Musician John Warren Geils Jr. dies in Massachusetts at 71
J. Geils, born John Warren Geils Jr., has died, according to WCVB Boston.
With relentless touring throughout the 1970's, and no less than eight studio albums and two live records, the J. Geils Band built a fanbase that was too big to quit, yet it wasn't until the 1980's that they would truly hit a commercial peak. The album claimed the number 1 spot on the charts for four weeks, while single "Centerfold" dominated the Billboard Top 100, sitting at number 1 for six weeks straight.
Geils continued to play for the next 30 years, usually with some combination of his former bandmates. It has since periodically reunited, once to perform at the opening concert for the new House of Blues in Boston in 2009 and another time as the opening act for Aerosmith at Fenway Park the next year.
Police are investigating Geils' death, but said that their "investigation indicates that Geils died of natural causes". The 71-year-old was found unresponsive and he was declared dead at the scene.
Geils started The J. Geils Band in 1967. The band broke up in 1985, and Geils chose to focus on other pursuits.
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They scored another United Kingdom top 40 hit that year with Freeze Frame.
"We just heard that J. Geils has passed away", wrote Foghat drummer Roger Earl.
However, the band began to fall apart in the aftermath of its success. The band officially broke up in 1985, occasionally coming together for reunion shows.
The band's harmonica player Richard "Magic Dick" Salwitz told Billboard at the time, "This is our fourth nomination, and going through that process, with its inherent disappointment, you're not sure you want to take that ride again".
Musicians shared their condolences on social media after learning of Geils' death including Steve Van Zandt, the actor and guitarist with Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. Mr. Geils was the group's guitarist.
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