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.
Countdown to Zero (Asia)
Go (Asia)
I've Come to Take You Home
Elstree (Buggles)
Voice of America (Asia)
The Die Is Cast
To Catch a Thief (with Anne-Marie Helder)
Starless (King Crimson)
Overture: Paradox
Let Me Go
True Colors (Asia)
Heat of the Moment (Asia)
Days Like These (Asia)
In the End (with Anne-Marie Helder)
Encore: Rock and Roll Dream (Asia)

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.
Red (King Crimson)
Sole Survivor (Asia)
Nothing's Gonna Stand in Our Way
Book of Saturday (King Crimson)
The Smile Has Left Your Eyes (Asia)
In the Dead of Night (U.K.)
Easy Money (King Crimson)
After All
Rendezvous 6:02 (U.K.)
Starless (King Crimson)
Battle Lines
Heat of the Moment (Asia)

John Wetton vocal, bass, acoustic guitar
John Mitchell guitar, vocal
Martin Orford keyboards, vocal
Steve Christey drums

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.

1 John Wetton & Ken Hensley  ----- One Way Or Another - Ken Hensley
2 John Wetton & Ken Hensley  ----- Battlelines - Bob Marlette, Bob Mitchell, John Wetton
3 John Wetton & Ken Hensley  ----- Emma - John Wetton
4 John Wetton & Ken Hensley  ----- Hold Me Now - Geoff Downes, John Wetton
5 John Wetton & Ken Hensley  ----- After All - Geoff Downes, John Wetton
6 John Wetton & Ken Hensley  ----- Heat Of The Moment - Geoff Downes, John Wetton
7 Asia  ----- Voice Of America - Geoff Downes, John Wetton
8 Asia  ----- Praying' 4 A Miracle - David Cassidy, Sue Shifrin
9 Asia  ----- Days Like This - Steve Jones
10 Asia  ----- Go - Geoff Downes, John Wetton

Bass - - Andy Pyle, John Wetton
Drums - - Steve Christey
Guitar - - John Wetton
Keyboards - - John Young (15)
Lead Guitar - - David Kilminster
Organ - - Ken Hensley
Slide Guitar - - Ken Hensley
Vocals - - John Wetton, Ken Hensley

Recorded live at The Forum, London 8th December 2001

Ken Hensley & John Wetton -- More Than Conquerors (2001
1 La Tristeza Secreta/A Minor Life/Easy Livin' 6:49
2 Return To Fantasy 6:51
3 July Morning 8:27
4 Confession 2:25
5 The Wizard 6:02
6 I Don't Wanna Wait 5:03
7 Out Of My Control 4:43
8 Tell Me 7:24
9 Lady In Black 7:23

Ken Hensley and Live Fire 2005

And finally, Ken gets together with a group of Scandinavian musicians, no one famous it seems but all very good and enthusiastic.

This is an early perfomance, I believe in Norway. I'll make a setlist next time I watch it, and add a couple of later live performances.

Of course it ended with Ken's passing a couple of years ago, so there will be no more. Got some other stuff to do, talk to you later.

Last updated: Sat 15 Oct 2022 08:00:56 PM CDT : 1665882056