Thursday, August 24, 2006

Asia on Rockline

Tuned into KGON 92.3 in Portland last night to check out the original four Asia guys (Steve Howe, John Wetton, Geoff Downes and Carl Palmer) on Rockline. The host was in LA and the band was in a studio in New York so the interview sounded a bit disjointed to me. But overall they sounded good. Howe was surprisingly funny.

They avoided all the questions about why they broke up and why all the albums after the first one sucked, etc. They did three acoustic songs (Ride Easy, The Smile Has Left Your Eyes and Don't Cry). These sounded really good, except Wetton's voice was pretty froggy. He sounded like he was about two songs away from losing it (his voice). But then in the third song, it came in strong. Maybe he should do more of a warm up before singing (just a suggestion, John). Anyway, it was cool hearing them back together again. Made me all the more bummed that the closest they are playing to Oregon is Las Vegas (they are not even playing the Bay Area, fer Crissake!

Now, please tell me, does anyone screen these Rockline callers? There were some of the most inane questions asked (as usual) by slobbering fans who are so psyched to talk to the band they don't really have anything relevant to say or ask. Had I been patient enough to hit speed dial 5,000 times, here is what I would have asked:

1) When Greg Lake took John Wetton's spot for the Asia in Asia show, that was a truly hot lineup. Why was Lake in the band such a short time?

2) That Asia in Asia show was so good. Will they ever release it on DVD?

3) Will the band do any material from the Yes Drama album (both Howe and Downes were on the album)? How about GTR (Howe in the band, Downes produced the album)?

4) Question for Howe - what really happened to the aborted "More Drama" tour that was supposed to feature the bands White (Alan White with Geoff Downes), The Syn (Chris Squire and others) and Howe solo, with an end jam on Drama tunes. I had a Gold Ticket and front center seats for the Roseland date, but of course the whole tour was scrapped and there was no really consistent, legit explanation for why.

5) What is the band's collective weight? (OK, just kidding on that one)

Speaking of, I saw Carl Palmer's band at the Aladdin Theater a month or two ago and he looked like he takes very good care of himself. I will post a review and some snaps soon.

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