HIS guitar playing provided the backbone for some of the 1970s’ seminal moments.
Now Wilko Johnson is preparing to tell all in an autobiography which - suitably considering his notoriously wild lifestyle - he deserves as “fractured”.
The former Dr Feelgood axeman - who performs at the Citadel in St Helens on November 2 - releases his long-awaited memior next year.
It’s expected to recall in graphic details his years at the forefront of the mid 70s, pre-punk British R&B sound with Feelgood and then as gutarist with Ian Dury and the Blockheads.
An influence to a host of punk bands, including The Clash’s Mick Jones and Joe Strummer, will also a boxset of Dr Feelgood’s pomp period, All Through the City (1974-1977).
Featuring the first three Feelgood albums, the boxset is digitally re-mastered, and featured unreleased tracks, plus a bonus DVD of rare archive television performance footage.
In 2009 Johnson featured in Julien Temple’s Oil City Confidential; a fascinating full-length feature film documentary about Dr. Feelgood and their roots in Canvey Island.
The film received many accolades including the MOJO Vision Award at the MOJO Honours List 2010.
Dr Feelgood originally formed in 1971 as a British pub rock band who hailed from Canvey Island, Essex. Their name derived from a slang term for heroin or for a doctor who was willing to overprescribe drugs.
It is also a reference to a 1962 record by the American blues pianist and singer Willie Perryman (also known as “Piano Red”) called “Dr Feel-Good”, which Perryman originally recorded under the name of Dr Feelgood & The Interns.)
Dr Feelgood’s distinctive British R&B sound was centered on Johnson’s choppy guitar style. The original band line-up also included singer Lee Brilleaux, and the rhythm section of John B Sparks on bass guitar and John Martin on drums.
Dr Feelgood was known primarily for their high energy live performances, although studio albums like Down by the Jetty (1974) and Malpractice (1975) were also incredibly popular.
Their 1976 breakthrough live album, Stupidity reached No.1 in the Official UK Album Chart. When the band released their fourth album, Sneakin’ Suspicion (1977), Johnson departed to pursue a solo career.
* For tickets or further information call the Citadel box office on 01744 735436.