Co-founding J. Geils Band guitarist J. Geils was found dead on Tuesday (April 11th) in his home in Groton, Massachusetts, where he had lived since 1982. Boston’s ABC affiliate WCVB was the first to report the guitarist’s death, and cite that although the cause of death is not yet known, foul play has been ruled out.
Ultimate Classic Rock reported Geils was born John Warren Geils Jr. on February 20th, 1946 in New York City and in the mid-’60s formed the genesis of the Geils Band when he teamed up to form the acoustic blues trio, Snoopy & The Sopwith Camels, with bassist Danny Klein and harmonica player Richard “Magic Dick” Salwitz. After moving to Boston the band added drummer Stephen Jo Bladd, keyboardist Seth Justman, frontman Peter Wolf, and was eventually signed in 1970 to Atlantic Records.
- The J. Geils Band will always be best remembered for their incendiary live shows and such classics as “Give It To Me,” “Musta Got Lost,” “Come Back,” “Love Stinks,” “I Do,” and their two Top 10 hits — “Freeze Frame,” which peaked at Number Four and their 1982 six-week chart-topper, “Centerfold.
- Peter Wolf quit the band in 1983, and they limped on with Seth Justman as their lead singer until 1985. The band — with Wolf — has reunited regularly for special gigs and short tours in recent years. Geils filed suit against his bandmates back in 2012 after allegedly copyrighting the band’s name without their knowledge. The J. Geils Band — without Geils — last toured in 2014 and ’15, where they opened for Bob Seger during a string of shows.