If any of these good people read my words, I believe that John Wetton is not truly gone.  His voice, his wit, his spirit have all been recalled to the ages.  We hear and feel them today in his music.  JL

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Jeffrey M. Leatherwood

Everyone needs a reflection to remind them they are alive...

http://www.ninefromaberdeen.com/

ThatWettonGirl

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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #2 
Thanks, Leathery. Your kind words ring true for fans and friends alike. Dylan and I continue to grieve the loss of our hero, but as long as there is a collective memory, John's spirit goes on.
Lisa

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Lisa Nojaim
J_Leatherwood

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Posts: 93
Reply with quote  #3 
Dear Lisa,

What a kind reply, first thing in the morning!  God bless you and Dylan!  [angel]

JL (Leathery)

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Jeffrey M. Leatherwood

Everyone needs a reflection to remind them they are alive...

http://www.ninefromaberdeen.com/

jackallenmyers

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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #4 
thanks for all the entertainment thru the years. without u guys. silence. j.
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jack myers
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