Thursday, 1 December 2022


I’m not going to pretend to be the world’s biggest expert on Wilko Johnson – a quick glance through the archives of this blog, and I doubt you’ll find his name mentioned more than once or twice. I only really know him from the obvious Dr. Feelgood tracks (although he'd left the band by the time of Milk & Alcohol). However, when I heard about his death last week and read a little bit more of his story, I was tempted to dip my ears into the swirling pool of the interweb and see what random nuggets might surface. I didn’t do this with a post in mind, but I found some pretty groovy tunes to share, so why not?

Wilko Johnson – Ice On The Motorway

Think about the girls in California
I tell you man, I’d rather stay at home

I spend a lot of my time trying to survive the motorway, so I was naturally drawn to this one.

There's also a version of this on Wilko's collaboration with Roger Daltrey, a double act that appears to have got together purely to use the radio shorthand Roger Wilko... and then not actually used it.

Wilko Johnson & Roger Daltrey - Ice On The Motorway

This next one was co-written by Wilko...

Ian Dury & The Blockheads – Sueperman’s Big Sister

I presume the spelling was to avoid a lawsuit from Friedrich Nietzsche.

You know she’s Superman’s big sister
Her X-Ray eyes see through my silly ways
Superman’s big sister, superior skin and blister
It doesn’t seem surprising nowadays

Which leads us to this entertaining weirdo...

Mick Farren – I Want A Drink

One of three tracks Wilko played guitar on from Mick’s 1978 album Vampires Stole My Lunch Money. The lyrics speak for themselves.

And here's one for any Celias out there... 

Celia & The Mutations – You Better Believe Me

Written by Celia, along with Wilko, Jean-Jacques Burnel and Terry Williams, who would go on to play the drums in Dire Straits.

Let's close with a track from when Wilko was still in Dr. Feelgood, and one he wrote too...


  1. At least you knew he wasn't on Milk and Alcohol - Jeremy Vine on Radio 2 didn't and played it as a tribute to him.
    He'd hung on so long after his cancer, it got to the point where he said "this is getting embarrassing now".
    There's a 20 minute Dr Feelgood video on Youtube Live at The Kursal in Southend - sweaty RnB in their home town. Great viewing.

    I have 2 musical desires (amongst other long past dreams) - to be able to play guitar like Wilko (combining rhythm and lead - can't do it, haven't got the co-ordination) and to blow a mouth organ like Lee Brilleaux.
    RIP Wilko

  2. Do your research, Jezza!

    Do you want to do both at the same time?

  3. Sorry, I'm late to this - Wilko was marvellous and this is a lovely tribute. Also, I am glad to report, I never did hang out with any mutations...


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