R.I.P., J. Geils

I don’t want the blog to turn into an obit column, but I felt compelled to note the passing of John Warren Geils Jr., the guitarist behind the J. Geils Band.

You may recall the band’s Eighties hits — “Centerfold,” “Love Stinks,” and “Freeze-Frame” — but I stumbled across them in the Seventies, my initiation likely being the live album “Full House,” which I still have on vinyl.

There were a bunch of keepers on that one, my favorites being “First I Look At the Purse,” “Pack Fair and Square,” and “Whammer Jammer.” Magic Dick could do magic for real — dude could make a harp sound like a sax.

Charles P. Pierce, who has his own recollection of the band, found another keeper online, “Floyd Hotel,” from 1973. As usual Peter Wolf and Magic Dick play starring roles, but Geils contributes a few worthy licks on slide. And keyboard player-songwriter Seth Justman tinkles them ivories right nice too.

“Take out your false teeth, mama, I want to suck on your gums.” With lines like that you can almost excuse the stagewear and hairdos. Hey, it was the Seventies, what can I tell you?

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14 Responses to “R.I.P., J. Geils”

  1. Carl Duellman Says:

    whammer jammer was the one song i couldn’t hear enough of. magic dick on his lickin’ stick.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    Yeah, another one bites the dust. I get that feeling like I am getting near the front of the checkout line….and not at the supermarket.

  3. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    Saw these guys live a time-or-two in LA, back-in-their heyday. The recordings were great but these guys on stage were in another zone!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Never saw them live, more’s the pity. I actually didn’t catch that many shows, feeling more or less about crowds the way George Carlin did. (He was fine with the ones that paid to see him, though, I noticed.)

  4. Mike Frye Says:

    nobody get’s out of here alive

  5. Pat O'Brien Says:

    RIP Mr. Geils.

    As far as death goes….

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      One of my favorite Pryor albums. It’s a regular on my road trips. Pelkey and I listened to that in the VN Subaru once en route to Interbike and roared our asses off.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        The man was gifted, no doubt. When they brought Silver Streak out on Blu-ray disc in restored video and audio, I jumped on it. “I’ll slap the taste out yo mouth”

  6. debby511 Says:

    I still listen to a lot of J Geils. Back when I was working in cubicle land I streamed Pandora a lot and I had a J Geils channel set up.

    And a little closer to home, I just got word that one of the guys in our old bike club reached the front of the line recently. Went in for a hip replacement surgery, got a blood clot and it killed him. He was 61.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Jeebus. I know a bazillion people who sailed through hip/knee replacements without a hitch. I’m sorry to hear about your old clubmate. Those clots, man, they don’t play.

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