J. Geils Dies; Beloved Rock Star Was 71

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You may not recognize the name John Warren Geils Jr., but if you spent any time listening to rock radio in the 1980s, you've almost certainly heard the music that he recorded with his eponymous J. Geils Band.

The band released a string of Top 40 singles in the early part of the decade including "Give it to Me," "Must of Got Lost," "Love Stinks," "Freeze Frame" and, most memorably, "Centerfold" in 1981.

Last night, the world learned that Geils had passed away at his home in Groton, Massachusetts.

J. Geils Photo

Sources close to the situation say Geils' body was discovered by police officers performing a well-being check.

He was 71.

Authorities have stated that a "preliminary investigation indicates that Geils died of natural causes."

A police investigation is underway, but foul-play is not suspected.

The gifted guitarist formed the J. Geils Band with two friends while attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

J. Geils Image

After experiencing some early success with experimental blues-rock, the band switched to a more radio-friendly sound, and exploded almost instantly into one of the most popular bands in America.

Along with original bandmates Danny Klein and Richard Salwitz and vocalist Peter Wolf, Geils charted with five singles before the band broke up in 1985. 

Despite officially parting ways, the band came back together several times over the years for reunion tours.

Most recently, Geils and company served as the opening act for Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band during their North American tour in 2015.

Geils never stopped recording, releasing three solo albums in the 2000s.

During this period, Geils also fulfilled a lifelong dream of investing in and restoring antique cars.

In 2009, town of Groton - where Geils moved in 1982 - named December 1 J. Geils Day.

Tributes to Geils from fans, friends and fellow performers began to flood social media within minutes of the news of his death.

"All our love and sympathy to the family and friends of John Warren Geils Jr. The J. Geils Band remain one of greatest bands of all time," wrote Stevie Van Zandt.

We're sure there are many, many fans who would agree.

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