Wilko Johnson. Brit R&B and pre-punk legend on farewell cancer tour


Former Dr Feelgood and Blockheads guitarist Wilko Johnson was diagnosed recently with terminal cancer and his response is to do a triumphant farewell tour with no tears and no sadness, just blistering guitar riffs and jubilation. Wow.


Johnson and Dr Feelgood have been credited as one of the founding influences of the English punk movement.


Loved by Lydon, worshipped by Weller and quoted as a seminal influence by the Stranglers, Dr Feelgood were the pub rockers who paved the way for punk, and their defining feature was Johnson’s intense, choppy R&B guitar.

I didn’t know about him. Maybe US counterparts would be the MC5, NY Dolls, or Stooges who, in their different ways, were the precursors of US punk and are cited by about a zillion bands as influences.