Tuesday 10 July 2018

Maniaco Guitariste

John Wilkinson (b.12.7.47)
It's Wilko Johnson's birthday this week; something of a miracle seeing as how he stared pancreatic cancer in the eye in 2012 and told it to f*ck right off. His doctors had given him less than a year - shows what they know.

Johnson will forever be known as the manic guitarist in Doctor Feelgood, but they kicked him out of his own the band in 1977. Since then he's been the manic guitarist in Wilko Johnson's Solid Senders and Ian Dury's Blockheads. Now he's just a manic guitarist, period.

Here he is in a superb bit of footage from French TV in August 1976. In it he reminds me of a tethered dog in an overgrown front garden who, try as he might, can get no further than the garden gate; 'cos if he ever did...he'd have your hand off. Nothing's so sure.

Doctor Feelgood - Going Back Home


  1. Great clip - One manic guitarist.

    I remember in an interview he said the cancer pissed him right off as the "mass" protruding from his stomach (sorry for the graphic-ness) got in the way of his guitar-playing. Yep he told that sucker where to go.

    1. It says all you need to know about Doctor Feelgood. For three minutes Canvey Island slipped anchor and moved a few nautical miles across le channel.

  2. Fantastic clip. Never seen that, so thanks for digging it out John. I love the way that Sparko tries to prowl back and forth like Wilko in his powder blue suit and stacked heels, but fails dismally to be anywhere near as menacing as Mr Johnson.