A few days I ago I heard on the radio that Wilko Johnson had died at home on 21 November. He was diagnosed was diagnosed with late-stage pancreatic cancer in 2013 and was told he had nine to 10 months left to live but it turned out not to be as serious as originally thought and he was able to undergo surgery to remove the tumour.
Wilko was the original guitarist in Dr. Feelgood, the raw R&B band from Canvey Island who were very popular in the 70’s. I was a big fan at the time. I saw them live twice – once at the Reading Festival and also at Liverpool Stadium. I also Wilko’s band in St Helens back in 2010.
Wilko will be sadly missed. His distinctive guitar style, manic stage presence and eccentric character.
While browsing on the web yesterday I found out that Wilko Johnson’s band were playing at the Citadel in St Helens that evening. Wilko is one of my all time “guitar herose”. He used to be the lead guitarist in Dr Feelgood, who tasted success for a short while in the 1970’s with their raw version of R & B. He has a very distinctive style, managing to combine lead and rhythmn guitar.
I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to see his band and after several attempts I managed to get through to the box office on the phone and, luckily, was able to sort out one of the last tickets. Wilko does have a loyal following but I guess his current tour has had more interest due to the release of Julien Temple’s film about Dr Feelgood, “Oil City Confidential” that I saw at the cinema in February…
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