J. Geils Band (1967-1984)
Jerome Geils (guitar) 1967-1984
Peter Wolf (vocals) 1967-1983
Magic Dick (harmonica) 1967-1984
Danny Klein (bass) 1967-1984
Stephen Jo Bladd (drums) 1967-1984
Seth Justman (keyboards, vocals) 1968-1984
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Wolf, the primary lyricist, is a high school dropout, who honed his skills in jive-talking on the Bronx (N.Y.) streets. As a disc jockey on Boston's WBCN-FM, Wolf was known as Woofuh Goofuh.
The band is from Boston, which was one of the hardest places to be a Rock band in the '60s. The city rarely authorized Rock concerts, and in 1967, MGM Records tried marketing some Boston bands as "The Bosstown Sound," which was a response to the psychedelic sound coming out of San Francisco. It was a huge flop, and killed most record company interest in Boston bands. The J. Geils Band was a rare exception, and made it despite the anti-Rock climate in the city.
Bladd and Wolf hooked up in the Hallucinations. Geils, Klein, and Dick played together as an acoustic group called the J. Geils Blues Band. When Bladd and Wolf joined, they dropped the Blues from their name, and went electric.
Wolf was married to actress Faye Dunaway from 1974-1979.
For their 1977 album, Monkey Island, the group was simply known as Geils.
After Wolf's departure, Justman took over the lead vocal role.
Dick and Geils briefly got together in 1993 and 1994 as Bluestime and released an album under the same name.
The band is named after the guitarist, not the vocalist, as many people think. Other bands named after their guitarist include Santana and Van Halen.
In their younger days, they earned the name "The Jewish Rolling Stones" because of their R&B sound and their wild live shows.
They were invited to play the original Woodstock, but turned it down, reportedly saying, "Three days in the mud - who needs it?"
Seemingly endless touring was the way these guys found commercial success. At least until MTV, when their videos, like "Centerfold," became big hits.
When their commercial success came in the early 1980's, most of the band members were nearing their 40th birthday. Justman, the youngest in the group, had just celebrated his 30th.
They began playing mostly covers, and slowly moved into writing their own songs.
When they first got together, Jerome Geils had a manager and was under contract. This manager insisted that "J. Geils" be in the band name so another manager wouldn't sign them, so they became The J. Geils Blues Band. They were only obligated to use the name for a year, but kept it because they had built up a following with it, and they dropped the "Blues" 2 years later.
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