J. Geils Band, The

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J. Geils Band, The

J.Geils Band, The, a hard-driving 1970s rock and blues band from the Boston region.Membership: Jerome “J.” Geils, lead gtr. (b. N.Y.C., Feb. 20, 1946); Peter Wolf (real name, Blankfield), lead voc. (b. Bronx, N.Y., March 7, 1946); Seth Justman, kybd. (b. Washington, D.C., Jan. 27, 1951); Magic Dick (born Richard Salwitz), har. (b. New London, Conn., May 13, 1945); Danny Klein, bs. (b. Worcester, Mass., May 13, 1946); Stephen Bladd, drm. (b. Boston, Mass., July 31, 1942).

The J. Geils Band won a reputation as a performing band by touring almost constantly for more than a decade. Eventually breaking through as a recording band in the early 1980s, the J. Geils Band retained their original lineup for 15 years, until the departure of lead vocalist and front man Peter Wolf in 1983.

Formed in 1967 by the merger of two Boston bands, the J. Geils Blues Band and the Hallucinations, the J. Geils Band was completed with the addition of Seth Justman shortly after the group signed with Atlantic Records in 1968. Featuring blues and R&B covers, the J. Geils Band’s overlooked debut album includes the underground favorite “First I Look at the Purse” (a hit for the Contours in 1965), whereas their second album, The Morning After, yielded their first moderate hit with “Looking for a Love” (a hit for the Valentinos in 1962). As the band continually crisscrossed the United States in search of a wider audience, they recorded the live Full House set. After the moderate hit “Give It to Me” from the best-selling Bloodshot album, the J. Geils Band scored their first near-smash hit with “Must of Got Lost” in late 1974. After three more albums and several minor hits for Atlantic, the band switched to EMI-America.

The J. Geils Band’s debut for their new label, Sanctuary, sold quite well, yielding the moderate hit “One Last Kiss.” The group added layered synthesizer parts to their sound for Love Stinks, which produced two moderate hits with “Come Back” and the title tune. They finally broke through in late 1981 with the top album Freeze Frame, for which Seth Justman wrote or co wrote with Peter Wolf all the songs. The album contained three hits: the top “Centerfold,” the smash title song, and the moderately successful “Angel in Blue.” However, tensions between Wolf and Justman led, in October 1983, to Wolf leaving the group. The J. Geils Band managed only minor hits through 1985, while Wolf scored major hits as a solo artist with “Lights Out” in 1984 and “Come as You Are” in 1987 on EMI-America. By 1990 he had switched to MCA Records for Up to No Good! In 1993 Wolf reunited with Magic Dick to form Bluestime to perform traditional blues and original numbers, releasing an album a year later on the specialty Rounder label.


the j. geils band:The J.G. Band (1971); The Morning After (1971); Full House (1972); Bloodshot (1973); Ladies Invited (1973); Nightmares (1974); Hot Line (1975); Blow Your Face Out (1976); Monkey Island (1977); Best (1979); Best, Vol. 2 (1980); Sanctuary (1978); Love Stinks (1980); Freeze Frame (1981); Showtime! (1982); You’re Gettin’ Even While I’m Gettin’ Odd (1984); Flashback (1987); Anthology: Houseparty (1993); Must of Got Lost (1995). peter wolf:Lights Out (1984); Come as You Are (1987); Up to No Good (1990).bluestime:Bluestime (1994).

—Brock Helander