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John Warren Geils, Founder of The J. Geils Band, Dies at 71

John Warren Geils, Jr., lead guitarist of The J. Geils Band, known for hits like "Love Stinks," and "Centerfold, died in his home in Massachusetts.
Photo of Geils j Band
John Geils of the J. Geils BandMichael Ochs Archives / Getty Images
/ Source: Associated Press

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 at 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.

John Geils of the J. Geils BandMichael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

The J. Geils Band was founded in 1967 in Worcester, Massachusetts, while Geils, whose full name was John Warren Geils Jr., was studying at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The band, whose music bridged the gap between disco and new wave, released 11 studio albums before breaking up in 1985. They reunited off and on over the years.

The band had several Top 40 singles in the early 1970s, 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 rant against unrequited love, the title song on 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.

From left, Seth Justman, John Geils, Peter Wolf, Stephen Bladd, Richard Salwitz, standing, also known as "Magic Dick," and Danny Klein of the J. Geils Band pose in 1972.Jorgen Angel / Redferns