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J. Geils Band Biography

Home > Music > J > J. Geils Band > Biography

Birth Place: Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Years Active: 1967–1985, 1999, 2006, 2009-2010
Genres: Rock, Blues-rock, Rhythm And Blues

The J. Geils Band was an American rock band that formed in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1976. The band shot to fame with their 1981 single, “Centerfold,” which peaked at #1 on the U.S. Billboard Singles Chart, and spurred a whole new following of fans for the band. When the band first began in the mid-1960s they were an acoustic blues/R&B trio with singer John Geils, bassist Danny Klein, and harmonica player Richard Salwitz. By the end of the 1960s the band began to move in another music direction that was more rock and roll based with the implementation of electric guitar and bass into their music, additional drummer Stephen Jo Bladd, additional singer Peter Wolf, and organist Seth Justman. After playing locally around Boston the band were offered a record deal in 1970 with Atlantic Records.

The band's early success came in the 70's with lots of radio play in both Detroit and Boston. A number of hit singles began to emerge, notably, “Looking for a Love” (1971), “Ain't Nothin' But a Houseparty” (1973), “Give it to Me” (1973), and “Must of Got Lost” (1974). In 1971, the J. Geils Band performed a live show at Boston Common with The Allman Brothers Band, which elevated their popularity status at the time. 1973 saw the band switch labels to EMI Records. The turning point for the band came with the release of their 1980's album “Freeze Frame,” which included the smash hit “Centerfold.”

The band's last album, “You're Gettin' Even While I'm Gettin' Odd,” was not a commercial success and the band decided to call it quits in 1985 and go their separate ways. The band reunited a decade later in 1999 to play 13 dates along the east coast. A second reunion occurred in 2009 at the House of Blues in Boston, followed by two at Detroit's Fillmore Theater. 2010 saw The J. Geils Band open up for Aerosmith at Fenway Park, to a sold out show. Both former singers of the band, Wolf and Geils, continue to tour as solo artists and Klein formed a new band called “Danny Klein's Full House.”