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Sad News

We have had some sad news from the UK, regarding one of our stalwarts from HBO's GAME OF THRONES.

I will let the press release speak for itself:


I am very sad to announce that Wilko has recently been diagnosed with terminal
cancer of the pancreas. He has chosen not to receive any chemotherapy.

He is currently in good spirits, is not yet suffering any physical effects and
can expect to enjoy at least another few months of reasonable health and

He has just set off on a trip to Japan; on his return we plan to complete a new
CD, make a short tour of France, then give a series of farewell gigs in the UK.
There is also a live DVD in the pipeline, filmed on the last UK tour.

Wilko wishes to offer his sincere thanks for all the support he has had over his
long career, from those who have worked with him to, above all, those devoted
fans and admirers who have attended
his live gigs, bought his recordings and generally made his life such an
extraordinarily full and eventful experience.

Thank you.

Robert Hoy

(GRRM back). I never had the chance to meet Wilko Johnson during any of my visits to the set, but I certainly liked what he has been doing in the role of our silent headsman, Ser Ilyn Payne. He will be missed.

About a dozen people have sent me that press release above, by the way. (The story appeared in the GUARDIAN and other UK newspapers). Many of them want to know if the part of Ser Ilyn will be recast. I'm sorry, but I have no answer. At this juncture, it would premature even to discuss the issue, I think. Anyway, no one has discussed it with me, nor would I expect them to.

Thanks for the good work, Wilko... and for all the joy your music gave your fans. You'll leave the world a richer place than you found it, and more than that cannot be asked of any man.


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 19th, 2013 02:27 am (UTC)
I think the last thing that we will have to worry right now is about the role anda what will be done.

Sad, sad news...
Jan. 19th, 2013 02:31 am (UTC)
It is indeed sad, but there is time reserved for all of us to go through difficulties, changes, good times, sad times...it is part of one's journey. I admire his will power to opt out of chemo. He is a brave, talented, brilliant man.
Feb. 12th, 2013 11:25 am (UTC)
I must say, I completely agree with this sentiment.
Jan. 19th, 2013 02:38 am (UTC)
It's been going around the GoT sites for a day or two. Part of me is sad, but part of me is wrestling with courage as well as celebration. I have lost four of my Aunts to cancer. It's such a bundle of emotions. But I think Wilko's life is one worth celebrating. As you say, he is leaving the world richer than when he found it. I guess we'll cross the story bridges when we get to them.
Thank You Wllko. *salute*
Jan. 19th, 2013 02:44 am (UTC)
My grandfather died of pancreatic cancer when I was three, I never got to know him.

Few diseases I hate more.
Betty Fernau
Jan. 19th, 2013 03:06 am (UTC)
This is so sad. His wife died of cancer in 2004. I don't blame him for going without chemo. After working at a cancer clinic back in 1999, I've always swore that if I get cancer I will not get chemotherapy. I think it's best to go out on your own terms. He knows how much time he has left, and he's going to live it up while he can. Sad but inspirational.
Jan. 19th, 2013 03:25 am (UTC)
Saddened by this. My prayers are with him and his family.
Jan. 19th, 2013 03:58 am (UTC)
So sorry to hear this. He is perfect in that role--just what I imagined while reading.
Jan. 19th, 2013 04:35 am (UTC)
That is very sad to hear, he is perfectly creepy as Payne. I think it's awesome that he knows how he wants his last few months to go and is making that happen. Would we all be so lucky to have that option.
Jan. 19th, 2013 04:41 am (UTC)
When I saw his name in the GoT credits ...
... I thought, "Hey, that guy's got the same name as the guitarist on one of my favorite albums!"

And looking at him on GoT, well, I still didn't recognize the fearsome-looking geezer as being the same guy as that serious-looking young fellow in Dr. Feelgood's greatest incarnation.

Critics don't all agree with me, but I find the Dr. Feelgood album Malpractice from 1975 among the greatest and most satisfying for playing loud.

Run to YouTube now and search them out.

For instance (one of many): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzF0AETdRF8

The big hit was Roxette. You'll see Wilko's presence and playing is midway between The Who and Talking Heads. Always on the move, he does a restrained twitchy rhythm until he unleashes fierce bursts of lead. (He acknowledges the style builds on that of Mick Green of the Pirates.)

I might add that pancreatic cancer sucks and one group that fights it is at http://www.lustgarten.org/ .

Edited at 2013-01-19 05:39 am (UTC)
Jan. 19th, 2013 03:50 pm (UTC)
Re: When I saw his name in the GoT credits ...
I prefer Stupidity myself.

I've been a Wilko fan for decades now. I didn't even know he was on the show,
Jan. 26th, 2013 03:53 am (UTC)
Re: When I saw his name in the GoT credits ...
The man basically defined new wave guitar. Gonna have to listen to Cheque Book really LOUD.
Thibault Durand
Jan. 19th, 2013 07:24 am (UTC)
Tribute to Wilko
A tribute to Wilko Johnson, for facing the truth with bravery and be transparent toward his fans.
Jan. 19th, 2013 10:45 am (UTC)
Nnnoooo! Ser Ilyn! :((((

My thoughts are with Wilko and his family.....
Jan. 19th, 2013 03:38 pm (UTC)
Being a fan of Wilko and his band Dr. Feelgood (and a fellow native of Essex), I squealed with joy when I first realised it was him playing Ser Ilyn.

I fully intend to join the celebration of his life and career at his London farewell show, and I hope that they raise a statue of him on the seafront at Canvey Island.
Jan. 19th, 2013 04:38 pm (UTC)
Very sad news, a reminder to ALL of us that we are mortal and have to live each day to the fullest. As the Good Book says, none of us "know the day or the hour".

Thank you Wilko for the legacy that you are leaving for your family, friends and fans.
Jan. 20th, 2013 12:32 am (UTC)
Sorry to hear this. My Dad died of pancreatic cancer in 2009. It's not a pleasant way to go, and I hope this gentleman goes out without too much pain.
Jan. 20th, 2013 04:45 am (UTC)
So sorry to hear this. My thoughts are with Mr. Johnson and his family.
Jan. 20th, 2013 01:00 pm (UTC)
Sad news, but at least he's taking control of his last months. I hate cancer with a passion, having lost my father and four of his brothers and one of his sisters to it (they had large families back in the 20s and 30s!). However, the progress of the disease can vary - one of my uncles was given three months with liver cancer and actually lasted three years mostly in reasonable health, so we can hope for a slightly better outcome. Thank you, Wilko, and best wishes.
Jan. 20th, 2013 04:22 pm (UTC)
very sad news indeed :(
And I'm not just saying that because I'm a Thrones fan, but as a human.
Jan. 21st, 2013 10:39 pm (UTC)
Very sad news indeed. My heart goes out to Wilko and his family, friends, and colleagues. :(
Jan. 24th, 2013 05:58 am (UTC)
Been playing Dr. Feelgood and some solo performances since reading this. Sad that I've only come to know his work so late.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )


George R.R. Martin
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