Peter Wolf and the J. Geils Band continue to put on fiery live performances, even amid a legal mess with Mr. J. Geils himself that shocked the band when it came out.
The word choices say it all for frontman Wolf, who spoke to sister station 100.7 WZLX in Boston yesterday (September 4) to discuss, at length, the lawsuit against the J. Geils Band by J. Geils over the use of his name. “Deceptive,” “disturbing” and “fraudulent” are just some of the ways Wolf described Geils’ legal action against his former bandmates.
The lawsuit, filed last month at Boston’s U.S. District Court, accuses the band of trademark infringement and deceptive business practices after they announced plans to tour this summer without founding guitarist Geils while still using the band name, the rights to which Geils claims ownership.
“What J did behind everyone’s back was very disturbing… If we felt that the musicality and the integrity of the band was at stake, we would not be on the road.”
Describing the lawsuit’s principal issue, Wolf compared his band to the Rolling Stones, Allman Brothers and Van Halen in that they kept their band name even through multiple lineup changes and losing members with the same name. “The name represents the group as a whole,” Wolf says of those bands.
Wolf believes the suit attempts to ruin the band’s identity that has been built upon since the 1960s, and this issue should merely be another bump in the road for a band with impressive longevity.
“We have a long history and our history is going to continue,” Wolf said. “Like bands that stay around for decades, there are curves and twists and binds. The good ones are able to get through it.”
— Matt Dolloff, 100.7 WZLX