J Geils of 'Centrefold' fame dies aged 71

The band were formed by NY native John Warren Geils Jr.in 1967 and enjoyed substantial success through the 1970s.

John Geils, Jr., the leader of the J. Geils Band, died on or about Tuesday (April 11) at his home in Groton, Massachusetts.

The gifted guitarist formed the J. Geils Band with two friends while attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

The Groton Police Department said Geils was pronounced dead at the scene after officers were called to the home to conduct a well-being check.

Along with original bandmates Danny Klein and Richard Salwitz and vocalist Peter Wolf, Geils charted with five singles before the band broke up in 1985. The founder and lead guitarist of The J. Geils Band found massive success back in the early 1980's with their best-selling album Freeze Frame, which spawned a hit by the same name as well as their mega-classic song "Centerfold".

Geils left the band, which continued to perform under his name with Wolf and harmonica player Magic Dick.

Foul play is not suspected at this time in the death but it is being investigated by Groton Police, "as is standard procedure in all unattended deaths", Palma noted.

One of their most successful singles was the song "Centerfold" from the album "Freeze Frame", which was released in 1981.

The band member who provided the moniker to the J. Geils Band has reportedly died. Most recently, they served as the opening act for Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band during their North American tour in 2015. Sadly, J. Geils (the band) and the J. Geils Band were estranged in the last years of his life, with the band playing gigs without their namesake.

"I know you usually only take in-park requests, but maybe you could play a J. Geils tune in light of this sad breaking news", one person asked Josh Kantor, who plays the organ at Red Sox games. In the 2000s, he released a few solo records.

The band has been nominated four times for entry into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but have not been inducted.

J. Geils loved MA and the state loved him back.

  • Salvatore Jensen