The Dallas Morning News

Founder of band that sang ‘Centerfold’

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GROTON, Mass. — Musician J. Geils, founder of The J. Geils Band known for such peppy early ’80s pop hits as “Love Stinks,” “Freeze Frame” and “Centerfold,” has died in his Massachuse­tts home. He was 71.

Groton police said officers responded to Geils home around 4 p.m. Tuesday for a well-being check and found him unresponsi­ve. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

“A preliminar­y investigat­ion indicates that Geils died of natural causes,” police said in a statement.

The J. Geils Band was founded in 1967 in Worcester, Mass., while Geils, whose full name was John Warren Geils Jr., was studying mechanical engineerin­g at Worcester Polytechni­c Institute. Geils served as the band’s guitarist and vocalist. Bandmates included Danny Klein, Richard “Magic Dick” Salwitz, Stephen Jo Bladd, Peter Wolf and Seth Justman.

The band, whose music blended blues rock, R&B, soul and pop, released 11 studio albums and built a large following due to their energetic live shows as well as their unusual use of the harmonica as a lead instrument. The band broke up in 1985 but reunited off and on over the years.

The group had several Top 40 singles in the early1970s, including a cover song “Lookin’ for a Love” by the family group The Valentinos and “Give It to Me.”

Their biggest hits included “Must of Got Lost,” which reached No. 12 on Billboard’s Top 100 in 1975, and “Love Stinks,” a humorous rant against unrequited love, the title song of their 1980 album. Their song “Centerfold,” from the album Freeze Frame, was released in 1981 and eventually charted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in February 1982. It stayed there for six weeks and was featured on MTV.

The band was nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the fourth time last fall but once again was not selected as part of the 2017 class.

“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,” lead vocalist Peter Wolf told Billboard at the time. “It’s great to be recognized, but it’s a drag to be disappoint­ed. I hope that we make it in. That would be great.”

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JohnÿW.ÿFerguson/GettyÿImag­es

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