Chatting with Michael

Never imagined yesterday morning that when I tweeted my two cents’ worth about the J. Geils Band’s prospects for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that I would wind up discussing it with a gent who knows a bit about rock and roll and fame.

Our brief exchange:

I would like to go to Cleveland and visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame someday. My friend Larry was there this summer. Judging from Larry’s pictures, it looked like the Hall of Fame had a bunch of fun stuff.

But that’s the extent of my interest. You go ahead and vote for this year’s nominees. I’ll sit it out.

I’ve never been particularly interested in who’s in …

That said, of the 19 nominees for the Class of 2017, I’d vote for the Electric Light Orchestra, Chic, Janet Jackson, Joe Tex and the MC5 before I’d vote for the J. Geils Band.

… nor outraged at who’s not …

That said, Harry Nilsson, Pat Benatar, Peter Frampton and Warren Zevon are not in. Def Leppard, Yes, the Guess Who and the Moody Blues are not in. Just the tip of the iceberg. So many more are worthy as well.

Now for that brief discussion with Mr. Des Barres, who has been rocking and rolling since the earliest ’70s and whom I listen to weekday mornings on Little Steven’s Underground Garage on Sirius XM.

I’m still not sure the J. Geils Band merits enshrinement, even though I once wrote a fan’s guide to all 14 of their studio and live albums, which I have.

The J. Geils Band was a tremendous live band. They fortified their act by rescuing vintage soul, R&B and blues singles from obscurity and introducing them to new, younger audiences over the first half of a 15-year recording career that started in 1970. Those energetic covers have seemingly better stood the test of time than the original songs by Peter Wolf and Seth Justman that dominated the second half of that run.

In other words … “First I Look At The Purse,” “Lookin’ For A Love” and “(Ain’t Nothin’ But A) House Party” > “Love Stinks,” “Centerfold” and “Freeze-Frame.”

That said, I do wish them well and certainly would applaud their election.

I do. Yes, I do.


“I Do,” the J. Geils Band — then billing itself only as “Geils” — from “Monkey Island,” 1977. Also available digitally.

It’s a cover of the Marvelows’ 1965 hit. This is the studio version. They also do it live on “Showtime,” their third live album, which came out in 1982.



Filed under October 2016

3 responses to “Chatting with Michael

  1. Lovin’ “Monkey Island” as your featured album here. There was not a whole lot of love for the release from either critics or fans when it first came out, as I recall; in fact, I scored my copy from a cutout bin (back when there was such a thing). For the price of a couple of 45s, it was probably one of the best penny-pinching moves I ever made. I bought it primarily for the title cut, which I heard a couple of times on the local FM station’s midnight shift – and which I just cranked up now on YouTube. A bit adventurous on their part, I would say…maybe that is part of the song’s (and the album’s) appeal to me.

    As for the HOF question: Doesn’t really matter to me. We all love what we love…which, when all is said and done, is the only thing that really matters.

    And, finally, props to you for the Complete Idiot’s Guide thing…I did not realize that this was out there…well done, sir.

  2. Nexus

    J Geils was my favorite band when their albums were coming out. Really liked Magic Dick on the harp. They were always rated one of the best live bands so that should count for something in HOF voting.
    Another person from that era that should be considered for HOF is Dan Fogelberg!

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