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©WENN / Wilko Johnson
© WENN / Wilko Johnson
Dr. Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson has terminal cancer
By Marc Schneider, N.Y. ,  Billboard

Billboard -- Influential guitarist Wilko Johnson, formerly of British pub rock band Dr. Feelgood, has been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and only has months to live. Announcing the news on Facebook, Johnson's manager Robert Hoy said the rocker had decided against chemotherapy.

"He is currently in good spirits, is not yet suffering any physical effects and can expect to enjoy at least another few months of reasonable health and activity," Hoy said.

Bing: Who were Dr. Feelgood?

The guitarist will spend those months performing in Japan and France, followed by a series of farewell shows in the UK. A final studio album is also in the works, according to Hoy's statement.

Johnson co-founded Dr. Feelgood in 1971 and performed on the band's first four studio albums, including 1975's "Down By the Jetty" and their lone UK No. 1, 1976's "Stupidity." His no-pick, open handed playing technique and frantic stage persona were integral to the band's appeal. The group's back-to-basics R&B/rock style eased the path from glam to punk.

Since leaving Dr. Feelgood in 1977, Johnson has gone on to front his own band, The Wilko Johnson Band, and he was briefly a member of Ian Dury and the Blockheads.

Music aside, Johnson has branched into acting in recent years and scored the role as a mute executioner on HBO's "Game of Thrones." He appeared in four episodes of the hit fantasy series. "Next up I'd like to play a bit of Shakespeare," he said in a 2011 interview with the Halstead Gazette. "I'm a bit old for Romeo or Hamlet, but King Lear perhaps?"

Full Statement on Johnson's Health:

I am very sad to announce that Wilko has recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer of the pancreas. He has chosen not to receive any chemotherapy. He is currently in good spirits, is not yet suffering any physical effects and can expect to enjoy at least another few months of reasonable health and activity. He has just set off on a trip to Japan; on his return we plan to complete a new CD, make a short tour of France, then give a series of farewell gigs in the UK. There is also a live DVD in the pipeline, filmed on the last UK tour. Wilko wishes to offer his sincere thanks for all the support he has had over his long career, from those who have worked with him to, above all, those devoted fans and admirers who have attended his live gigs, bought his recordings and generally made his life such an extraordinarily full and eventful experience. Thank you. Robert Hoy (Manager)

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
35Comments
Jan 11, 2013 3:14PM
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Along with Roger, Wilkow and the rest of us will go at some point, room temp.
Jan 10, 2013 10:22PM
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My heartfelt well-wishes to him at this difficult time,  and also on his Journey, wherever it leads him.   For him to hold his head high,  and continue developing new music projects, including touring,  is inspirational  to us all.   Never say "Never" - there may be a Miracle.   But,  if he accepts this, and can deal with it this well,  he Stands Tall in life.    Best wishes....
Jan 10, 2013 7:08PM
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Very courageous Wilco.Live your life to the fullest.Stay forever young.I dig your love of life.And when pain sets in,It's your choice whether to endure it straight or with the help of meds.Again my friend I commend your decision.Your the man.GOD BLESS YOU.
Jan 10, 2013 6:29PM
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Never heard of him before, and then I looked at him and never saw him before. Then I saw the band name and still never heard of them. Typical internet media story. That said, I am sorry to hear about his health and hope for the best for him.
Jan 10, 2013 2:44PM
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Obama care and the death panel will = less treatment, awful care  and early death. If granny is 80 y.o. and paid taxes for over 60 years !! she will not be considered a viable being. they will consider what it would cost to care for her if she lived " till 90. They do the math and then decide to off her if she should enter a hospital in this country. unfortunatley, we are more concerned with the medical needs of illigal immigrants and the babies that they produce. They add up to votes for the current administration. How and why would anyone think that supporting the illigal population can and will do anything for the U.S.A ? Most of them work for an illigal, non tax paying business. Then of course they ship most money earned, to there county of origin. Am I the only one who on a Fri. afternoon has been at the service desk of a supermarket, waited in line behind 4 people shipping money to Brazil and Mexico ?? I dont think any of the illigals have this countries best interest at heart. As a matter of fact' I think most of them hate this place. Do you know what would happen to you if you were in another country iligally? I dont think you would be working and shipping your $$ home. I also dont think you would be getting "in state" tuition, a drivers license and S.N.A.P., we fatten em up, clog our schools,  pay for the rent,medical ,education.learn their language, lose our jobs to them. I sure wish they would fix all the problems with their own home lands insted of making  our country' like the cese pool they escapped from.
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