Wilko Johnson says he had to mime his guitar playing when he joined Ian Dury And The Blockheads as the band were technically way beyond his capabilities.
The guitar icon joined Dury’s band in 1980 and appeared on that year’s album Laughter. But when it came to performing live, Wilko lightheartedly admits he was out of his depth to start with.
Johnson tells the BBC: “The Blockheads…when I joined them, me I’m 12 chords and three bars. The Blockheads were notorious man, they were jazzers and all sorts. They could play like crazy.
“For quite a while it was difficult for me, they were doing all these augmented chords and things.”
- Wilko Johnson to launch new book, curated Chess album
- Q&A: Wilko Johnson
- The Story Behind The Song: Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll by Ian Dury
- Wilko Johnson 'cured' of cancer
He continues: “Sometimes, when we started playing live, it would get to bits in the song where it was a little bit beyond me and I would just turn down my guitar and mime.
“The thing is with a big band…keep a determined expression on your face and nobody knows.”