J. Geils, guitarist and founder of The J. Geils Band, passed away in his Massachusetts home today at the age of 71. Groton Chief of Police Donald Palma Jr. confirmed Geils’ death, stating in a press release that the department’s preliminary investigation “indicates that Geils died of natural causes.” Police had responded to a well-being check request, and unfortunately found Geils unresponsive.
Born John Warren Geils, Jr., J. Geils formed the J. Geils Band in 1967. The band garnered a following in the 70s by touring with the likes of The Allman Brothers Band, KISS, The Byrds, and others.
At the turn of the decade, the band updated to a more new wave sound and achieved their most mainstream success with the release of album Freeze Frame in 1981. The album went #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and produced the band’s biggest hit “Centerfold” which hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 where it remained for six consecutive weeks.
The band’s next album, 1984’s You’re Gettin’ Even While I’m Gettin’ Odd, would be their last. The group disbanded in 1985. Since then, they’ve reunited on several occasions and have been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the last four years, but were once again not selected for the Class of 2017.