Sat 15 Oct 2022 08:00:02 PM CDT : 1665882002
Ken and John
Ken Hensley and John Wetton, that is. John of course was (sadly he left us in 2017) one-fourth of Asia for many years, playing bass and providing lead vocals, and writing many of the songs, and collaborating with bandmate Geoff Downes on others. Frequent collaborations with Geoff outside of Asia also provided memorable albums and performances.
Ken was less famous in the 'mainstream' of musical entertainment, the "stars" of any given day. His reputation in the ranks of artists (vs. entertainers) was formidable. His status was cemented in the 70s and 80s as keyboarist, sometimes guitarist (check out some of his memorable performances of "Circle of Hands" - after he had left Heep and occasionally joined them for a song during a show, real treasures) and major lyricist of Uriah Heep. Their careers overlapped briefly in the 70s when Geoff briefly replaced bassist Gary Thain. It didn't work out, but Ken and John would get together again one day, and the two immensely talented musicians created some memorable moments.
John Wetton Geoff Downes Live in London
John and Geoff were of course half of Asia. One of their side projects was called Icon (sometimes rendered "iCon" for reasons unknown to me) and sometimes as Wetton-Downes, and released three albums from around 2000-2010. I believe these have since been re-released as Icon I, II, and III. In 2009 they performed at St. Mary-Le-Bow Church in London.
Professionally recorded and produced for commercial video release, the quality is outstanding.
They are joined by guitarist Dave Kilminster, cellist Hugh McDowell (one of the original ELO cellists) and the beautiful Anne-Marie Helder (Panic Room). Her duets with John are real treats.
Sadly John passed away in 2017, and Hugh followed a year later, both lives cut short by cancer.
Here's the setlist, hopefully accurate.
Where the original artist is not specified, I believe the song is a Wetton and/or Downes composition. The Buggles are (were) for the younger audience the duo of Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn, best known for Video Killed the Radio Star. John was a member of King Crimson early in his career. I used to listen to Starless often on 8-track back in the day.
John Wetton at Krzemionki, Krakow 2003
John spent a couple of years with Uriah Heep, in what (on paper at least) should have been a winning combination. His talents as a bassist, singer and songwriter could have contributed immensely. Oddly, I have wondered if there was conflict with the likewise multi-talented Ken Hensley. In any case John wasn't comfortable and didn't stay long. Some years later Ken and John would work together, and quite well as we will see.
Whether it is a bootleg or not (the venue seems to be indicate a television production) the quality is quite good.
Ken and John got together for a couple of performances, one doing mostly Asia songs and the other doing Heep.
Ken Hensley and John Wetton -- One Way Or Another (2002)
No sure if my copy looks like this - there are four Asia tracks from somewhere else. Have to take a look.
Recorded live at The Forum, London 8th December 2001
Ken Hensley & John Wetton -- More Than Conquerors (2001