J. Geils Found Dead at 71

Jay Jacobs
April 16, 2017

John Warren Geils Jr., the founding guitarist behind the '70s and '80s rock powerhouse J. Geils Band, died at his longtime home in MA on Tuesday.

Groton Police Chief Donald Palma Jr. released a report Tuesday evening, confirming that the 71-year-old had died.

The American guitarist - famous for the group's 1981 classic "Centerfold", which topped the US Billboard Hot 100 in February 1982, and stayed there for six weeks - was found dead at his home in Groton, Massachusetts, on Tuesday (11.04.17).

Originally founded by Geils-who was still in college, studying mechanical engineering-as a jazz and blues trio in 1964, The J. Geils Band added new performers throughout the 1960s, finally solidifying when organist Seth Justman joined in 1970.

The J. Geils Band were very popular during the '70s and '80s with hits like "Centerfold", "Love Stinks", "Come Back" and "Freeze-Frame". But they became synonymous to many with their early '80s hits 'Centerfold, ' which topped the Billboard chart, and 'Freeze-Frame.' They had 18 entries on the Hot 100, including seven other top 40 hits, and achieved six gold United States albums, one of them also platinum. The Groton Police Department says officers who were called for a well-being check found Geils dead in his home around 4 p.m.

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

"Being part of the J. Geils Band was a lot of fun". However, Geils officially quit the band in 2012, where he proceeded to sue his bandmates for going on tour without him and using the band's trademarked name.

With the massive success experienced by the band, the band began to suffer until it ultimately fell apart. Geils continued to collaborate with the band's harmonica player, Richard "Magic Dick" Salwitz, in Bluestime, which released two albums in the 1990s.

Wolf paid tribute on Twitter soon after Geils's death was announced, as did other musicians.

"Serves You Right to Suffer" (from "Live" Full House, 1972) - The J. Geils Band made some great studio records, but they were first and foremost a live band.

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