The J. Geils Band

Mixing hard rock with gritty blues, the J. Geils Band achieved their formidable following through the 1970s, gaining a reputation as one of America's most exciting live acts, although a more mellow and tempered approach saw them achieving their biggest hit in 1983 with 'Centerfold'. Initially formed as an acoustic trio in Worcester, Massachusetts by guitarist John Geils, bassist Daniel Klein and harmonica player Richard Salwitz aka Magic Dick, they added former DJ Peter Wolf as singer, along with drummer Stephen Bladd and keyboard player Seth Justman, to launch the driving electric blues style which subsequently brought them so much success. The showmanship of front man Wolf, the wailing harmonica of Magic Dick and the songwriting of Justman proved a golden combination, although it took them a long time to translate the magic of their live appearances into serious record sales. They eventually broke into the US top 20 with 'Must Have Got Lost' in 1975, but they were still mainly considered a good-time party band until the 1980s when they started releasing more radio-friendly singles, climaxing with 'Centerfold', which also gave them their first major hit in the UK. The album 'Freeze Frame' also topped the album charts and the track 'Love Stinks' was later featured in the movie 'The Wedding Singer'. Pop stardom didn't, however, rest easily with the band and Wolf quit with Justman taking over as lead singer. They played the title track on the 1985 movie 'Fright Night' but split soon afterwards. They reunited in 1999, before falling out again, with Wolf suing the other band members over the use of the name. J Geils died in 2017.

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