Guitarist J. Geils found dead in Massachusetts home

Cheryl Sanders
April 13, 2017

Freeze Frame also spawned the single Centerfold which stayed at the top of the United States charts for six weeks and was also a hit in Canada, Australia and the UK.

Groton police found him dead at his MA home on Tuesday night. He was found unresponsive and pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities do not suspect foul play at the moment, and have said that 'a preliminary investigation indicates that Geils died of natural causes'.


The band's lineup was stable through their years of success and included charismatic lead singer Peter Wolf, Danny Klein on bass, Stephen Jo Bladd on drums, Seth Justman on keyboards and Richard (Magic Dick) Salwitz on harmonica and saxophone. That track spent six weeks atop the pop charts in the US, with "Freeze-Frame" atop the album charts for four weeks.

The J. Geils Band was formed in 1967 in Worcester, Massachusetts. Wolf did not appear on the band's final album "You're Gettin' Even While I'm Gettin' Old" and the remaining members made a decision to split a year later in 1985. The catchy title track climbed to No. 4, and another tune, "Centerfold", was No. 1 song in the country for six weeks in 1981 and 1982.

The J. Geils Band was nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the fourth time last fall but again was not selected as part of the 2017 class. "R.I.P. Jay Geils".


Peter Wolf performs on stage at Fenway Park in Boston.

"We just heard that J. Geils has passed away", wrote Foghat drummer Roger Earl.

The band broke up a few years later. Most recently, they served as the opening act for Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band during their North American tour in 2015. In the mid-Nineties, he released two albums with his band Bluestime and during the 2000s, he returned to his jazz roots with three solo records. (He also capitalized on his love for high-performance automobiles, founding a racing company and even driving in a number of events.) His periodic reunions with the band ended in 2012, though, when he sued them for touring under his name without him. “Its great to be recognized, but its a drag to be disappointed.


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