Rock guitar player John Warren Geils Jr., whose J. Geils Band became a major touring act in the 1970s and scored a string of hits with songs including “Must of Got Lost,” “Love Stinks,” “Freeze-Frame” and “Centerfold,” has died. Rolling Stone reports that Geils was found dead Tuesday at his home in Groton, Mass. He was 71.
Police in Groton indicated that Geils appears to have died of natural causes, based on a preliminary investigation.
Officials released a statement Tuesday saying: “At approximately 4 p.m., Groton Police responded to a home on Graniteville Road for a well-being check. Upon arrival to the house, police located a man who was unresponsive. He was declared dead at the scene. … The Groton Police Department is investigating the death, as is standard procedure in all unattended deaths, however foul play is not suspected at this time.”
The J. Geils Band built a reputation for its dynamic live shows in the early 1970s. The album “Live Full House,” released in 1972, captured the energy of the band’s early live tours, featuring not only Geils’ guitar work but also the harmonica playing of Magic Dick (Richard Salwitz) and the powerhouse vocals of Peter Wolf.
With help from a string of successful MTV videos, the group hit its commercial peak in the early 1980s. The album “Freeze-Frame” went to No. 1 in early 1982, with the album’s “Centerfold” single spending six weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The J. Geils Band broke up in 1985, but continued to get back together for reunions well into the 2000s. John Geils released a number of solo projects over the years, including revisiting his early interests in blues and jazz.
Here are a couple of live favorites from a 2014 reunion …
And a music video you’ll probably remember …