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J. Geils Band's founder sues former bandmates

BOSTON (Reuters) - Former members of the J. Geils band may have to "freeze frame" their upcoming tour.
/ Source: Reuters

BOSTON (Reuters) - Former members of the J. Geils band may have to "freeze frame" their upcoming tour.

John Geils, who formed the J. Geils Band, filed a lawsuit against the other members of the rock group this week, claiming they are unlawfully using the band's trademarked name for an upcoming tour without him and interfering with his business activities.

The lawsuit says that band members Richard Salwitz, Danny Klein, Peter Wolf and Seth Justman had "planned and conspired" to exclude Geils from performing with them under the J. Geils Band name on a recently announced tour.

The band members had planned 11 concerts without Geils as "The J. Geils Band," beginning August 25 in Syracuse, New York.

The original J. Geils Band released 13 studio albums between 1967 and 1985 and has sporadically reunited in the past 13 years. They are best known for their 1981 hits "Centerfold," which reached #1 on the Billboard chart, and "Freeze Frame," which peaked at #4.

Geils is seeking full rights to the trademark, prevention of other members' use of the name, and damages. The lawsuit was filed in Boston Superior Court.

"Together they're the J. Geils Band, but separately they're Mr. Wolf, Mr. Salwitz , Mr. Klein, and Mr. Justman," said Charles Grimes, the lawyer representing Geils.

"They do not have the right to take his name and use it, and try to deny him the right to use his own name."

James Weinberger, the attorney representing the other members of the band, denied the allegations made by John Geils and Francesca Records, a label Geils co-owns.

"We will address the claims in the lawsuit including our own claims against John Geils and Francesca Records at the appropriate time," he said.

(Reporting By Joseph O'Leary)