Rock Zone UK

Wilko: It’s worse for my friends

Wilko Johnson insists his terminal cancer is harder for his friends to deal with than it is for him.

And he’s philosophical about ticket touts cashing in on his farewell tour.

The former Dr Feelgood guitarist announced a run of UK shows after revealing he was dying, and that he’d refused chemotherapy.

Johnson tells the Express And Star: “I think the concerts are all going to have a different kind of ambience – when you realise something is actually the last time you’re going to be doing something.

“I’m just hoping against hope that I remain fit. I’m not going on stage sick, or anything like that.”

Fans reacted in fury last week after management of Bilton’s Robin 2 venue discovered £17.50 tickets were on sale for as much as £167 via secondary sales outlets.

But Johnson says: That’s just the way people behave. I think it’s a bit much to expect anybody to act morally just because someone’s not very well. They’re always there. As long as there are successful gigs there will always be touts.”

He’s previously discussed his feelings of euphoria since doctors gave him the news, and how much he’s enjoying living for the moment.

“It makes you feel very, very alive – just walking down the street you can feel everything tingling,” he says. “At the moment I feel absolutely fine. I’m not ill in any way. I’m walking round feeling fit as a fiddle – but you get one little stomach ache or something and you think ‘Oh, it’s started’.

“I think it’s probably worse for my friends and so on. They want to help you but obviously there’s nothing they can do. I think it’s very upsetting for them.

“They’ve explained to me at the hospital that there’s no question of beating this thing, and so the thing to do is to experience what there is. It’s been quite a marvellous experience really, just living without all the usual nonsense and worries – just to live.”

Johnson will complete a final album and a live DVD before his farewell concerts in March.

-Classic Rock

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