Peter Wolf - vocals
Seth Justman - keyboards
Magic Dick - harmonica
J. Geils - guitar
Danny Klein - bass
Stephen Jo Bladd - drums, vocals
The J. Geils Band exploded like a flaming meteorite when they emerged in 1969 out of the thriving Boston club scene. They were quickly signed by Atlantic Records in 1970, and a series of strategic U.S. dates, such as the Fillmore East and West, the Electric Factory, and Detroit's Cobo Hall, cemented the rumor that the J. Geils Band was, indeed, the hottest live band in America. By the time the original line-up splintered in 1983, they had scored a number of hit albums and singles, and were known as one of the hardest working live acts in the world.
This show, recorded in 1975 while the band was promoting their sixth studio album, Hot Line, came shortly after the band had their first big Top 40 hit, "Must Have Got Lost." Like this live set, the album was mix of classic rock and R&B covers and original songs, written mainly by keyboardist Seth Justman and vocalist Peter Wolf. Opening with "Love-Itis" the energy onstage is blistering and never stops. Next up is "Southside Shuffle," followed by the band's hit at the time, "Musta Got Lost." The band keeps rocking, track after track with classics such as "So Sharp," "Detroit Breakdown," "Lookin' For A Love," "Give It To Me" and ending with "First I Look At The Purse." After this period, the band did go through a lull, both creatively and commercially. But, they bounced back bigger than ever with advent of MTV and a number of video-friendly records that included Love Stinks, Freeze Frame, and the massive hit, "Centerfold."
The group started in 1967 as an acoustic blues trio that included J. Geils on guitar, Danny Klein on bass, and Richard Salwitz (now known as Magic Dick) on harmonica. A former jive talking Boston DJ named Peter Wolf and drummer Stephen Bladd joined next, and convinced the band to go electric and change their name from Snoopy & The Sopwith Camels, to the J. Geils Band. Shortly before they began touring regionally, the Beantown-based band had asked a young keyboard playing college student, Seth Justman, to join.
The band had a number of modest and eventually some big hits during their years with Atlantic, among them "First I Look At The Purse," "Whammer Jammer," and "Looking For A Love." However, during this period, it was actually the high energy live show that gave the J. Geils Band their reputation as one of the most compelling onstage acts of the day. When MTV emerged in the early 1980s, the J. Geils Band went through a transition, focusing on pop driven, humor filled songs, such as "Love Stinks," and "Centerfold," which were made huge hits, primarily through eye-catching video clips that the network played over and over. By 1983, Wolf wanted to write new material with R&B veteran Don Covay, but when the band refused to record his new original R&B-based material, Wolf left the group. The band released one more record without him (with Justman taking over on vocals), and Wolf had a number of solo albums, starting with 1984's Lights Out. The band broke up in 1985, and Wolf's solo popularity leveled off, though the group did reunite with Peter Wolf for one tour only in 1999. Guitarist J. Geils and Magic Dick play together occasionally as a duo called Blues Time
This show is a must for blues, rock and R&B fans, and of course, fans of the J. Geils Band, whose music has remained timeless and influential by all standards.