J. Geils of the J. Geils Band Passes Away at 71
John Warren Geils Jr., the musician known as J. Geils and member of the classic rock band the J. Geils Band, has passed away. According to Boston’s WCVB, Geils was found dead in his Groton, Massachusetts home yesterday (April 11).
Geils was born on Feb. 20, 1946, in New York City. Early on, he performed in an acoustic blues trio called Snoopy and the Sopwith Camels with bass player Danny Klein and harmonica player Richard “Magic Dick” Salwitz. At the time, he was studying mechanical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
The guys eventually moved to Boston, and they added drummer Stephen Jo Bladd and singer Peter Wolf to the fold. They renamed the band, the J. Geils Band. Keyboard player Seth Justman joined the group in 1968.
The J. Geils Band scored a record deal to Atlantic in 1970 and went on to score hit after hit, including the chart-toppers “Love Stinks” and “Centerfold,” the latter which reached No. 1 for six weeks. The band’s 12th studio album, Freeze Frame, was No. 1 on the Billboard charts for four weeks in 1981.
The group called it quits a few years after their mega hits, but not after sharing the stage with everyone from U2 to the Eagles.
Our condolences go out to Geils’ family and friends during this difficult time.