Robert Johnson

J. Geils Band founder dead at 71

J. Geils Band founder dead at 71

John Warren Geils Jr., the founding guitarist behind the ’70s and ’80s rock powerhouse J. Geils Band, died at his longtime home in Massachusetts on Tuesday. He was 71.

Donald Palma Jr., the chief of police in Groton, Mass., confirmed Geils’ death on Tuesday night, saying in a press release that an early investigation suggested Geils died of “natural causes” and that “foul play is not suspected at this time.”

Geils founded his eponymous band in 1967, when he attended the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. The band -- with singer Peter Wolf -- was known for its deft, bluesy guitar work. After touring with the Byrds and the Allman Brothers, the band achieved its...

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