Skip to main content

Why I love John Wetton, by Pallbearer's Joseph D Rowland

a portrait of john wetton
(Image credit: Getty Images)

He was such an emotive player. He played around with the rhythm so much and was a true master of being able to begin as hard as he could and then fall back to a lighter, pianissimo sort of dynamic. So much of the lyrics and tonality of King Crimson’s music was bitter cynicism and I think his playing imbued that too.

Now I have an all-white P Bass – that’s my John Wetton tribute. I thought it looked really badass and it might give me a little bit of his magic. I told the guy who makes my pickups to reference the three King Crimson records that he was on too.

Camel are another huge influence, Pink Floyd, Magma, Amon Düül… I saw Gong earlier this year which was absolutely mind-blowing as well, but I can’t honestly think of any other musician in the prog realm who played such a key role in as many bands as John Wetton did. He’s gone down in history as a really hardworking musician who always did incredible work.”

Pallbearer - Heartless album review

Natasha Scharf

Dark prog (and chocolate) fan Natasha has been a Prog regular since 2009. News Editor between 2014 and 2019, now Deputy Editor, she is the only member of the team to have appeared on Prog's cover.