Wilko Johnson: Sunday Times

21 July 15

Posted at 4:09

wilko Johnson

Previously unseen image of Wilko Johnson by ©Dean Chalkley / Camerapress


Wilko Johnson is a truly remarkable man, he first sprang to fame in the band Dr.Feelgood. This Canvey Island based band helped lay the foundations for what became the Punk Rock Movement, with their signature blend of fast Rhythm & Blues made even more potent by Wilko's chopping and stabbing unique guitar playing style. The Pub Rock scene on which they played energised and paved the way for the Punk Rockers. Wilko left the Band in March 1977 and went on to join up with Ian Dury to become one of 'The Blockheads", Dury's legendary backing band. Johnson also gathered together his own unit 'The Wilko Johnson Band'..In early 2013 he announced that he had terminal cancer, and aptly announced a farewell tour and chose not to undergo treatment,  13 July 2013, he performed an unannounced hour-long live set with Norman Watt-Roy and Dylan Howe at the Village Green Festival in his home town of Westcliff on Sea. (this is where the image above was made) On 30 April 2014, it was revealed that Johnson had undergone radical surgery to treat his illness…A tumour weighing 3kg was removed, Johnson said, "They cured me. It's so weird and so strange that it's kind of hard to come to terms with it in my mind. Now, I'm spending my time gradually coming to terms with the idea that my death is not imminent, that I am going to live on".  British film maker Julian Temple has just released " The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson" a very moving and unusual documentary film walking through the moments where Wilko was resolved that he would die, it explores the emotional state that knowledge brings, and then there is the news that things were not going to conclude how once perceived..Wilko is as mentioned is a remarkable man and the film goes some way to letting us into his world in those times.

wilko Johnson sunday times

The Sunday Times Magazine 5th July 2015