'The Ecstasy Of Wilko Johnson' deals with the guitarist's battle with pancreatic cancer
Dr Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson will be the subject of a new documentary film.
The Ecstasy Of Wilko Johnson was premiered on Friday (March 13) at SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. Billboard reports that the movie focuses on Johnson’s recent cancer scare and that it only features two voices in the entire film: Johnson’s and that of The Who’s frontman Roger Daltrey.
A press release for the movie reads: “A film directed by Julien Temple that confronts our worst nightmares of impending death, confounding expectations and turning them upside down. It tells the extraordinary, yet universal story of legendary musician Wilko Johnson, who diagnosed with incurable pancreatic cancer and given a few months to live, managed to accept his fate with uplifting positivity and defy the death sentence handed down to him.”
Watch a trailer for The Ecstasy Of Wilko Johnson below.
Meanwhile, Johnson recently spoke about his recovery from pancreatic cancer with Radio 2, saying “I shouldn’t be here at all”.
The musician, who was told he had 10 months to live at the beginning of 2013, discussed setting out to create his final album with the The Who’s Roger Daltrey. “This idea of doing a record with Roger was something we’d talked about a couple of years ago, but never came together,” he said. “Then when Roger heard I’d got cancer he said, ‘We’ll do that record’ and I said, ‘We better do it quick!'”
Recalling what he believed was his final year, as well as his miraculous life-saving operation, Johnson said: “I had a marvellous year last year, there’s nothing like the imminence of death to make you realise you’re alive.
“And then right on top of that, the surgeons at Addenbrooke’s [hospital] decided that they could have a go at this tumour, and they did.
“I think it took about 10 or 11 hours or something and they took this tumour out of me. This tumour weighed three kilos, that’s the size of a baby. I’d been carrying this thing on stage with me all year, my guitar used to stick out. My guitar used to rock on this tumour. Rocking away like a rocker! So, no, I shouldn’t be here at all.”
The guitarist, whose wife passed away from cancer 10 years ago, added that his health is slowly recovering. “I’m getting my strength and my weight back. The difficult thing is now readjusting mentally,” he said.
Johnson revealed that he had been “cured” of cancer in October 2014. His album with Roger Daltrey titled ‘Going Back Home’ was released in March 2014.