Wilko Johnson, guitarist for British blues-rock band Dr Feelgood, who had an unexpected career renaissance after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, has died.
he was 75 years old.
A statement posted Wednesday on Johnson’s official social media accounts on behalf of Johnson’s family said the musician died Monday night at his home in the South East of England.
Born John Wilkinson in 1947, Johnson grew up on Canvey Island, a wetland industrial oil town at the mouth of the Thames in England.
He studied Anglo-Saxon Literature at Newcastle University and worked as a schoolteacher before co-founding Dr. Feelgood with some local friends.
In an era of flashy glam and luscious progressive rock, they played brands of blues and R&B that were unfashionable at the time, wore cheap suits and looked like “shoddy bank robbers,” Johnson said. told later.
Johnson, with his choppy, relentless guitar style and thousands of yards of glare, helped give Dr. Feelgood a dangerous edge. That look is terrifying enough to later give him a role as the Silent Executioner Sir Ilyn his Pain in “Game of Thrones.”
The anarchic outfit soon inspired the band to fuel an explosion of UK punk, teetering on the edge of global fame, scoring a UK No. 1 album, touring the US and signing a contract with CBS Records. I called.
Then in 1977 Johnson left the company amid conflicts with the charismatic lead singer Lee Brilleaux, who died in 1994.
Johnson later said that if the band had been able to act according to their manager’s instructions, “we were sure we would be millionaires. We fell.”
Johnson has performed with Ian Dury’s band, The Blockheads, for many years, mainly in the UK and Japan to a devoted fan base.
In 2012, Johnson was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was told it was terminal.
The possibility of death unexpectedly revived his creative energy. He declined chemotherapy and decided to go on his final tour, recording his “final” album Going Back Home with The Who’s Roger Daltrey.
In another twist, Hwang, who is also a cancer expert, offered to help.
After surgery to remove a 3-kilogram (6.6-pound) tumor, Johnson announced in 2014 that he was cancer-free.
He released another album, Blow Your Mind, in 2018 and was gigging with the Wilko Johnson Band until last month.
Johnson is survived by sons Simon and Matthew and grandson Dylan.