Asia co-founder and legendary Yes guitarist Steve Howe has quit Asia, according to Ultimate Classic Rock. Howe has been doing double duty with the bands since the original Asia lineup reformed in 2006. In a statement, Howe gave a shout out to the band's die-hards who have never forgotten the early-'80s first pop-prog ensemble: "Myself and the band wish to thank the fans for the enthusiasm shown during the original members' reunion. I will continue with Yes, and with my trio and solo guitar work. I wish my friends continued success."
Frontman and bassist John Wetton, who continues to front the band -- who are about to record their next album, called, Valkyrie, said in a statement: "Asia is ready to take its next steps along this remarkable road. We cannot wait to perform again for the fans and also to unveil some of the new material, of which we are very proud."
According to Brave Words, guitarist Sam Coulson will replace Howe place in Asia.
Last month Asia abruptly canceled all its overseas dates due to drummer Carl Palmer being felled by the E. coli virus. The band had been planning to hit the U.K. to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its 1982 self-titled debut, while also supporting its latest release, XXX.
The band, which is being billed as Asia All Four Original Members, featured co-founders bassist John Wetton, guitarist Steve Howe, keyboardist Geoff Downes, and drummer Carl Palmer. The reason for the somewhat less than catchy new moniker is to differentiate the original members from the other band, Asia Featuring John Payne, which is a continuation of the pre-2006 Asia line-up without the co-founders.
With Yes current dates spanning their entire career, we asked bassist Chris Squire if Steve Howe still harbors any resentment about performing the '80s-era songs which were recorded without him: "Y'know, he used to have more of an attitude about the '80s Yes, but then when we keep reminding him, 'But you were in Asia!' So, y'know, like, 'What do you mean, we weren't commercial? Come on!' He goes, 'Oh yeah. All right.' So, actually, he's changed a bit now. He had a, y'know, a personal thing about remembering the '70s, but now I think he understands a lot of what we did in the '80s and is a lot more tolerant (laugh)." )
Yes tour dates (subject to change):
March 1 - West Wendover, NV - Peppermill Concert Hall
March 3 - Seattle, WA - Moore Theatre
March 5 - San Francisco, CA - Warfield Theatre
March 6 - Los Angeles, CA - Orpheum Theatre
March 8 - Temecula, CA - Pechanga Resort & Casino
March 9 - Reno, NV - Silver Legacy Resort Casino
March 12 - Aspen, CO - Belly Up Aspen
March 14 - Omaha, NE - Holland Performing Arts Center
March 16 - Hammond, IN - The Venue At Horseshoe Casino
March 17 - Louisville, KY - The Louisville Palace Theatre
March 18 - Kansas City, MO - The Midland By AMC
March 20 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater
March 21 - Grand Prairie, TX - Verizon Theatre At Grand Prairie
March 22 - Biloxi, MS - Hard Rock Live Biloxi
March 24 - Hollywood, FL - Seminole Hard Rock Live
March 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 - Fort Lauderdale, FL - Cruise To The Edge MSC Cruises - MSC Poesia
March 30 - Melbourne, FL - King Center For Performing Arts
April 2 - Clearwater, FL - Ruth Eckerd Hall
April 5 - Mashantucket, CT - MGM Grand At Foxwoods
April 6 - Hampton Beach, NH - Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
April 7 - Bethlehem, PA - Sands Bethlehem Event Center
April 9 - New York, NY - Beacon Theatre
April 11 - Toronto, ON - Massey Hall
April 12 - Detroit, MI - Fox Theatre
Photo Courtesy of PRPhotos.com