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Baker's Dozen

Feelgood Hits! Wilko Johnson's Favourite Albums
Zoë Howe , August 8th, 2018 10:10

Wilko Johnson speaks to Zoe Howe about surviving cancer and his 13 favourite records, from Bo Diddley and the blues to the Doors, Beatles and Rolling Stones


Sir Douglas Quintet - Mendocino
Now, the Sir Douglas Quintet had a huge hit in the 1960s called 'She's About A Mover'. Doug Sahm, man, great, great voice. I was in New York sitting in the hotel room watching television and there was a great rock show on, and this band came on, they look like Texas hippies, which is exactly what they were, wearing cowboy hats and all that, and I thought, 'God, this band is good,' and then they started playing 'She's About A Mover' and I realised who it was. Some time later I was walking around in Sussex - what was I doing there? Dunno. But I walked into a record shop and found this album, Mendocino, with 'She's About A Mover' on. I take this record home in the evening and I put it on – the production on it is really slipshod, there's one point in one of the songs where Doug Sahm shouts out 'B7th!' to one of the guys when it's time to change. I sat there listening to it, and then I put it on again. And I put it on again. And I put it on again. I'm playing it over and over. This album finishes with a song called 'It Just Don't Matter', and it's a complete philosophy for life – 'oh baby, it just don't matter'. I was going through all these great songs, and it goes from 'Mendocino' to 'It Just Don't Matter', lot of stuff about being a Texas boy in San Francisco, all about being on Haight Ashbury and he wants to be back in 'San Antone' (laughs). I listened to it again and again and it got to about three o'clock in the morning, and I was going to phone up everyone I knew at three o'clock in the morning and tell them, 'You've got to come over my house now and listen to this record!' I managed to restrain myself but I've loved this record ever since.