J Geils Band – Centerfold

If high school would have been more like the video to this song…Max would not have skipped school or been late.

Personally, I like their 70s blues/rock music more but I can’t say I don’t like the Freeze-Frame album. When it came out it was all over the place and I loved it…and still do. One of my memories of that time is pep rallies in high school and the cheerleaders (the reason we went) did a routine around ‘Freeze Frame’at the time…hmmm… too bad it wasn’t this song.

This song is commercial but still retains the essence of the band. Peter Wolf blows through this song and he makes you believe it. He was/is one of the best frontmen in rock and roll. I like the story the song presents. After having a crush on a sweet, innocent girl in his homeroom in high school…he sees her in a “girly” magazine later on but instead of being excited he is disappointed because his memory has been sold.

This was the third album for EMI and the record company made a great choice of picking this song as the lead single. It was #1 for six weeks and carried the album with it. The title cut peaked at #4. The video was directed by Paul Justman, brother of the song’s writer Seth. Paul also directed the band’s videos for “Land of 1,000 Dances” and “Freeze-Frame.”

The video…there was a rumor going around at the time that Martha Quinn, VJ for MTV, was in the video. It was not her of course but she had a hairstyle like Quinn plus it was a slight resemblance. You can see her around:56 in the video… Martha Quinn: “That’s not me. When I had my other haircut, I looked just like her. Except she’s enormous.”

The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada, #3 in the UK, and #5 in New Zealand in 1981.  The album Freeze Frame peaked at #1 on the Billboard Album Charts, #1 in Canada, #12 in the UK, and #14 in New Zealand.

It was great to see this hard-working band finally get some massive success but it didn’t last long. Peter Wolf would leave the band in 1983 or the band left without him.

Peter Wolf:  “I did not leave the band, but the majority of the band wanted to move in another direction. They wanted to continue in a pop-techno way, [and] it wasn’t my thing.”

Centerfold

Does she walk? Does she talk?
Does she come complete?
My homeroom homeroom angel
Always pulled me from my seat

She was pure like snowflakes
No one could ever stain
The memory of my angel
Could never cause me pain

Years go by I’m lookin’ through a girly magazine
And there’s my homeroom angel on the pages in-between

My blood runs cold
My memory has just been sold
My angel is the centerfold
Angel is the centerfold

My blood runs cold
My memory has just been sold
Angel is the centerfold

Slipped me notes under the desk
While I was thinkin’ about her dress
I was shy I turned away
Before she caught my eye

I was shakin’ in my shoes
Whenever she flashed those baby-blues
Something had a hold on me
When angel passed close by

Those soft and fuzzy sweaters
Too magical to touch
To see her in that negligee
Is really just too much

My blood runs cold
My memory has just been sold
My angel is the centerfold
Angel is the centerfold

My blood runs cold
My memory has just been sold
Angel is the centerfold

It’s okay I understand
This ain’t no never-never land
I hope that when this issue’s gone
I’ll see you when your clothes are on

Take you car, yes we will
We’ll take your car and drive it
We’ll take it to a motel room
And take ’em off in private

A part of me has just been ripped
The pages from my mind are stripped
Oh no, I can’t deny it
Oh yeah, I guess I gotta buy it

My blood runs cold
My memory has just been sold
My angel is the centerfold
Angel is the centerfold

My blood runs cold
My memory has just been sold
My Angel in the centerfold

My blood runs cold
My memory has just been sold
My angel is the centerfold
Angel is the centerfold

My blood runs cold
My memory has just been sold
Angel is the centerfold

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

35 thoughts on “J Geils Band – Centerfold”

  1. Man, did I love this song and the album itself back then. Bought the single and in time, two copies of it on LP (one eventually got a bit scratched) and was one of the rare ones I even bought on cassette once I had a car. And I don’t even remember seeing the video back then! Now, it doesn’t rank high on my list of favorites, but still think it’s a good pop-rock effort and one of the early-’80s catchier singles. I’m sure even most of their old fans were a bit pleased for them back then seeing them suddenly sell in the millions instead of few hundred thousands.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a good pop/rock song…it was catchy without being too catchy. \
      Yes looking back…I’m happy they did finally bust through…I just wish they would have compromised and went on together.

      Like

  2. Heh, heh, heh…this song & I Love Rock & Roll were the dominating songs back then. Good stuff.

    Peter Wolf always reminded me of a younger, darker-haired Jagger. They move in the same way. Hadn’t seen the video in years. Still cute…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 100% agree with everything you said here, Max. I will always prefer the J. Geils Band’s renditions of “First I Look At the Purse” and “Homework” and their early originals like “Hard Drivin’ Man”, but “Centerfold” still is a fun tune. It also finally gave them a big hit after they had been at it for 13 years! Ironically, big success soon coincided with big disagreements and they broke up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea….I WAS happy that they finally broke through but…I understand why Wolf didn’t want to go far into electronic music.
      I wish they would have cut a compromise. Their earlier songs have that energy to them.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. yeah if high school was this video or Hot For Teacher I would have never skipped class lol. Loved this track in 82 and still love it in 2022. Love that driving bass line in the pre chorus and Wolf drives it home with that vocal.
    Love Stinks ya ya but my angel is a Centerfold.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It’s weird because for me this is the only song that I ever hear on the radio from the J Gail’s Band. Blogger Cincinnati Babyhead is a big fan and has had me listening to some of the earlier stuff. Similar boat to Robert Palmer too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea this one is the one that gets played the most. I was happy to see them break through but yea….I’m with CB ….I like their older music.

      Like

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