Microphilosophy with Julian Baggini

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Hope I Get Old before I Die

Season 4, Ep. 10

This edition was dropped the week that the legendary guitarist Wilko Johnson died, aged 75. Back in February 2014 I interviewed Wilko at the Giants of Rock Festival in Minehead. We talked about getting old but continuing to rock, a life-affirming choice Wilko and his mostly middle-aged audience both made with glee. The interview wasn’t recorded for broadcast so its backstage, rough-and-ready aesthetic is by accident not design. But I think the informality of the conversation makes a welcome change and gives a good sense of the man himself.

Johnson rose to fame with the band Dr Feelgood in the 1970s. He continued to play with various bands after leaving the Feelgoods in 1977. 

In January 2013 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given less than a year to live. He threw himself into touring and a year later when we spoke he was still going strong. At the Giants of Rock Festival he was playing with his long-term sidekick, bass legend Norman Watt-Roy and drummer Dylan Howe. Listen to this and tell me Wilko’s not a philosopher.


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