J. Geils Band Biography

Formed in Boston, Massachusetts, USA in 1969, the group - J. Geils (Jerome Geils, 20 February, 1946, New York, USA; guitar), Peter Wolf (b. 7 March 1947, New York City, New York, USA; vocals), Magic Dick (b. Richard Salwitz, 13 May 1945, New London, Connecticut, USA; harmonica), Seth Justman (b. 27 January 1951, Washington, DC, USA; keyboards), Danny Klein (b. 13 May 1946, New York, USA; bass) and Stephan Jo Bladd (b. 31 July 1942, Boston, Massachusetts; drums) - was originally known as the J. Geils Blues Band. Their first two albums established a tough, raw R&B which encouraged comparisons with Butterfield Blues Band. Versions of songs by Albert Collins, Otis Rush and John Lee Hooker showed an undoubted flair, and with Wolf as an extrovert frontman, they quickly became a popular live attraction. 1973’s Bloodshot, a gold US album, introduced the band to a wider audience, but at the same time suggested a tardiness which marred subsequent releases. The major exception was 1977’s Monkey Island where Wolf, Geils and Magic Dick reclaimed the fire and excitement enlivening those first two albums.

The band moved from Atlantic Records to EMI Records at the end of the 70s and secured a massive international hit in 1982 with the leering ‘Centrefold’. Now divorced from its blues roots, the J. Geils Band was unsure of its direction, a factor emphasized in 1984 when Wolf departed for a solo career, midway through a recording session. The group completed a final album, You’re Gettin’ Even, While I’m Gettin’ Old, without him. Geils and Magic Dick reunited during the early 90s to form the blues outfit, Bluestime. In 2004, Geils recorded with guitarist Duke Robillard.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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