- Reuters/Paul Hackett
Wilko Johnson, the guitarist for cult classic band Dr. Feelgood in the 1970s, is dying of pancreatic cancer. Unlike many who would discouraged by the debilitating disease, however, he claims to be "intensely alive"- so much so that he is considering touring with his music.
Wilko Johnson, 65, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year and told he had only months to live. Ever since then, though, his outlook on life has made him more creative.
"You walk down the street and you feel intensely alive. You're 'Oh, look at that leaf!' You're looking around and you think, 'I'm alive. Ain't it amazing?'" he told the Associated Press.
That intensity has translated into creativity and activity for the "Game of Thrones" star, who plays mute executioner Ilyn Payne on the show. Since learning he had cancer, Johnson has played in Japan and is planning a tour in Britain in March.
"After getting this diagnosis, I suddenly find myself writing bloody songs again," the rocker revealed. "I think there will be an album. It's going to be rough and ready, because we've got about three of four days and we're just going to go in and to bash it down. We're not going to twiddle with anything."
Only one thing could stop Johnson and his band from performing: the sickness, were it to slow him down before March, would be too much to handle, he said.
"I'm not going on stage sick. I'm not going to have someone pushing me around in a wheelchair," Johnson, who is known for his high-energy shows, told Reuters. "They'd have to push fast."
He has refused chemotherapy, and, after seemingly making peace with his future, revealed that he has been feeling happy since he learned about it.
"It fact it amounted at time to euphoria," Johnson, born John Wilkinson, explained. "I haven't any botherations about death. So far, so good. Happy."