GROTON, Massachusetts â€” Gish Gallop has learned John Warren Geils Jr., the artist known professionally as J. Geils and part of the rock group The J. Geils Band, was found dead in his Groton, Massachusetts home. He was 71.
Geils and the band are best known for their album, “Freeze Frame” and the song “Centerfold,” which hit No. 1 for six weeks. Geils formed the band during his time at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he studied mechanical engineering. At Worcester, he formed J. Geils Blues Band with Danny Klein, Magic Dick Salwitz, Stephen Jo Bladd, and Peter Wolf, with Seth Justman becoming the last member before the band released its debut album in 1970.
The J. Geils Band was influenced by soul music and rhythm and blues, but it moved toward pop and rock by the time the album “Love Stinks” came out in 1980. After 11 albums, the band’s 12th album, “Freeze Frame,” hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts for four weeks in 1981 and remained on the chart for 70 weeks. The title track “Freeze Frame” made it to No. 4.
While on tour, opening acts for the band included the Eagles, Billy Joel, ZZ Top and U2.
The band broke up a few years later.
Geils has called Groton his home for 35 years.
The former members of the J. Geils Band all live in the Boston area, and most are still involved in music.