Wilko Johnson, best known for his work with Dr Feelgood and Ian Drury, has defied medical predictions, and instead of dying from cancer, has recorded a hit album, ‘Going Back Home’, with Roger Daltry.
Roger Daltrey, explaining how the album came about, said: “At the beginning of last year I received a phone call from someone who works for him and they said, ‘You won’t believe it but Wilko’s been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and he’s been given nine months to live’. So I said, “‘Well look, tell him I’ll sing anything! Let’s just make the record. Come on, we’ve got to cheer him up!”
Recorded in just a a week, 10 out of the 11 tracks on the album were written by Wilko Johnson at various times during his career.
Making the record was a fun experience for the two old friends Daltry said: “These two old farts in the studio! But, it’s got so much life and joy and energy in it, it’s just wonderful to listen to. Every time I hear it, and I’m usually really critical on the stuff that I do, but because this is so unpretentious and, as I say, I had no expectations of it, I hear it and I smile.”
The album entered the UK Albums Chart at No 3 and has been well received by critics on both sides of the Atlantic.
Last year, having refused chemotherapy for cancer of the pancreas, Wilko Johnson expected to die within nine or ten months. But now doctors have realised that his cancer is less aggressive than they thought, they have operated and say they are hopeful of a positive outcome.
Following his surgery, Wilko Johnson cancelled all his appearances this summer, including dates at Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds while he recovers. Fans from all over the world are wishing him well.
‘Going Back Home’ is in shops now.