At first, they called themselves Snoopy and the Sopwith Camels. A trio from Worcester, Mass. Three college students who played acoustic blues. A bassist, Danny Klein, a harmonica player, Richard Salwitz, and a guitarist, John Geils. They took the names Dr. Funk, Magic Dick, and—yep—J. Geils.
Soon enough the trio got a drummer and a lead singer—Peter Wolf, a popular local disc jockey with some serious charisma. And Snoopy and the Sopwith Camels became the J. Geils Blues Band. A little less of a mouthful.
The J. Geils Blues Band really was a killer blues outfit from the start, even though they’d soon drop the blues from their name. Sorta had to. Their style evolved dramatically by the time they released their biggest hit, “Centerfold.” Remember that one? And there’s this one, too. “Love Stinks,” definitely a theme in the blues. Some of those lyrics are definitely drawn from blues standards. See, through it all, the band maintained that blues backbone. Especially with Magic Dick on his lickin’ stick—the harmonica.
Here’s a great early track. Written by Smokey Robinson. The J. Geils Band and “First I Look at the Purse.”