Search This Blog

Thursday, 24 November 2022

Wilko Johnson RIP


We are having a bit of a run at the moment of great musicians passing on.

Sadly the latest is the great Wilko Johnson who has died at the age of 75. He was one of the greatest and most original guitarists of his generation and a truly unique character to boot

A member of the brilliant Dr Feelgood line up of the mid to late 70s with the late Lee Brilleaux on vocals, John B Sparks on bass and The Big Figure (John Martin) on drums. Together they released three seminal albums Down by the Jetty (1975), Malpractice (1976) and Sneakin' Suspicion (1977) with Wilko's trademark guitar all over them.

After falling out with Brilleaux he set up his own bands The Solid Senders and the Wilko Johnson Band. He also appeared on the album Laughter by Ian Dury and the Blockheads and on the album Going Back Home with Roger Daltrey.

He was the subject of two excellent documentary films by Julian Temple namely Oil City Confidential and The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson which you should be able to access on You Tube. They are both essential viewing./

One of the many tributes on Twitter is from Billy Bragg who wrote Wilko Johnson was a precursor of punk. 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. Rotten, Strummer and Weller learned a lot from his edgy demeanour. He does it right RIP

A true one-off. The world will be a poorer place with his passing.

Rest easy Wilko.

Dr Feelgood - Roxette

Dr Feelgood - Back in the Night

Dr Feelgood - Sneakin' Suspicion

Wilko Johnson & Roger Daltrey - Going Back Home


  1. 'The world will be a poorer place with his passing' It's a line that crops up regularly in obituaries, but it's 100% true in this case. Farewell Wilko.

  2. Really sad news - and a lovely tribute, CC, to such a one-off, as you say, he seemed such a warm, characterful, engaging and interesting man. Love those two documentaries, time to see them out again now, both brilliant.

  3. A wonderful and great tribute to one that will missed by me. Remembering his work was still a pleasure. Thanks for this CC

  4. Lovely tribute. The sad thing is, the ages of so many of the musicians who the likes of you and I looked up to, admired or indeed worshipped, means that reading obituaries is going to be an ever-increasing habit in the months and years ahead.