Known for such hits as “Love Stinks” and “Centerfold, John Warren Geils, the guitarist for the J. Geils Band, was found dead in his Groton, Massachusetts home Tuesday. He was 71.
The death has been confirmed by Rolling Stone magazine. Groton police said that after a preliminary investigation, it appears Geils died of natural causes.
In a statement to the press, Groton Police said that 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.”
In the Seventies and early Eighties, the J. Geils Band became household names on the radio with songs such as “Centerfold,” Love Stinks,” “Come Back” and “Freeze-Frame.”
Vocalist Peter Wolf, who toured with the band, provided a short message in memory of his bandmate. “Thinking of all the times we kicked it high and rocked down the house! R.I.P. Jay Geils.”
The J. Geils Band signature style blended elements of blues rock, R&B, soul and pop, and broke into the Billboard 200 in 1973 with their record Bloodshot.
The band eventually released eight studio albums and two live records, even while touring nonstop throughout the latter half of the Seventies.
Geils and his band went platinum with their release of their record Love Stinks. A year later their album Freeze-Frame made it to Number One on the charts. From that album, both the title track and “Centerfold” reached the Top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
After that, their success declined when the band began to segment. Wolf left to pursue a solo career, and the band finally split in 1985. Geils officially removed himself from the band and then sued his bandmates for going on tour without him.
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