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Carl Palmer Says Asia’s Future Is Still Undecided

Carl Palmer of Asia
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

It’s still unclear how Asia will move forward following the death of John Wetton. He passed away in January after a cancer battle, weeks before Asia were set to tour the U.S. with Journey.

They completed the road trip with Wetton’s chosen replacement, Billy Sherwood – but no further dates have been scheduled, co-founding drummer Carl Palmer said.

“We were very positive up to the last three weeks of John’s life,” he told Billboard. “He really wanted to do the tour and thought he’d be able to. We explained to Journey that we couldn’t do this because John had died, and Journey’s management and agents said, ‘No, we want you. Get it sorted out.’ So, we used Billy and we had a phenomenal time. It was a great experience all ’round, and I’m pleased we did it. John would have loved to be on that tour, so I’m pleased we did it for him, anyway.”

Asia’s future could be a topic of conversation during the upcoming Yestival tour. Palmer’s ELP Experience is set to appear alongside Yes, which also includes Palmer’s Asia bandmate Geoff Downes on keyboards. “There’s nothing planned right now,” Palmer admitted. “I’m not saying it’s not going to happen. It’s a bit soon. There are no plans to carry on as we speak. That’s not to say it won’t happen; we just haven’t had time to talk about it and how we’ll do it.”

In the meantime, Palmer said he was deeply impressed with Journey. “The standard they produced each night really got me thinking that, if we were to carry on with Asia, we have to step up and get to the standard they have,” he said.

Palmer added that he could detect none of the apparent animosity surrounding Journey, which has been dealing with political and personal tensions between Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain over the last months.

“It was not evident at all,” Palmer said. “Jonathan and Neal would pass each other in the corridor and they would fist-bump each other. That was all going on in social media, but it was not going on onstage and it was not going on in the corridors. I don’t think it’s ever a wise thing to wash your laundry in public. If that’s what they wish to do, that’s up to them. All I can tell you is they were utmost in their professionalism in every way, and I was just knocked out.”

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