John Payne (singer)

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For other people of the same name, see John Payne.
John Payne
John Payne with his bass guitar.jpg
John Payne, 2011
Background information
Born 1958 (age 55–56)
Luton, Bedfordshire, England
Genres Hard rock, progressive rock, pop rock
Occupations Musician, singer-songwriter, producer
Instruments Vocals, bass, guitar, keyboards
Years active 1980–present
Labels Devgel, InsideOut Music, Sony Music
Associated acts Asia Featuring John Payne, Asia, GPS

John Payne (born 1958) is a British musician, best known as the lead singer and bassist of Asia from 1992 to 2006 and, from June 2007, with Asia Featuring John Payne.

John Payne became the frontman of Asia in 1992 at the invitation of founding member Geoff Downes, replacing vocalist/bassist John Wetton. During Payne's tenure, ASIA released 8 studio albums, several live album and toured internationally. He is a founding and current member of modern progressive rock band GPS. He is also a guitarist, composer, recording engineer and record producer. He currently is part of the Las Vegas production "Raiding the Rock Vault" at the Las Vegas Hotel.[1]

Biography[edit]

His first band was called Moonstone.[2] They toured the UK in the late seventies, opening for well-known groups such as Argent.

In 1986, he recorded a silver selling record with the band CCCP in Scandinavia. CCCP was a group that featured John on lead vocals with Johnny Cash's stepdaughter Carlene Carter sharing vocal duties.

He provided backing vocals on several solo albums by Roger Daltrey, including Under a Raging Moon (1985) and Can't Wait to See the Movie (1987).

Back in England, he and keyboardist Andy Nye (from the Michael Schenker Group) formed The Passion, enlisting the services of drummer Clive Burr (Iron Maiden), bassist Mel Gabbitas and the ex-Mike Oldfield guitarist Ant Glynne.

Payne was considered for a position in ELO Part II on guitar and vocals. For a year prior to joining Asia in 1991, he was chosen to replace Jeff Lynne as the lead vocalist in ELO, later to be named ELO Part II, but left because of protracted negotiations over the name.[3]

Asia[edit]

After the departure of John Wetton, Geoff Downes invited Payne to join the band as lead singer,[2] bassist, co-writer and co-producer. Payne and Geoff Downes continued together as Asia for 15 years, with several line-ups around them, until they stuck with Guthrie Govan (guitar) and Chris Slade (drums) in 1999. This line-up persisted through 2005, when Slade departed to be replaced by Jay Schellen.

GPS[edit]

In February 2006, Downes and Payne separated when Downes joined a reunion of the original Asia line-up. Payne, Govan and Schellen formed a new band, GPS, recruiting Ryo Okumoto of Spock's Beard on keys. An album "Window to the Soul" was released in 2006 and the band did a small scale tour with dates in the UK, US (Rosfest) and Japan. A new album, tentatively entitled "Dreamscape" was due in late 2010 or early 2011 but as of February 2014 has not been released.

Asia Featuring John Payne[edit]

When Downes split in 2006, Payne owned a significant portion of the rights to the band name "Asia". On 9 May 2006, John Payne, Geoff Downes, John Wetton, Carl Palmer and Steve Howe contractually agreed that John Payne could continue his 14-year legacy with Asia as "Asia Featuring John Payne".[citation needed] Asia Featuring John Payne debuted in 2007 with Payne on vocals/bass, Guthrie Govan on guitar, Erik Norlander on keyboards and Jay Schellen on drums. This line-up toured the US through 2008.

In 2009, Govan was replaced by Mitch Perry and North American touring has continued through 2010. A studio album, originally called "Architect of Time" is underway and expected for release in 2010. A live album Extended Versions by Asia Featuring John Payne, was released in fall 2007, drawn from a December 2005 live show in Sweden with Downes, Schellen, Payne and Govan.

In 2009, an EP entitled "Military Man" was released with re-recordings of Payne-era Asia tracks "Military Man" and "Long Way from Home" and an Erik Norlander solo composition "Neurosaur", performed by Govan, Payne, Norlander and Schellen.

Work outside Asia[edit]

In 2007, John formed Devgel Records and issued several albums of past solo work, including "C.C.C.P.", "The Passion" and Different Worlds which features essential recordings from Payne's history including his work with Asia, GPS, and his solo work including "Ride The Storm", "Song For You", and a cover of the Eagles hit "One of These Nights". In 2009, Payne released an EP entitled "Architects of Time".

In May 2010, Payne sang "Heaven and Hell" as a tribute to Ronnie James Dio at Dio's memorial service, at the request of Dio's family.

Guest vocal credits include "Song for You" by the Swiss rock band Lunatica, three albums by keyboardist Lisa LaRue and "Galactic Collective" by Erik Norlander.

On his own and as part of ASIA, Payne has engineered or produced many acts and albums including The Boys, The Passion and Colin Blunstone. Payne has toured with Kansas, Peter Frampton, Styx, Paul Rodgers, Dio, Uriah Heep, Night Ranger, The Fixx, Berlin, The Outfield, Ted Nugent and David Lee Roth. In the recording studio, Payne has also worked with Mike Oldfield, Simon Phillips and Steve Howe.

TV, film and stage[edit]

Payne sang for the Michelob USA "Nightmoves" TV campaign in 1987. Payne has scored music for the film The Darkness and, with Downes, the salmon documentary for the BBC Prince of Tides.

As a solo artist, Payne sang the title track to the film The American Way. Within Asia, he also sang the lead track "Lay Down Your Arms" on Freddie as F.R.O.7, an 1991 animated UK film.

In 2007, Payne played the part of Parson Nathaniel in the touring production of Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds.[4]

In May 2010, Payne's likeness was used in an episode of Family Guy ("The Splendid Source").[5]

Charity work and industry recognition[edit]

At the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles, he presented the 2004 MVPA video awards. Payne was inducted in 2007 into David Fishof's Rock 'n Roll Fantasy Camp's Hall of Fame. He has also been a judge for the above Fantasy Camp USA Final alongside producer Ron Nevison and performer Spencer Davis. In 2010, Payne was joined by Alan Parsons to present an award at the Pollstar awards.

Also in 2010, Payne judged the Shredfest 2 competition alongside Erika Eleniak, Dhani Harrison, Tom Morello, and Steven Adler.[6]

Management[edit]

He has been managed by Don Arden, Simon Napier-Bell and Bill Curbishley. Currently he is managed by Barry Solomon, BIS Management, Los Angeles.

Discography[edit]

Asia[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

  • Live at the Town & Country
  • Live Acoustic
  • Live in Philadelphia
  • Live in Osaka
  • Live in Köln
  • America: Live in the USA

Live DVD[edit]

  • "America: Live in the USA"

Asia featuring John Payne[edit]

Live albums[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • Military Man [EP] (2009)
  • Recollections: A Tribute to British Prog (2014)

Roger Daltrey[edit]

GPS[edit]

  • Window to The Soul (2006)

John Payne[edit]

  • "Fly Away" b/w "Coming Home" 45 RPM single, Arrival Records 1984
  • "Gonna Give Her All the Love I've Got", 1984
  • "Ride the Storm" (American Way film soundtrack, film also titled Riders of the Storm in some countries), released as a single b/w "Take the Money", 1987
  • Different Worlds cd compilation of solo work and work with ASIA and GPS, Voiceprint 2007
  • "Decoding the Lost Symbol" part of the Architects of Time project, CD EP, 2009

The Passion (with Andy Nye)[edit]

  • The Passion Voiceprint 2007

Geoff Downes NDO[edit]

  • Vox Humana
  • World Service

CCCP[edit]

  • Let's spend the Night Together originally 1986, reissued on cd 2007

Lunatica[edit]

  • Edge of Infinity
  • Farewell My Love

Lisa LaRue[edit]

  • Transformation 2012
  • World Class
  • Fast and Blue

Other Collaborations[edit]

  • "That's When The Crying Starts" with the band Stringer, Arrival records 1982
  • "The Secret Affair" with the band Jupiter Red, 1983
  • "Baby Won't Phone" with the band Quadrascope, 1983
  • Bite The Bullet with the band Bite the Bullet, 1989
  • "Dark Horse" with the band That'll Be The Day, 2002
  • "Killer on the Loose" with Billy Sherwood, part of the A Tribute to Thin Lizzy project, 2008
  • "Firewolfe" – Debut album, 2011. Mixing and mastering.
  • "The Mystic Technocracy" and "Loving the Alien" (a David Bowie cover), part of the The Mystic Technocracy – Season 1: The Age of Ignorance album by Docker's Guild (2012)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Raiding The Rock Vault". Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Hill, Gary. "Biography: John Payne". Allmusic. Retrieved 3 November 2010. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ [2][dead link]
  5. ^ "retroblog.net". retroblog.net. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "Facebook". Facebook. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 

External links[edit]