Legendary guitarist vows to rock on after cancer diagnosis

Echo: Westcliff guitarist Wilko Johnson vows to make the most of the time he has left after being told he has terminal cancer Westcliff guitarist Wilko Johnson vows to make the most of the time he has left after being told he has terminal cancer

LEGENDARY south Essex guitarist Wilko Johnson has vowed the show will go on after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.


Well-known Wilko, 65, a founding member of Canvey band Dr Feelgood, will play on and “party where he can” for the remaining months of his life.
Doctors have told the R&B man he has untreatable pancreatic cancer.

Yet he is determined to fulfil his commitments to a tour in Japan and then intends to complete a new CD, a short tour of France, and play a series of farewell gigs in the UK. There is also a live DVD in the pipeline, filmed on the last UK tour.
And he even choose to fly out in style to Far East.


His manager, Robert Hoy, who broke the sad news to fans, said: “Wilko chose to fly first class to Japan because there was no point in hanging on to savings.
“He said he wants to make the very best of the time he has left, playing and partying when he can.


“He is currently in good spirits and is not yet suffering any physical effects and can expect to enjoy at least another few months of reasonable health and activity. “Also he has chosen not to receive any chemotherapy.”


The guitarist, who lives in Westcliff, who went on to carve out a successful career as a solo artist since leaving Dr Feelgood in 1977, was forced to cancel his sold-out show at the Oysterfleet Hotel, in Knightswick Road, Canvey in November after failling ill.


He was given the devastating news by medics in the new year.
Mr Hoy said the musician, a widower who has two sons, wishes to offer his sincere thanks for all the support he has had over his long career.
Hew added: “From those who have worked with him to, above all, those devoted fans and admirers who have attended his live gigs, bought his recordings and generally made his life such an extraordinarily full and eventful experience”.

 


AS a founder member of Canvey-based band Dr Feelgood, guitarist Wilko Johnson drew attention for his wild-eyed, “violent” stage performance - and his unique guitar style.


Also a talented songwriter, he produced early Feelgood favourites like Back in the Night, Dr Dupree and Sneaking Suspicion.


The list of 1970s New Wave bands who acknowledge the influence of Wilko and the Feelgoods is extensive and includes The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Jam, The Boomtown Rats, and across the Atlantic the Ramones and Blondie.


After his abrupt departure from Dr. Feelgood in 1977 Wilko formed his own band.
 

In 1980, while continuing to work with his own three-piece band, Wilko entered the ranks of Ian Dury's Blockheads, co-writing several songs with Ian and featuring on the Laughter album.


Then in 1985 the Blockhead's bassist Norman Watt-Roy joined Wilko and for the last 25 years they have thrilled audiences from Helsinki to Madrid, Aberdeen to Istanbul and Toulouse to Tokyo.


Wilko never forgets his local fans, regularly performing at the Oyster Fleet Hotel on Canvey and at the Railway pub in Southend.

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8:53am Thu 10 Jan 13

GlenEckett says...

Very sad news indeed, but a great attitude in choosing to live life to the full until the end.
Very sad news indeed, but a great attitude in choosing to live life to the full until the end. GlenEckett

9:12am Thu 10 Jan 13

Russ13 says...

Sad story, good to hear he's going to make the most of the time he's got left but come on Echo...... basic spelling mistakes here:

"And he even choose to fly out in style to Far East."

"after failling ill"
Sad story, good to hear he's going to make the most of the time he's got left but come on Echo...... basic spelling mistakes here: "And he even choose to fly out in style to Far East." "after failling ill" Russ13

9:54am Thu 10 Jan 13

Walt Jabsco says...

Wilko is and always will be a legend
Wilko is and always will be a legend Walt Jabsco

10:00am Thu 10 Jan 13

sosad 1 says...

this is news is so sad glad he is to keep going while he can as he said when he lost his partner f*****g cancer keep strutting wilco
this is news is so sad glad he is to keep going while he can as he said when he lost his partner f*****g cancer keep strutting wilco sosad 1

10:35am Thu 10 Jan 13

Chris Flunk says...

Russ13 wrote:
Sad story, good to hear he's going to make the most of the time he's got left but come on Echo...... basic spelling mistakes here:

"And he even choose to fly out in style to Far East."

"after failling ill"
Come on, have a bit of respect. This is not the place for grammar nazis.

Sad news indeed, Wilko is an absolute legend.
[quote][p][bold]Russ13[/bold] wrote: Sad story, good to hear he's going to make the most of the time he's got left but come on Echo...... basic spelling mistakes here: "And he even choose to fly out in style to Far East." "after failling ill"[/p][/quote]Come on, have a bit of respect. This is not the place for grammar nazis. Sad news indeed, Wilko is an absolute legend. Chris Flunk

11:06am Thu 10 Jan 13

watfordkev says...

Legend. Always and Forever...
Legend. Always and Forever... watfordkev

4:49pm Thu 10 Jan 13

southchurch bob says...

watfordkev wrote:
Legend. Always and Forever...
Exactly a Legend
[quote][p][bold]watfordkev[/bold] wrote: Legend. Always and Forever...[/p][/quote]Exactly a Legend southchurch bob

4:53pm Thu 10 Jan 13

Eric Whim says...

southchurch bob wrote:
watfordkev wrote:
Legend. Always and Forever...
Exactly a Legend
yes indeed.

Best wishes to Wilco.

True Essex Legend
[quote][p][bold]southchurch bob[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]watfordkev[/bold] wrote: Legend. Always and Forever...[/p][/quote]Exactly a Legend[/p][/quote]yes indeed. Best wishes to Wilco. True Essex Legend Eric Whim

11:44pm Thu 10 Jan 13

marshman says...

Taught a generation and I'm glad history remembers that Dr Feelgood were the kick start to the whole punk and new-wave thing. That wouldn't have happened without Wilko on guitar and Lee on vocals. Best wishes to him.
Taught a generation and I'm glad history remembers that Dr Feelgood were the kick start to the whole punk and new-wave thing. That wouldn't have happened without Wilko on guitar and Lee on vocals. Best wishes to him. marshman

2:59am Fri 11 Jan 13

heartbeat says...

Best wishes to Wilko, hope he parties to the max until the very end. Anyone who hasn't watched "Oil City Confidential", the recent film about Dr. Feelgood in which Wilko features heavily is really missing something. You don't have to be a fan of Wilko, Dr. Feelgood or r'n'b music to find the film fascinating as there is a lot of footage of local Essex areas and interviews with colourful characters. Wilko was very entertaining in the film and helped make some of the gigs I've been to the best of my life.
Best wishes to Wilko, hope he parties to the max until the very end. Anyone who hasn't watched "Oil City Confidential", the recent film about Dr. Feelgood in which Wilko features heavily is really missing something. You don't have to be a fan of Wilko, Dr. Feelgood or r'n'b music to find the film fascinating as there is a lot of footage of local Essex areas and interviews with colourful characters. Wilko was very entertaining in the film and helped make some of the gigs I've been to the best of my life. heartbeat

11:58am Fri 11 Jan 13

Russ13 says...

Chris Flunk wrote:
Russ13 wrote: Sad story, good to hear he's going to make the most of the time he's got left but come on Echo...... basic spelling mistakes here: "And he even choose to fly out in style to Far East." "after failling ill"
Come on, have a bit of respect. This is not the place for grammar nazis. Sad news indeed, Wilko is an absolute legend.
A bit of respect would have been to at least get the spelling right!!!

Please don't brand me as a "grammar nazi", this is basic spelling that a 10 year old should be able to nail, it's just sloppy.

As for having no respect, I thought it was implicit that I do have respect for the man in my first sentence.
[quote][p][bold]Chris Flunk[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Russ13[/bold] wrote: Sad story, good to hear he's going to make the most of the time he's got left but come on Echo...... basic spelling mistakes here: "And he even choose to fly out in style to Far East." "after failling ill"[/p][/quote]Come on, have a bit of respect. This is not the place for grammar nazis. Sad news indeed, Wilko is an absolute legend.[/p][/quote]A bit of respect would have been to at least get the spelling right!!! Please don't brand me as a "grammar nazi", this is basic spelling that a 10 year old should be able to nail, it's just sloppy. As for having no respect, I thought it was implicit that I do have respect for the man in my first sentence. Russ13

12:49pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Tengin says...

Over the years Wilko has inspired many musicians and bands. I first saw him play 30+ years ago and over the years he has just got better and better. I am saddened to hear his news but am yet again inspired by his attitude. Thanks for the music and not giving up Wilko, your the best.
Over the years Wilko has inspired many musicians and bands. I first saw him play 30+ years ago and over the years he has just got better and better. I am saddened to hear his news but am yet again inspired by his attitude. Thanks for the music and not giving up Wilko, your the best. Tengin

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