RIP, J. Geils: “Must Of Got Lost” (1974)

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(Above: J. Geils.)

Last night my various social media feeds filled with the news that John Warren Geils Jr.  passed away at the age of 71.  It’s only when you shorten his first name to an initial that the name likely rings a bell. The J. Geils Band was a live show phenomenon in the 1970s, but they are remembered (in at least most of the obits that I read) more for their 1981 LP Freeze Frame, which yielded two massive MTV hits in the title track and “Centerfold.”

I never got to see The J. Geils Band at their live peak in the 70s, being a bit too young for the concert scene. All I have to work with are a few live albums – Full House and Blow Your Face Out, the latter being one that we kept around the college radio station. Those albums drove me to want to dig deeper into their discography, eschewing “Freeze Frame” on my shows for songs like “Whammer Jammer” and their fantastic cover of the Marvelows’ “I Do.”

But the first song that I thought of when I saw the news – and ironically, the first one I heard when I put my radio on this morning – was one that I had somehow missed until a disc jockey made a fantastic joke I never forgot. Around 1988 or 1989 (the details are fuzzy), a woman disappeared from her home in the Quad Cities. Breathless media coverage followed, and the town(s) were on the hunt for the woman.  A few days later she turned up, unharmed, essentially having staged her own kidnapping.  It just so happened that when the story resolved itself, I was out visiting the Quad Cities.  Haz Montana, the midday jock at 97X (where I would later work), broke the story about the woman’s return home, and said “This song seems appropriate.” He tore into “Must Of Got Lost.”  It was that sort of attitude that I loved about that station – an attitude that I sought to replicate later on my own shows.  (Haz went on to be something like the group program director for Univision Radio and just got an award from Michigan State as a distinguished alumnus.  There was some great talent on that station, and I am still proud to have been a part of it.)

To hear “Must Of Got Lost,” click here.  To hear the outstanding live version from Blow Your Face Out, click here – and then find the whole album. Trust me.

 

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