Growing up in the area surrounding Springfield, Massachusetts, it was almost like the band was ingrained in my being.  Back in the 70's there were only two local rock bands that mattered to us - Aerosmith, and the J. Geils Band.

Another one of "life's changes" struck home last night, when John Geils, otherwise known as J. Geils, passed away at the age of 71.

We collected and wore out all of their vinyl albums - "Live" Full House, Bloodshot, Blow Your Face Out, Monkey Island, Love Stinks and Freeze Frame, just to name a few.

We experienced the full force of rock and roll for the first time in 1974 when we stood by the stage of the Springfield Civic Center and absorbed the energy of Whammer Jammer.  We had never seen a concert crowd move and react like that before.

We felt for the band a year later in the same venue when they opened for Peter Frampton during the Frampton Comes Alive craze, and the crowd reacted like they were a hindrance and just in the way.

The energy returned in 1981 when with renewed enthusiasm the J. Geils Band played the UM Field-house in Orono, at the height of the Freeze-Frame album.

In the 60s, Geils, along with harmonica player Magic Dick, and bass player Danny Klien, would eventually add Peter Wolf to the band, a DJ from WBCN that would evolve into the ultimate stage showman.  Keyboardist Seth Justman added the melody, and literally the best rock drummer that I have ever seen play, Stephen Jo Bladd, provided the energy.

Never have we ever seen a live group at its best make an audience move-and-groove like this fabulous boogie-woogie-woogie band out of Boston.  Unfortunately it was an energy that never was reflected correctly on their recordings.

The J. Geils Band weaved blues, old rock 'n roll, and then commercialism, into a sound that we will forever remember.

RIP John Warren Geils Jr.  Thanks for making us dance.





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