Brutal Disease Led to Guitarist Wilko Johnson’s Death at 75
Beloved singer-songwriter and guitarist for Dr. Feelgood Wilko Johnson’s cause of death was revealed on November 21, 2022. His death at 75 was confirmed via a post on his official social media accounts.
“This is the announcement we never wanted to make, and 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,” his official Twitter account shared on Wednesday.
His official Twitter account shared a photo of Johnson and his doctors, writing: “As many of you know, we have cancer doctor Charlie Chan and surgeon Emmanuel Huguet to thank for the extra years Wilko was able to enjoy.”
Emmanuel Huguet said: “I feel honoured to have known Wilko. He was uplifting and life-enhancing for me. Like so many other people, I loved him.”
In November 2012, the Game of Thrones star was forced to cancel a show when he was rushed to hospital with an undisclosed ailment. Wilko was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer in January 2013.
He revealed via a statement from his manager at the time that he didn’t want to receive treatment or chemotherapy.
The following year, however, the Dr. Feelgood guitarist underwent an operation and declared himself cancer-free, saying later that he was told he only had 10 months to live and adding: “I shouldn’t be here at all.”
In 2015, a documentary titled The Ecstasy Of Wilko Johnson was released, focusing on Wilko’s cancer scare and featuring only two voices – Wilko’s and that of The Who’s Roger Daltrey.
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Cancer Reported as Wilko Johnson’s Cause of Death
Pancreatic cancer was announced as Wilko Johnson’s cause of death at the age of 75. The star sadly passed away at his home on Monday.
Johnson played lead guitar with Dr. Feelgood from the group’s formation in 1971 until he quit the band in 1977. During his stint, the group scored a Number One album with their 1976 live LP ‘Stupidity’.
After departing, he played with The Blockheads for a brief spell in 1980. He also released a succession of albums with The Wilko Johnson Band.
Johnson’s autobiography Looking Back At Me was published in June 2012. His final album, ‘Blow Your Mind’, was released in 2018 with The Wilko Johnson Band.
He appeared last month (October 18, 2022) at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire as part of Planet Rock’s Rocktober event.
After the devastating news of Wilko Johnson’s death was revealed, his fans and friends expressed their deepest sadness. Many people also took to Twitter to send their tributes to the late artist.
Alex Kapranos wrote on his Instagram account: “Very sad to hear Wilko Johnson has died. His unique, wired playing style and stage presence thrilled and inspired many guitarists, myself included.
“When I interviewed him a few years ago, he was bright, thoughtful and an astonishing storyteller, carving legend from life. His presence on this planet will be felt for many more years.”
“Rest in Power Mr Wilko Johnson – you fought the good fight and had a damn good run. When they said it was over, you came back stronger,” The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe shared on Twitter.
Billy Bragg wrote: “Wilko Johnson was a precursor of punk. His guitar playing was angry and angular, but his presence – twitchy, confrontational, out of control – was something we’d never beheld before in UK pop. Rotten, Strummer, and Weller learned a lot from his edgy demeanour. He does it right RIP.”
Broadcaster and writer Bob Harris tweeted: “So sad at the passing of the great Wilko Johnson. I first saw Dr. Feelgood at the Hope & Anchor in 1974 and they did their first-ever radio session on my @BBCR1 show a few days later. Wilko was absolutely unique. His energy and spirit were incredible. We’ll really miss him #RIP.”
“I’m sad to hear today of the passing of Wilko Johnson, the Dr. Feelgood guitarist and singer/songwriter. I saw Wilko perform at Koko in Camden in May 2013 and the atmosphere was electric. This show was originally billed as his farewell tour,” Jimmy Page wrote.
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