LONDON — Wilko Johnson, the guitarist with British blues-rock band Dr. Feelgood who had an sudden profession renaissance after being recognized with terminal most cancers, has died.
He was 75.
A press release posted Wednesday on Johnson’s official social media accounts on behalf of his household mentioned the musician died Monday night at his house in southeast England.
Born John Wilkinson in 1947, Johnson was raised on Canvey Island, a marshy, industrial oil city in England’s River Thames estuary. He studied Anglo-Saxon literature at Newcastle College and labored as a schoolteacher earlier than forming Dr. Feelgood with different native mates.
At a time of flamboyant glam and indulgent prog rock, they performed a then-unfashionable model of blues and R&B, wearing low-cost fits that made them look, Johnson mentioned later, like “shoddy financial institution robbers.”
Johnson helped give Dr. Feelgood a harmful edge along with his uneven, relentless guitar fashion and thousand-yard glare — a glance terrifying sufficient to earn him a job later in life as silent executioner Ser Ilyn Payne on “Sport of Thrones.”
The anarchic outfit impressed bands who would quickly drive the U.Ok. punk explosion, and teetered on the sting of worldwide fame, scoring a U.Ok. No. 1 album, excursions of the U.S. and a cope with CBS data. Then in 1977 Johnson walked out amid friction with charismatic lead singer Lee Brilleaux, who died in 1994.
Johnson later mentioned that if the band had been in a position to comply with its managers’ directions to behave, “I’m fairly positive we’d be multimillionaires. However we didn’t. We had been geezers from Canvey Island. We had been nice mates, and we fell out.”
Johnson went on to carry out with Ian Dury’s band, the Blockheads, and spent years enjoying to a faithful fanbase, largely within the U.Ok. and Japan.
In 2012, Johnson was recognized with pancreatic most cancers and was instructed it was terminal. The prospect of dying unexpectedly revived his artistic energies. He declined chemotherapy, determined to go on one final tour, and recorded a “closing” album, “Going Again Dwelling,” with Roger Daltrey of The Who.
“I abruptly discovered myself ready the place nothing issues anymore,” he instructed The Related Press in 2013. “I’m a depressing so-and-so usually … I’d be worrying concerning the taxman or all of the issues that we fear about that get in the best way of the actual issues. And abruptly it doesn’t matter. All of that doesn’t matter.
“You stroll down the road and you are feeling intensely alive. You’re `Oh, have a look at that leaf!′ You’re trying round and also you suppose, `I’m alive. Ain’t it superb?’”
In one other twist, a fan who was additionally a most cancers specialist provided to assist. After surgical procedure to take away a 6.6-pound tumor, Johnson introduced in 2014 he was cancer-free. He launched one other album, “Blow Your Thoughts,” in 2018, and performed gigs along with his Wilko Johnson Band till final month.
Johnson is survived by his sons Simon and Matthew and grandson Dylan.