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Wilko Johnson Q&A: "Lemmy sussed me out as a speed freak"

Wilko Johnson opens up about his asbestos throat, meeting Lemmy and coming to terms with staying alive.

Diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer in January 2013, former Dr. Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson elected to eschew chemotherapy and head out on the road. His extraordinary ‘final’ year culminated in a No.1 album with Roger Daltrey (Going Back Home), a surprise last-minute re-diagnosis and an 11-hour operation to remove a three-kilogram tumour. His autobiography is titled Don’t You Leave Me Here.

Do you believe in God?

My mother brought me up as a convinced atheist, and this is how I’ve remained throughout my life. I’m a rationalist and a materialist, so no I don’t believe in God.

What’s the biggest misconception about you?

In the early days of Dr. Feelgood, people would approach me with a kind of caution, as if I was some kind of psychopath. It was quite useful sometimes; it gives you a little bit of privacy.

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