New John Wetton auction to raise money for cancer charity takes place in July

A photograph of John Wetton performing
In His Element: John onstage in 2010 (Image credit: Brian Rasic\/Getty Images)

A raft of John Wetton-related memorabilia including a signed handcrafted Fernandes FAA500E electro-acoustic guitar, King Crimson artwork and Wetton's own AAA passes will be auctioned off at a new auction to raise money for the Macmillan Caring Locally charity, who cared for Wetton in his final days.

Wetton's widow Lisa and son Dylan, two of the driving forces behind last year's star-studded An Extraordinary Life tribute concert, announced the auction this week, which will be handled by Omega Auctions.

“We are absolutely delighted that the auction is finally taking place," says Lisa Wetton. "This is an important next step in a project which we began last Summer, to raise funds in John’s name."

Many of the items were signed by artists taking part in the Wetton tribute show. The Fernandes guitar has been signed by Steve Hackett, Jakko Jakszyk, Jim Cregan, Laurie Wisefield, Phil Manzenara, Dave Kilminster, Annie Haslam, Roger Chapman and Chris Difford. Former IQ keyboard player Martin Orford has donated a tailored stage jacket he wore on stage with the band in the 1980s, while Renaissance singer Annie Haslam has given a signed original painting titled Battle Lines. A 1981 Asia poster signed by Roger Dean, Steve Howe, John Wetton, Carl Palmer and Geoff Downes, of which there are only five in existence, is also up for grabs. 

As with the memorial event, proceeds from the auction will go to Wetton’s chosen charity, Macmillan Caring, with the aim of creating a hospice suite to be named The John Wetton Suite. Wetton died on 31st January 2017, as a result of complications due to cancer. He spent his last days being cared for by the charity at the Macmillan Unit, Christchurch Hospital in Dorset.

‘’We are thrilled with the continued support of the Wetton Family," says Lin Sharp, Fundraising and Communications Director for the charity. "Back in 2018, Lisa raised funds to have John’s name in fireworks at the end of Bournemouth pier for our Light Up The Prom event and it has continued since then. We are delighted to say that over £15,000 has been raised so far for the John Wetton Suite. We hope lots of fans bid on the auction for these unique items."

The auction will take place on Tuesday 2nd July at 10.00 am BST.  Lots can be viewed online.

A new-look Asia line-up, spearheaded by  Geoff Downes and featuring John Mitchell (It BitesLonely RobotKinoFrost* and more), Planet X drummer Virgil Donati and Harry Whitley, who performed with the Asia line-up at last year's John Wetton An Extraordinary Life tribute show, head out on a US Heat of The Moment tour in July with prog legends Focus and Curved Air, and Martin Turner, with noted album cover artist Roger Dean acting as MC.

The band's latest line-up has been endorsed by Lisa Wetton.

Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.