Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Retro Video of the Week: A J. Geils Band Medley

While I was on my dalliance on Hornitos Island last week, rock lost a name brand.  John Warren Geils, Jr. -- better known to all of us as J. -- died of natural causes at the age of 71.  The Worcester, Massachusetts-based J. Geils Band was an underrated party rock band in the '70s and early '80s, reaching the height of their success in the early '80s with songs like "Centerfold" and "Freeze Frame" before breaking up in 1985.  Fun fact:  J. Geils was the guitarist, not the lead singer, whose name was (and still is) Peter Wolf, who I remember as a kid from that video where he jumps the whole time, not realizing at the time that he was previously the guy who sang "Centerfold."  Funner fact:  the band's harmonica player, Richard Salwitz, had (and still has) the nickname Magic Dick.  Thankfully, I do not remember any Magic Dicks from my childhood.

Between 1971 and 1982, the band had 10 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including two Top 5 songs -- "Freeze Frame" (#4) and "Centerfold" (#1).  I am not going to sit here an lie my ass off to you (again), and say that The J. Geils Band is one of my favorites, but I will say that I enjoy their music, and I couldn't pick just one song of theirs that I wanted to feature for this week's Retro Video of the Week.  As a result, I am going with four songs, even though two of them are technically outside the parameters of Retro Video of the Week.

In chronological order, here's what you'll be watching over and over and over again:

1.  "Must Of Got Lost."  Despite the grammatical error in its title, this is a great song.  Released in 1974, this got to #12 on the Billboard Hot 100, but for some reason, you never hear it on classic rock radio.  The video is a live version, and man, there must have been a snow storm going through Winterland that night.

2.  "Love Stinks."  What a fantastic title for a song, and what a fantastic song in itself.  If you've seen The Wedding Singer, you remember this one, but it turns out, the song is even better when Adam Sandler is not singing it (though I do love that movie -- fucking Glenn Guglia).  I really wanted to sing this at karaoke night at the resort last Wednesday, but the bastards didn't have it, which proves that one thing's for sure:  love stinks.

3.  "Centerfold."  Now this is a classic '80s hit, and certainly the band's most recognizable and most popular song.  And who can argue?  The song is about a guy who picks up a nudie mag, only to realize that the centerfold is his high school crush, destroying is wholesome image of sweet sweet Angel to the point where he turns into a reptile.  It's a story we can all relate to.

4.  "Freeze Frame."  The band's second-highest charting song, "Freeze Frame" is a catchy '80s tune about frames that. Just. Won't. Stop. Freezing.  Grrrrr.

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