Wilko Johnson, an English rock guitarist who performed for the band Dr. Feelgood and influenced a technology of rockers, died this week at 75.
Johnson died at his house in England on Monday, in response to a press release posted to his social media accounts on behalf of his household.
“This is the announcement we never wanted to make, & we do so with a very heavy heart: Wilko Johnson has died,” the statement read. “He passed away at home on Monday 21st November. Thank you for respecting the family’s privacy at this very sad time.”
Born John Peter Wilkinson in 1947, Johnson helped kind the band Dr. Feelgood in his native Canvey Island, Essex in 1971. The band was described by Stranglers punk rocker Jean-Jacques Burnel as “a bridge between the old times and the punk times.” Johnson was identified for his electrical stage presence and percussive type of guitar taking part in.
“People say, ‘Well, how did you do that?’ It’s quite simple, you see, it’s like riding a bike, easy to do, hard to explain,” Johnson advised a crowd at a 2012 music demo when describing his distinctive taking part in method, earlier than launching right into a collection of “stabbing chords” and blues riffs.
Johnson introduced in 2013 that he had been identified with pancreatic most cancers and was advised it was terminal, but he elected to forgo chemotherapy. Johnson’s spouse and childhood sweetheart, Irene Knight, had died of most cancers in 2004, in response to an Independent report.
Over the subsequent few years, Johnson performed a collection of farewell exhibits.
But in 2014, Johnson declared that he was cancer-free on the Q Awards present in London. While accepting an Icon Award, he mentioned he underwent an 11-hour surgical procedure the place physicians eliminated a tumor that weighed almost 7 kilos. “That’s the size of a baby,” he advised the viewers throughout his acceptance speech.
“If there’s a moral to this story, it’s that you never know what’s going to happen,” he mentioned.
Johnson continued performing and in addition made his performing debut within the HBO collection “Game of Thrones,” taking part in the function of Ser Ilyn Payne, a mute knight and king’s executioner. On the present, he was identified by his menacing stare and for laying the sword to one of many present’s most beloved characters, Ned Stark.
After his dying was introduced Wednesday, musicians poured out statements of reward for Johnson.
“Wilko Johnson was a precursor of punk,” English singer and activist Billy Bragg tweeted. “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.”
Jimmy Page, founding father of Led Zeppelin, mentioned he was unhappy to listen to of Johnson’s passing. He mentioned he attended one in every of Johnson’s farewell exhibits in 2013 in Camden Town, London.
“The atmosphere was electric,” Page mentioned in a tweet. “This show was originally billed as his farewell tour. But, thankfully, he continued performing and thrilling crowds until recently. I really admired him and we’ll all miss him.”
Alex Kapranos, lead man for the Scottish rock band Franz Ferdinand, known as Johnson “bright, thoughtful & an astonishing story teller.”
“His unique, wired playing & stage presence thrilled & inspired many guitarists, myself included,” Kapranos shared on social media. “His presence will be felt for many more years.”