NEW YORK (Reuters) - J. Geils, leader of The J. Geils Band whose hard-driving hits of the late 1970s and early 1980s included "Centerfold," "Freeze Frame" and "Love Stinks," died on Tuesday at his home in Groton, Massachusetts, police said. He was 71.
Groton police said Geils, whose full name was John Warren Geils Jr., appeared to have died of natural causes. After a "well-being check" at the musician's house at around 4 p.m. EDT, Geils was discovered unresponsive and was declared dead at the scene, police said in a statement.
The J. Geils Band was launched as a blues trio in the Boston area in the 1960s. But its biggest hits were harder rock 'n' roll anthems that came much later with the release of the album, "Freeze Frame," in 1981.The album, which followed the comical hit "Love Stinks," also included the title track and "Centerfold," which was No. 1 for six weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 list, the group said on its Facebook page.
The band's success was relatively shortlived. After vocalist, Peter Wolf, left the group in 1983, the remaining members produced another album, "You're Gettin' Even While I'm Gettin' Old," and one single, "Concealed Weapons," before breaking up in 1985, it said.
The band had several reunion tours since then.
Geils, the band's lead guitarist, was born in New York on Feb.20, 1946, and grew up in the New Jersey suburbs.
(This version of the story corrects name of band to J. Geils Band in paragraph 1)
(Reporting by Peter Szekely; Editing by Sandra Maler and Paul Tait)