Concert in memory of rock legend John Wetton raises cash for Christchurch hospice

THE family of Dorset-raised rock legend John Wetton have livestreamed a memorial concert benefitting the Christchurch hospice where he died.

Money raised by the John Wetton: An Extraordinary Life memorial concert will be used by the Macmillan Unit at Christchurch Hospital to create the John Wetton Suite.

Wetton grew up in Westbourne and Boscombe and attended Bournemouth School, where he would become known for his dexterous bass playing and booming baritone voice.

His big break came when his fellow Dorset native, Robert Fripp, invited him to join rock band King Crimson in late 1972.

He was later the singer and principal songwriter of the supergroup Asia, whose debut album sold 10 million copies worldwide.

He also performed with the likes of Roxy Music, Uriah Heep and Wishbone Ash.

Wetton passed away from complications due to cancer at the Macmillan Unit on January 31, 2017, aged 67.

John Wetton: An Extraordinary Life featured 20 of the greatest rock artists of the past century and took place in East Sussex on August 3.

Rick Wakeman of YES, Guy Pratt of Pink Floyd, Jim Cregan of Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel and Chris Difford of Squeeze were among the stars who took part.

John’s widow Lisa and son Dylan had the concert live streamed across the world with all proceeds going to the Macmillan Unit – and have now extended availability of the recording until August 20.

“(We) decided to allow this unique event to be live streamed so that it can be enjoyed across the globe,” said Lisa.

“(We) also identified the memorial as being the perfect opportunity to highlight the fantastic work done by Macmillan Caring Locally and to raise much-needed funds for the creation of a special hospice suite dedicated to John.”

Dylan added: “I am delighted and humbled that so many legendary artists who worked with my dad over the years agreed to come together both to honour him and raise vital funds for the charity which supported him during his last days.”

The Macmillan Unit at Christchurch Hospital was built in 1974 and the charity, Macmillan Caring Locally, works in partnership with University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust to provide the services at the unit and in the community.

Lin Sharp, fundraising and communications director for Macmillan Caring Locally, said: “It was a privilege to care for John in the final days of his life and we are so grateful to his wife, Lisa, for her continued support.

“All monies raised will go to fund a room as a legacy to John, named The John Wetton Suite. A massive thank you to you all for making this possible.

“I attended the concert and it was incredible! This will never happen again, and I urge all prog rock fans to watch it.”

The recording of John Wetton: An Extraordinary Life is available to watch until tomorrow, August 20, with all proceeds going to Macmillan Caring Locally. To purchase a ticket go to

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