Wilko Johnson, Dr. Feelgood guitarist and ‘Game of Thrones’ actor, dead at 75

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Wilko Johnson, the guitarist of British blues rock band Dr. Feel good passed away. He turned 75.

A statement posted on Johnson’s official social media accounts on behalf of his family on Wednesday said the musician died Monday night at his home in South East England.

“This is the announcement we never wanted to make, and we make this, on behalf of Wilko’s family and the band, with a heavy heart: Wilko Johnson has passed away,” the Facebook post began.

“He passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home in Westcliff On Sea on Monday evening 21st November 2022. He was 75.

Wilko Johnson, guitarist for Dr. Feel good passed away. He turned 75.
(AP photo)

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“Thank you for respecting the privacy of Wilko’s family at this very sad time, and thank you all for being such a wonderful support throughout Wilko’s incredible life. RIP Wilko Johnson,” the statement concluded.

Born John Wilkinson in 1947, Johnson grew up on Canvey Island. He studied Anglo-Saxon literature at Newcastle University and worked as a teacher before joining Dr. Feelgood founded.

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In addition to being the lead guitarist for the blues rock band, Johnson also played Ser Ilyn Payne in “Game of Thrones.”

In 2012, Johnson was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was told it was terminal. The prospect of death unexpectedly revived his creative energy. He turned down chemotherapy, decided to do one last tour and recorded a “final” album, “Going Back Home”, with The Who’s Roger Daltrey.

Wilko Johnson was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2012.  In 2014, Johnson announced he was cancer-free after surgery that removed a 3-kilogram (6.6-pound) tumor.

Wilko Johnson was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2012. In 2014, Johnson announced he was cancer-free after surgery that removed a 3-kilogram (6.6-pound) tumor.
(Jo Hale/Redferns)

“I suddenly found myself in a position where nothing mattered anymore,” Johnson told The Associated Press in 2013.

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“Normally I’m a miserable so-and-so. … I’d worry about the IRS or all the things we worry about that get in the way of the real stuff. And all of a sudden it doesn’t matter anymore None of that matters.

“You walk down the street and you feel intensely alive. You’re ‘Oh, look at that leaf!’ You look around and you think, ‘I’m alive. Isn’t it great?'”

In 2014, Johnson announced he was cancer-free after undergoing surgery to remove a 7-pound tumor. He released another album in 2018, “Blow Your Mind”, and played gigs with his Wilko Johnson Band until last month.

Johnson is survived by his sons Simon and Matthew and grandson Dylan.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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