Geils, born John Warren Geils Jr. and known professionally as J. Geils, was reportedly found dead in his home in Groton, Massachusetts. Early reports state he died of natural causes, and Groton police have confirmed his death.
Geils was the co-founder, former guitarist, and namesake of The J. Geils Band, most known for a raucous blues-led live show and sound as well as commercial hits like “Centerfold,” “Love Stinks,” and “Freeze Frame.”
“Geils formed the band during his time at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he studied mechanical engineering. At Worcester, he formed J. Geils Blues Band with Danny Klein, Magic Dick Salwitz, Stephen Jo Bladd, and Peter Wolf, with Seth Justman becoming the last member before the band released its debut album in 1970.
The J. Geils Band was influenced by soul music and rhythm and blues, but it moved toward pop and rock by the time the album “Love Stinks” came out in 1980. After 11 albums, the band’s 12th album, “Freeze Frame,” hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts for four weeks in 1981 and remained on the chart for 70 weeks. The title track “Freeze Frame” made it to No. 4.”
Geils parted ways with J. Geils Band back in 2012. His town of Groton, where he lived for 35 years, honored him with a proclamation of J. Geils Day on December 1, 2009.