Guitarist J. Geils 1946-2017 R.I.P.

J Geils

Had been estranged from his former bandmembers for several years.

By Fred Mills

John Warren “J.” Geils Jr. – just call him J. (with the period) has passed away at the age of 71. The Boston blues-rock guitarist lived in Groton, Mass., and he was found yesterday afternoon, April 11, at his home, of not-yet-disclosed causes. The police are investigating but for the time being foul play is not suspected, according to the Boston Globe.

The J. Geils band was a touring mainstay of the ‘70s – yours truly saw them on numerous occasions, and they were a dynamic outfit, particularly with Geils’ potent guitar playing, frontman Peter Wolf’s physicality and harp player Magic Dick’s wild, hirsute, Afro-delic appearance. They began notching hits early on via tracks like “Lookin’ For a Love,” “Give It to Me” and “Must of Got Lost”, and then when MTV entered the picture, they went global thanks to hits “Centerfold” and “Freeze Frame.” (Below: the band during the ‘70s.)

Geils band

The band broke up in the mid ‘80s, subsequently mounting a number of reunions over the years. Unfortunately, Geils left the band he formed in 2012, having become estranged from Wolf over a legal dispute stemming from his having trademarked the band name. Peter Wolf posted a note on Facebook when the news of Geils’ death broke: “’Thinking of all the times we kicked it high and rocked down the house! R.I.P. Jay Geils.”

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