February 20, 1946 – April 11, 2017
John Geils, known professionally as J. Geils, was the founder and lead guitarist of the popular Boston blues rock band, the J. Geils Band. From an early age, Geils was surrounded by jazz and blues music thanks to his dad’s influence. As a child, he could work out Miles Davis’ music on the trumpet and drums. He also taught himself the by listening to the likes of Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters on the radio. When it came time for college, Geils chose Northwestern University where he played trumpet in the marching band. He soon moved over to Worcester Polytechnic University where he met Peter Wolf, Danny Klein, Magic Dick Salwitz and Seth Justman, and the J. Geils Band was soon formed. They released their first album in 1970, but even though they received plenty of FM airplay and marveled concert audiences all over the country, it took another 12 years and 11 albums before they hit #1 with Freeze Frame. The band have several charting singles throughout their run, including “Musta Got Lost,” “Freeze Frame,” “Love Stinks,” and most famously, “Centerfold.” The J. Geils Band broke up in 1985, after which, Geils began driving race cars and opened an auto restoration shop. In 1996, he sold the shop and went on to participate in band reunions over the next two decades before retiring in 2012. On April 11, 2017, local police paid a well-being visit on J. Geils’ home only to find him deceased at the age of 71. Cause of death was not immediately released.