5 Things Fans Don’t Know About The J. Geils Band
via What Happened to Them? / Youtube
Today, as we celebrate the birthday of the late and legendary guitarist known as J. Geils, we not only pay tribute to his band’s timeless music but also uncover five intriguing facts about him that you may not have known. From the origins of his name to surprising collaborations and notable opening acts, let’s dive into the lesser-known aspects of J. Geils and his band’s journey.
The “J” Stands for John
While it may seem like common knowledge, many fans might not be aware of what the “J” in J. Geils actually stands for. So, let’s clarify: it stands for John. Now you can confidently impress your fellow music enthusiasts with this trivia nugget!
Geils’ Jazz Roots
Despite being celebrated for his blues guitar prowess, J. Geils began his musical journey as a jazz enthusiast. Raised by a father who adored jazz legends such as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman, Geils developed an early appreciation for the genre. Attending concerts by jazz icons like Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis further fueled his passion. In a delightful homage to his jazz background, Geils released a solo album in 2005 titled “J. GEILS PLAYS JAZZ!”
Snoopy and the Sopwith Camels
Before the formation of The J. Geils Band, Geils, along with Danny Klein and Richard “Magic Dick” Salwitz, played together in an acoustic blues trio. However, their pre-fame gigs had an amusing twist. Performing under the moniker “Snoopy and the Sopwith Camels,” they entertained audiences with their blues-infused sound. While we don’t know who played the role of Snoopy, it’s an interesting footnote in the band’s early history.
Opening Acts for Legends
The J. Geils Band’s popularity and reputation as a live act attracted some of the biggest names in music to open for them. Throughout their career, renowned artists of the ’70s and ’80s such as the Eagles, Billy Joel, ZZ Top, Yes, the Allman Brothers, and U2 had the honor of warming up the stage for Geils and his band. This remarkable lineup of opening acts is a testament to the band’s influence and status in the music industry.
The (Original) Carltones
In a rare and remarkable collaboration, J. Geils found himself performing alongside Keith Richards and Ron Wood of The Rolling Stones. The band, called The (Original) Carltones, had a brief moment in the spotlight when they played together during a show on July 27, 1982. Celebrating Mick Jagger’s birthday, Geils, Richards, Wood, along with Peter Wolf, Seth Justman, and Bobby Keys, came together for a single song. While it may have been a fleeting musical moment, it remains an intriguing footnote in Geils’ career.