Guitarist J. Geils Found Dead

Posted April 16, 2017

"Centerfold" spent six weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100, while "Freeze Frame" reached the No. 4 spot.

The Groton Police Department said Geils was pronounced dead at the scene after officers were called to the home to conduct a well-being check. No cause of death has been revealed as of press time, though WCVB's report mentions "foul play is not suspected at this time".

Geils attended college in MA before he formed the J. Geils Blues Band with Danny Klein, Magic Dick Salwitz, Stephen Jo Bladd, and Peter Wolf in 1970. Tensions within the band led them to break up several years later, but they reformed several times in the intervening years, most recently supporting the likes of Bon Jovi and Bob Seger several years back. The J. Geils Band's original tenure lasted from 1967 - 1985 and peaked commercially in the early '80s thanks to best-selling singles "Love Stinks", "Freeze-Frame" and "Centerfold".

"Centerfold", a tale of a man who is stunned that a girl he fancied in school has posed in an adult magazine, spent six weeks at number one on the USA chart, led by a video that enjoyed heavy airplay in the first days of MTV.

J. Geils in undated concert photo. "R.I.P. Jay Geils", he wrote.

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Blending Justman's New Wave-y organs with solid rock riffs (and a story that mixed old-fashioned nostalgia with an inviting layer of sleaze) the song was The J. Geils Band's only number one Billboard hit. They quickly followed with Freeze-Frame (1982 / #4) giving them the two biggest hits of their career.

Geils and Wolf performed together off and on for years after their split.

Born in NY in 1946 and raised in New Jersey, Geils was best known as a musician, but his first love was cars - a passion he inherited from his father along with his ear for music, he told Autoweek in 2012.

Geils himself remained active in music, putting out a few albums with other groups.