Sadness descended upon the music world this week (again) with the passing of John Geils, Jr. We knew him by J. Geils, and his mark on music will live on. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and fans.
Here in New England, J. Geils Band concerts were suburban rites of passage. My first concert was the J. Geils Band on their 1980 Love Stinks tour at the Springfield Civic Center (Mini review: I was 11, it changed my life, and I've judged every concert I've seen since against it. 5 encores!) The opening act that night? A band called 3-D. Remember them? Me, neither. But not every J. Geils Band opening act was forgettable. Quite the contrary.
In the early 80's, I owned a book called The Book Of Rock Lists by Rolling Stone's Dave Marsh (you can buy an updated version of it here.) I still own it and refer it, even though it's beat up. But John's passing made me think of an amazing list in that book. It proves the power and enormity of the J. Geils Band in their time.
From page 346 of that book, here are 10 Bands that Opened for The J. Geils Band. And unlike The J. Geils Band, 7 of them are in Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, so get your act together, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame committee.
Ken West is Program Director of 105.7 WROR and ALT 92.9. His parents brought him to see the J. Geils Band at 11 years old. You can see how that turned out.