J. Geils dies aged 71

John Geils Jr: 1946-2017
John Geils Jr: 1946-2017

Guitarist John Warren Geils Jr has died at the age of 71, it’s been confirmed.

The The J Geils Band leader was found unresponsive at his home in Groton, Massachusetts, on Tuesday afternoon.

ABC’s WCVB5 report that his body was discovered by police during a well-being check. Local police report that Geils died of natural causes.

The band’s lead vocalist Peter Wolf paid a simple tribute to his former bandmate, saying: “Thinking of all the times we kicked it high and rocked down the house! RIP Jay Geils.”

Geils formed the band in the mid-60s under the name Snoopy And The Sopwith Camels while he was studying at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, but changed the name to The J Geils Band by 1969.

Their self-titled debut album was released in 1970, with Geils and Wolf joined by Danny Klein, Magic Dick Salwitz and Stephen Bladd.

They issued seven more studio albums in the 70s, but found huge commercial success with the launch of Freeze Frame in 1981. It became the band’s biggest seller and reached no.1 on the Billboard 200 chart in February 1982.

Freeze Frame also spawned the single Centerfold which stayed at the top of the US charts for six weeks and was also a hit in Canada, Australia and the UK.

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Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.