Wilko Johnson, an iconic rock guitarist from England who performed for the band Dr. Feelgood and was 75 years old this week, passed away. Johnson passed away on Monday at his home in England, according to a statement made by his family on social media.
Wilko Johnson has passed away, the statement said. “This is the announcement we never wanted to make, & we do so with a very heavy heart: Wilko Johnson has died,” the statement read. “ it said. "He passed away at home on Monday 21st November. Thank you for respecting the family’s privacy at this very sad time.”
Johnson, who was born in 1947, participated in the 1971 formation of Dr. Feelgood in his home Canvey Island, Essex. Jean-Jacques Burnel of the Stranglers, a punk rock band, called the group "a bridge between the old times and the punk times.” Johnson was known for his energetic performance approach and percussion-based guitar playing.
“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 explained his unusual playing style to a crowd at a music demo in 2012 before starting to play a succession of "stabbing chords" and blues riffs. "It's fairly simple, you see, it's like riding a bike, easy to do, hard to explain," he said.
Johnson stated in 2013 that after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and being informed that it was terminal, he had decided against chemotherapy. Irene Knight, Johnson's wife and childhood sweetheart, passed away from cancer in 2004, the Independent reported.
Johnson performed a number of farewell concerts during the following few years. However, Johnson announced at the London Q Awards ceremony in 2014 that he was cancer-free. He claimed to have undergone an 11-hour surgery to have a tumor weighing about 7 pounds removed while winning an Icon Award.
As Ser Ilyn Payne, a mute knight and king's executioner in the HBO series "Game of Thrones," Johnson continued to perform while simultaneously making his acting debut. He gained national attention on the show for his terrifying gaze and for killing Ned Stark, one of its most adored characters.