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This song is about a guy who had a crush on a sweet, innocent girl in his homeroom in high school. Years later, he's looking through a girly magazine and sees his homeroom crush as the centerfold. (thanks, Nick - Trenton, NJ)
The J. Geils Band signed with Atlantic Records in 1970 and made a name for themselves as a great live act with a Blues-based sound. "Centerfold" was a musical departure for the band - a New Wave sound similar to what The Cars and The Police were doing. It was also their biggest hit, earning them a slot touring with The Rolling Stones, the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, and heavy rotation on the new cable network MTV with a video showing the band playing in a classroom surrounded by girls in Catholic school uniforms.
This was written by the band's keyboard player Seth Justman, who wrote or co-wrote all the tracks on the Freeze Frame album. He insists that the reason you didn't hear much synthesizer on earlier J. Geils albums is because they couldn't afford them. The band was trapped in the record company debt cycle, constantly owing money despite their success.
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