Wilko Johnson Dr Feelgood Guitarist has Died Aged 75

Wilko Johnson Dr Feelgood Guitarist has Died Aged 75

Wilko Johnson Dr Feelgood guitarist has died aged 75 after a long battle with cancer.

Johnson was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2013 and chose not to have chemotherapy. In the same year, he was told he had 9 months left to live. In 2014, doctors discovered that the cancer was a neuroendocrine tumour, a less aggressive and more treatable form of the disease. Johnson announced that he was cancer-free following an operation that removed a 3kg tumour.

Wilko Johnson was best known as the guitarist for Dr. Feelgood, who were one of the leading lights of Britain’s pub rock scene in the early 1970s. He was a member of the band from their formation in 1971 until his departure in 1977, and during that time he established himself as one of the most distinctive and innovative guitarists around.

Johnson’s style was based on Chuck Berry licks, but he played them with an intensity and energy that was all his own. His solos were often wild and frenetic, but always tightly controlled – a rare feat for someone who appeared to be playing on the edge of chaos. He was also a master of rhythm guitar, and his choppy, staccato chords provided the perfect counterpoint to Dr. Feelgood’s frontman Lee Brilleaux’s bluesy vocals and slide guitar work.

After leaving Dr. Feelgood, Johnson continued to play music, both solo and with various bands. He has also worked as an actor, appearing in films such as Quadrophenia and Meantime. In 2013, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, but rather than give up music altogether he decided to keep playing while he still could. This led to him teaming up with Roger Daltrey for a series of live shows which saw them perform songs from The Who’s Tommy album backed by an orchestra. The shows were hugely successful, and led to Johnson recording a new album with Daltrey entitled Going Back Home.

Although Wilko Johnson may not be a household name outside of hardcore fans of British rock music, there can be no doubt that he is one of the most influential guitarists of his generation. His unique style has been much imitated over the years but never bettered – something which is testament to his talent and creativity.”