"Elton John phoned me up the other day... 'Cos the reception in my house is so bad, the woman putting us in touch was standing in my front garden on her phone saying, 'Is Elton there?' I thought, 'What the hell are the neighbours going to think?' But we had a really good chat." Former Dr. Feelgood star Wilko Johnson counts Sir Elton John among his pals.
Terminally-ill musician Wilko Johnson is recording a new album. The former Dr. Feelgood star was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer last year (12) but he refused to undergo chemotherapy and headed out on a farewell tour instead.
After cutting short the trek in March (13) because of his ailing health, Johnson has rallied again and played sporadic gigs at arts festivals in his native U.K. throughout the summer (13).
Now he has revealed he is even enjoying sessions in a recording studio with his rocker pals Rat Scabies from The Damned and MC5 star Wayne Kramer as he lays down tracks for a new release.
Johnson tells Mojo magazine, "Sometimes I think, 'What's the point?' There are days when I feel really apathetic. But, yes, I think we'll get it finished at some point."
Terminally-ill musician Wilko Johnson has defied the odds by hitting the road again just months after retiring because of his failing health. The former Dr. Feelgood guitarist, 66, was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer last year (12) and he embarked on a farewell tour to enjoy one last round of gigs with his fans.
He was forced to cut the trek short by two gigs and retire early after taking a turn for the worse in March (13), but he has now shocked fans by returning for another handful of shows.
Last month (Jul13), he performed in his native Essex, England and nearby Oxfordshire, and now he has announced shows at the Wickham Festival in Hampshire, England on Sunday (04Aug13) followed by three more gigs in the U.K. later this month (Aug13).
Johnson says, "After we did our farewell tour in April (sic), I did retire. But after a little while I didn't like this retirement business. I'd walk along the road and just be a bloke. I didn't like it. I'm a rock musician, I don't want to be walking down to the corner shop and getting a pint of milk. I'm a rock star!"
Terminally-ill musician Wilko Johnson took to the stage in his native Essex, England on Saturday (13Jul13), three months after wrapping up his farewell tour. The former Dr. Feelgood star was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer last year (12), but announced plans to spend his final months touring instead of undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
He staged a show to mark the closure of the BBC Television Centre in London on 22 March (13), and subsequently scrapped his two final concerts that month (Mar13) after falling ill.
However, he performed to a sold-out crowd at Britain's Village Green Festival on Saturday, a day after he turned 66.
Before the concert, he told Britain's Observer newspaper, "You have got to book gigs fairly well in advance, and I don't know how well I am going to be in advance. I had a farewell tour... and I retired after that. But I was feeling a bit better and so I thought I could take a bit more on."
Very sad news from the Game of Thrones camp — Wilko Johnson, who plays the mute (via tongue-rip) executioner Ilyn Payne, has been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. Johnson was also a guitarist and songwriter for the British band Dr. Feelgood, and became known as a major player in the British punk rock scene. His manager, Robert Hoy, released the following statement on the actor's Facebook page:
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.
As of publication, HBO reps have not responded to Hollywood.com's requst for comment.
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[PHOTO CREDIT: Will Ireland/Getty Images]
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