Michigan Was a ‘Second Home’ for the J. Geils Band – The Band’s Deep Connection to Michigan
The J. Giles Band grew out of the same Boston rock-and-roll scene that gave us the likes of Aerosmith and the city's eponymous group, Boston. But the group considered Michigan, and Detroit in particular, a 'second home.'
Their Second Home
J. Geils Band vocalist Peter Wolf told an MLive reporter in 2015,
We consider Detroit our second home. Our home away from home. It is really the first place that went out of the way to help us stay afloat in the years where we were just trying to find an audience. Detroit embraced us in a very special way.
Why did Detroit crowds support the Boston rockers? Astute comments on the MLive article recalled
Geils, Aerosmith, Kiss. They all consider the D their 2nd home. Great interview.
Saw them at Cobo in Detroit back in the late 70's when they were nothing but high energy. Detroit was the rock n roll capitol of the world back then.
More Concerts in Detroit Than Any Other City
According to Setlist.fm, the J. Geils Band performed more shows in Detroit than any other city. The group played 24 shows at Cobo Hall, another 20 shows at Pine Knob and 8 shows at the Eastown Theater, a venue that, relates HistoricDetroit,
was one of the city’s most notorious drug-infused rock venues.
On May 29, 1969, the theater reopened with its first rock show, with SRC as the headliner. Among those who would play for $3 to $5 a ticket were the Who, the Kinks, Yes, Fleetwood Mac, the Faces, Jefferson Airplane, Cream, Captain Beefheart, Steppenwolf, King Crimson, James Gang, Rush, J. Geils Band and Joe Walsh. Among the locals, the MC5, the Stooges, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels and Bob Seger all took its stage. Ted Nugent and The Amboy Dukes recorded their live album “Survival of the Fittest” at the Eastown, and Joe Cocker began his “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” tour there.
Over the years, the group also played the Michigan State Fairgrounds, Filmore and Ford Field in Detroit.
Elsewhere in Michigan, the band performed at Grand Valley State College in 1975 as well as Wendler Area in Saginaw, IMA Sports Arena in Flint and Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo during their 1976 tour.
Detroit's Eastown Theater was demolished in 2015, the same year the J. Geils Band played its last ever show, and it was in Detroit.
Detroit Hosted What Would be the Last J. Geils Band Concert
The show that would be the last one performed by the group before the passing of J.Geils was held September 11, 2015, the final date on that year's tour.
Peter Wolf, prophetically told the Detroit News,
“You never know when it’s going to be the last time,” Wolf said by phone from his Boston home. “We didn’t want to say this could be the last time, because bands that do that — I don’t know, I find that exploitative. It’s not positive.”
On the other hand ... “There’s an element this time of, ‘Let’s get out there before the summer fades away, and hit it one more time,’ ” Wolf said. “We were invited out to Pine Knob and a lot of the people and cast of characters were available, so we thought we’d rave it up for the summer — because who knows what the future might bring?”
The concert was a 23 song marathon through the band's career
One of the J. Geils Band's most beloved songs, is a tribute to the city, Detroit Breakdown