Old Slowhand offers up a musical reflection on the death of Asia’s frontman
By David Sands
February 3, 2017
John Wetton’s passing has left a lot of folks in a reflective mood lately, among them Eric Clapton. The man known as Slowhand paid tribute to the late prog-rock great by sharing a tune entitled “For John W.” on his Facebook earlier this week.
Lasting just one minute and thirty eight seconds, it’s a sparse and bittersweet acoustic guitar arrangement that’s reminiscent of the old jazz standard “How High the Moon.”
Wetton, a former frontman and bassist for both Asia and King Crimson, died after a struggle with cancer Tuesday (Jan. 31). In addition to his work with these beloved groups, he also played with Roxy Music and Uriah Heep and enjoyed a successful solo career. Billy Sherwood of Yes is temporarily taking up Wetton’s duties with Asia for their upcoming winter and spring dates this year.
Clapton released his tribute to Wetton late Tuesday morning, not long after news of his passing was made public. He offered up a similar musical eulogy for his friend and Cream bandmate Jack Bruce when he left us three years ago.
Although the guitar legend intends to retire soon due to some pain-related health issues, Clapton is currently in the midst of a very limited engagement farewell tour; in addition to previously scheduled shows in New York, L.A. and London, he recently announced a handful of performances in NYC and California this fall.
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