Rock Blog: J. Geils threw Nothing but a House Party!

April 17, 2017

Last year, after Prince died I binged on his music for a week. Last year when Bowie died I started a binge that I haven't quite kicked. We do that when we lose the musicians we loved in our youth. It gives us a perspective of time, because in most cases its “Holy crap. He was that old?”.


In the last few days I've been binging on the J. Geils Band. Outside of a few hits later in their career, they sadly didn't get their due exposure outside of NYC, Detroit and their home town of Boston. They combined raw Blues, straightforward Rock and Roll, and obscure Soul covers into one of the greatest live bands ever. I've always found this band fascinating, especially since they SHOULD NOT be judged by “Centerfold”. Heres a few reasons why.

The band was the J. Geils Band, but Mr Geils wrote 1 single song in their entire recording career. Most of the tunes were written by singer Peter Wolf, and keyboard player Seth Justman. Geils was just a guitar player, and  pretty good one too!


The J. Geils Band employed a harmonica player. Not a lead singer who dabbled with a harmonica, but a full timer. His name - Magic Dick with the Lickin Stick. The best.


They were such a great live band, everyone opened for them. How great? Openers were The Eagles, Peter Frampton, Van Halen, Tom Petty, Yes, Bob Seger and others.


Before he sang for J. Geils, lead singer Peter Wolf was a radio host in the 60s, for the late, great WBCN Boston.


They finally found hit radio fame, by selling out. They made 7 great, raw albums for the legendary Atlantic Records (home to some of their favorite blues and soul artists), and 2 live albums too. They then recorded 4 albums for EMI, including the 3 biggest songs, Freeze Frame, Centerfold, Love Stinks. After Freeze Frame’s super success as an album, and a grenade that helped launch MTV, Peter Wolf quit, and the band fell apart.


The J. Geils Band were not afraid to have fun.

I’m glad I got to see the J. Geils band back in the day. RIP J. Geils. You had one hell of a great garage band.




Sergeant Hairclub AKA Dave Richards