John Warren Geils Jr., the guitarist for the chart-topping band that bore his name, died Tuesday in his home in Groton, Mass., according to the Groton Police. He was 71 years old.
Police are investigating Geils’ death, but said that their “investigation indicates that Geils died of natural causes.”
After assembling the J. Geils Band in the late 1960s in Worcester, Mass., he served as guitarist and bandleader until their breakup in 1985, and during numerous reunion efforts in the decades that followed. Throughout the 1970s, the band developed a reputation as a thrilling and high-energy live band, and a series of hugely successful albums in the early ‘80s turned the group from rock ‘n’ roll road warriors into new-wave hit makers.
After the band’s dissolution, Geils opened up a repair shop for vintage sports cars, something he had been interested in since his childhood days. He also kept performing as a guest guitarist on occasion, and released a trio of jazz solo albums between 2005 and 2009.
Paste would like to honor Geils’ memory by sharing this 1977 concert that the J. Geils Band played at Winterland in San Francisco, which sees Geils and lead singer Peter Wolf in rip-roaringly good form. Watch above.