The terminally ill former guitarist of Dr Feelgood, Wilko Johnson, gave an intimate interview on BBC Radio 4's Front Row last night, in which he revealed he is not only coping with his bout with cancer, but it is even making him feel "vividly alive."
Speaking to Front Row's John Wilson, the guitarist, who also played with Ian Dury and the Blockheads and the Wilko Johnson Band, revealed that he is experiencing an upside to his diagnosis and since he found out he was suffering from pancreatic cancer he has not felt more alive in years. He told Wilson: "I am actually a miserable person. I've spent most of my life moping in depressions and things, but this has all lifted."
Wilko lost his wife to cancer eight years ago and admitted that he is "still prone to bursting into tears thinking about her," but he has yet to feel remotely sorry for himself about his condition, adding "I've had a fantastic life. When I think about the things that have happened to me and the things I've done, I think anybody who asks for more would just be being greedy. I don't wanna be greedy."
Johnson had already planned to go on a brief tour of France next month, before starting a three night residency at a club in Sheffield and finishing work on what will be his final album, all of which he plans to do before his time is up. On top of these prior arrangements, Wilko has organised a whistle-stop farewell UK tour, taking in four dates across Britain in March. He addressed these upcoming dates in the interview too, saying that if he feels too ill to perform, he wont get on stage, saying: "I'm not going to go on stage looking ill - I don't wanna present a sorry spectacle!"
Wilko Johnsons tour dates over the next two months are as follows:
6 Feb: Barberaz - Brin de Zinc
7 Feb: Le Thor - Sonograph
8 Feb: Besançon - La Rodia
9 Feb: Bartenheim - Loisirs
16 - 18 Feb: Greystones, Sheffield
6 March: Koko, London
7 March: Robin 2, Bilston
8 March: Picturedrome, Holmfirth
9 March: Glasgow o2 ABC