The J. Geils Band hits the road without J. Geils - and the reviews are good
The Boston Globe
The J. Geils Band apparently isn’t letting the legal wrangling with guitarist J. Geils prevent it from putting on a quality rock show.
The Boston band this week embarked on their first-ever tour without Geils, a founding member and the group’s namesake, and initial reviews suggest they haven’t missed a beat. (Geils has been replaced on the tour by Duke Levine and Kevin Barry.)
“[ Peter ] Wolf still has that Jagger swagger, and [ Seth ] Justman and [ Magic Dick ] continue to shine brightest when infusing the band’s music with that boogie blues they were so known for early in their career,” wrote Brent Hallenbeck of the Burlington Free Press after the band’s show at the Champlain Valley Fair.
Mark Bialczak of the Syracuse Post-Standard was likewise impressed by the band’s performance at the New York State Fair.
“With Wolf’s charisma and still-ready-to-rock voice, [Magic Dick’s] jumping harmonica work and the right-on performance of fellow original members Seth Justman on keyboards and Danny Klein on bass, the blues-rock band from Boston thrilled the screaming, dancing throng of 10,000,” wrote Bialczak.
The band is currently embroiled in a nasty legal battle with Geils, whose real name is John Geils Jr., over use of the band’s name. Without telling Wolf or the other members, Geils quietly applied to the US Patent and Trademark Office for the “J. Geils Band” trademark in 2008, and got it a year later.
The band is seeking to cancel the trademark, while Geils has filed a lawsuit in US District Court in Boston alleging trademark infringement, claiming the band is trying to “misappropriate and steal” the J. Geils Band name by touring without him.
At one point, it appeared that Geils might try to prevent the band from taking its show on the road. He opted not to do that.
“We could have sought a preliminary injunction, but we didn’t,” Geils’s attorney, Chuck Grimes, told us Tuesday. “That’s expensive and we didn’t think it was worthwhile. We’re just going to let this play out in court. It would be great if people could figure out a way to play nice in the sandbox, but if not, we’ll let the court decide who has what rights.”
The J. Geils Band plays — without Geils — at the House of Blues Sept. 7 and 8.
About this blog
Follow on Twitter: @GlobeNames, @MarkAShanahan
Follow on Twitter: @GlobeNames, @MeredithGoldste