On Tuesday, the artist known professionally as J. Geils, originally named John Warren Geils Jr., who was a part of the rock group The J. Geils Band, was found dead in his home at Groton, Massachusetts.
The death of a rock star:
- Geils, 71, police responded to his home for a well-being check and found him unresponsive at around 4 p.m. No foul play is currently suspected after he was pronounced dead at the scene.
In a statement, police said: “A preliminary investigation indicates that Geils died of natural causes.”
In 1967, while Geils was studying mechanical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts, he founded the J. Geils Band. Geils was the band’s guitarist and vocalist, his bandmates were Danny Klein, Richard “Magic Dick” Salwitz, Stephen Jo Bladd, Peter Wolf and Seth Justman.
The J. Geils Band blended blues rock, R&B, soul and pop. They released 11 studio albums and amassed a large fan base thanks to their animated live shows and their uncommon use of the harmonica as a lead instrument.
Years of hits:
In the early 1970s, they had several Top 40 singles, including a cover song “Lookin’ for a Love” by the group The Valentinos and “Give It to Me.” Their biggest hits were “Must of Got Lost,” which reached No. 12 on Billboard’s Top 100 in 1975 and “Love Stinks,” the title song of their 1980 album.
Their song “Centerfold,” from the album “Freeze Frame” was released in 1981 and charted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in February 1982, staying there for six weeks and got featured on MTV.
The band was nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame four times, but they didn’t make the cut as part of the 2017 class.
In an interview with Billboard, lead vocalist Peter Wolf said: “This is our fourth nomination, and going through that process, with its inherent disappointment, you’re not sure you want to take that ride again.
It’s great to be recognized, but it’s a drag to be disappointed. I hope that we make it in. That would be great.”
Fans took to social media to offer their condolences and to remember the band’s songs and concerts, after news of Geils’ death broke.
In a short message on his Facebook, Wolf wrote the following about his former bandmate: “Thinking of all the times we kicked it high and rocked down the house! R.I.P Jay Geils.”