GUITAR legend Wilko Johnson is having pioneering surgery in a bid to save his life.

The former Dr Feelgood member, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, announced yesterday he was pulling out of a planned Glastonbury Festival appearance to undergo surgery at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge.

The announcement comes days after the guitarist cancelled six European and UK dates on his Going Back Home tour.

A statement said Johnson, 66, expected to be “out of action for the foreseeable future”.

The musician refused chemotherapy and has continued to perform live and record, recently enjoying a top three album with Going Back Home, a collaboration with the Who's Roger Daltrey.

In an interview with GQ before he went in for the operation, he said: “There is a small chance of dying, but that’s nothing, because for over a year I have been living with a 100 per cent chance of dying.”

The complex operation involves there removal of the tumour, along with his pancreas, spleen, part of his stomach and intestines and some of the blood vessels to his liver.

After initially being given months to live, it had become apparent in recent months the cancer might not be as aggressive as was first thought.

It is now hoped the operation may save him.

A spokesman for Johnson said: “Doctors are hopeful following the surgery, the prognosis for Wilko will be positive.”

As well as cancelling the Glastonbury show, Johnson is pulling out of the Reading/Leeds Festival and other UKand European dates.