Wilko Johnson has two separate careers, and is famous for both. American audiences know him best as a mute executioner named Ilyn Payne on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” In Europe, though, he’s likely more well-known as the guitarist of 1970s English punk rock band, Dr. Feelgood.
Unfortunately, Johnson recently learned he likely has less than a year to live. In January, he was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. While some might mourn the end of their life, Johnson is going a different route, according to Reuters..
“It makes you feel so alive,” the musician says, “I’m a miserable so-and-so. I suffer from depression and everything…but all that stuff, whatever it was I used to worry about, it doesn’t matter. What’s gone, what is and what will be, do not matter.”
Johnson is spending the last year of his life doing what he loves most, performing. He is holding a series of farewell concerts throughout February and March, depending on his health. It’s not dying that he fears, but rather the illness his cancer will bring. “I’m not going on stage sick,” Johnson says, “I’m not going to have someone pushing me around in a wheelchair.”