Leader of The J. Geils Band, J. Geils Has Sadly Passed Away At 71

Last year we received news of many celebrity deaths and although it is still relatively early in 2017, we have already seen our fair share.


The latest sad news is the death of Guitarist J. Geils. He was born John Warren Geils Jr and passed away aged 71. A police statement stated: “A preliminary investigation indicates that Geils died of natural causes.” The famous leader of The J. Geils Band was discovered by police officers after a well-being check where he was found to be unresponsive. He died at his home in Groton, Massachusetts where he had lived for 35 years.

As the leader of The J. Geils Band, the group achieved 17 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with 10 top 40-charting hits. Their biggest and most well-known song was “Centerfold,” which spent a good six weeks at No. 1. while another track, “Freeze-Frame” peaked at No. 4. The J. Geils Band was formed in by Geils in 1967 when he enlisted the help of Magic Dick Salwitz, Danny Klein, Peter Wolf and Stephen Jo Bladd.

A while later, Seth Justman also joined the group. Before breaking up in 1985, The J. Geils Band released 11 studio albums. They would frequently reunite every so often for many years. The band had a string of other hits over the years including “Give It To Me” (No. 30), “Love Stinks” (No. 38), “I Do” (No. 24) and “Must of Got Lost” (No. 12). Their albums featured prominently on the Billboard 200 where they had had 15 albums charting over the years.

The best performing of these was No. 1 set Freeze-Frame. It made it to the top of the list where is stayed for four weeks 1982 and made it to No. 5 on Billboard’s year-end Top Pop Albums chart. The single off the same album, “Centerfold” came out as the No. 5 Top Pop Single for the same year. The J. Geils Band toured in 2012 without the lead guitarist and founder, Geils.

As a result of this, Geils sued the members involved, Peter Wolf, Danny Klein, Richard Salwitz, and Seth Justman. He sued them for touting under the band’s name without him. The lawsuit was unsuccessful. After the lawsuit, he left the band for good.