Wilko Johnson, guitarist for the ’70s era British rock act Dr. Feelgood, has died at the age of 75.
The news was confirmed via Johnson’s social media, which issued a statement saying, “This is the announcement we never wanted to make, & we do so with a very heavy heart: Wilko Johnson has died. He passed away at home on Monday 21st November. Thank you for respecting the family’s privacy at this very sad time. RIP Wilko Johnson.”
Johnson enjoyed a lengthy and influential career in rock, not only appearing on four Dr. Feelgood albums in the ’70s, but also appearing on Ian Dury and the Blockheads’ 1980 album Laughter and recording a wealth of material with his self-titled Wilco Johnson Band.
The guitarist also crossed over into the film and TV world, appearing on multiple episodes of HBO’s Game of Thrones as the mute executioner Ser Ilyn Payne and appearing in Julian Temple’s documentary Oil City Confidential.
In 2013, Johnson was diagnosed with late stage pancreatic cancer. He then announced his farewell tour and plans to record his final album with Daltrey. But it was later discovered that Johnson did not have the most common form of pancreatic cancer, rather having a less aggressive and treatable form. After undergoing surgery and treatment, he was declared cancer-free in 2014.
Revisit some of Wilko Johnson’s work below.
Dr. Feelgood, “Milk and Alcohol”
Dr. Feelgood, “Roxette”
Wilko Johnson + Roger Daltrey, “I Keep It To Myself”
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