Peter Wolf

Peter Wolf (born Peter W. Blankfield, March 7, 1946)[1] is an American musician best known as the lead vocalist of the J. Geils Band from 1967 to 1983[2] (with several reunions thereafter) and for a successful solo career with writing partner Will Jennings.

Peter Wolf
Background information
Birth namePeter Blankfield
Also known asWoofer Goofer
Born (1946-03-07) March 7, 1946 (age 74)
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
  • Musician
  • performer
  • songwriter
  • painter
  • Vocals
  • piano
  • guitar
  • harmonica
  • percussion
Years active1964 - present
Associated acts

Early life and educationEdit

Peter Blankfield was born in The Bronx, New York[3] to Allen and Lillian Blankfield.[1]

He attended the High School of Music & Art, located in west Harlem near the Apollo Theater. He often attended the Apollo, seeing many of the great soul, rhythm & blues, and gospel artists who had an enormous influence on him. He moved to Boston, Massachusetts, to attend the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts[3] on scholarship, where he studied painting. His first roommate was film director David Lynch.


In 1964, Wolf and fellow art students Paul Shapiro, Doug Slade, Joe Clark, and Stephen Jo Bladd formed a group called The Hallucinations. They performed at nightclubs in the Combat Zone area of Boston and developed a large following as one of the first bands to play at the Boston Tea Party nightclub. During this period, they appeared on bills with The Velvet Underground, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Van Morrison (who became close with Wolf while residing in nearby Cambridge, Massachusetts), John Lee Hooker, and Sun Ra.[4]

While performing with the Hallucinations, Wolf was asked to join Boston's radio station WBCN as their all-night deejay. He used the name Woofa Goofa for his on-air personality.[3] His show was popular and he interviewed many of the great rock, blues, and jazz artists that were touring through Boston in the late 1960s.

In 1967, a revamped J. Geils Band was formed with Wolf on vocals. As the group's frontman, Wolf was known for his charismatic presence and fast-talking quips made him known as one of rock's most dynamic stage performers. During the early days of MTV, the band achieved wider success with their widely played videos. Because of the band's constant touring, they established international success and toured stadiums with The Rolling Stones. Wolf and keyboardist Seth Justman were responsible for most of the band's songwriting. Creative differences followed their album Freeze Frame. Wolf parted ways with the J. Geils Band in 1983 to pursue a solo career.

Peter Wolf with the J. Geils Band in Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

In 1999 the J. Geils Band reunited for a series of tours, while Wolf continued recording and performing as a solo artist.

The J. Geils Band has five nominations to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Solo workEdit

Peter Wolf jumping (1982)

Wolf's first solo record Lights Out (1984) was produced with Michael Jonzun, of the Jonzun Crew, and featured Adrian Belew, G.E. Smith, Elliot Randall, Yogi Horton, Mick Jagger, Elliot Easton, and Maurice Starr. The single "Lights Out" written with Don Covey became a hit the same year, peaking at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Wolf appeared on the Artists United Against Apartheid's song, "Sun City" in 1987.

In 1987, Wolf released his second solo album Come as You Are, with the title track notching Wolf another top-15 hit on the pop chart and a number one hit on the Mainstream Rock Chart. A later single titled "Can't Get Started" also had wide radio play.

His album Long Line (1996) and his fifth album, Fool's Parade (1998) started his collaboration with singer/songwriter Kenny White and Sleepless (the latter featuring guest appearances from Mick Jagger and Keith Richards), were both highly praised by Rolling Stone. Sleepless (2002) was noted as one of the 500 greatest albums of all time in Rolling Stone issue 937.

Wolf's 2010 album Midnight Souvenirs won Album of the Year at the Boston Music Awards.[5][6] On the album, Wolf performed duets with Shelby Lynne, Neko Case, and Merle Haggard.

Wolf inducted Jackie Wilson and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

His eighth solo album, A Cure for Loneliness, was released in April 2016.[7]

Personal lifeEdit

Wolf married actress Faye Dunaway in 1974.[8] They separated in 1978 and divorced in 1979.[9]


Studio albumsEdit

List of albums, with selected details and chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales



Lights Out 24 17
Come as You Are
  • Released: March 20, 1987
  • Label: EMI America
53 26
Up to No Good
  • Released: February 19, 1990
  • Label: MCA
111 46
Long Line
  • Released: May 14, 1996
  • Label: Reprise
Fool's Parade
  • Released: September 29, 1998
  • Label: Mercury
  • Released: September 10, 2002
  • Label: Artemis
Midnight Souvenirs
  • Released: April 6, 2010
  • Label: Verve
45 12
A Cure for Loneliness
  • Released: April 8, 2016
  • Label: Concord
144 18 5
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Year Song US Hot 100 US MSR US Dance AUS CAN Album
1984 "Lights Out" 12 6 11 46 15 Lights Out
1984 "I Need You Tonight" 36 22 - 85
1984 "Crazy" - 26 -
1985 "Oo-Ee-Diddley-Bop!" 61 -
1987 "Come as You Are" 15 1 49 72 29 Come as You Are
1987 "Can't Get Started" 75 16 -
1990 "99 Worlds" 77 9 - 56 Up to No Good
1996 "Long Line" - - - Long Line
1998 "Turnin' Pages" - - - Fool's Parade


  1. ^ a b "Peter W. Blankfield - Genealogy". Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  2. ^ Skelly, Richard; Jurek, Thom. "Biography: Peter Wolf". AMG. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c Coffey, Carl (March 7, 2018). "It's the Woofa Goofa Peter Wolf's birthday". Townsquare Media, Inc. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  4. ^ "The Hallucinations". The Music Museum of New England. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  5. ^ Gottlieb, Jed (December 7, 2010), "Peter Wolf, Amanda Palmer lead BMA winners", Boston Herald
  6. ^ Perry, Jonathan (December 6, 2010), "Uke in hand, Palmer tops Music Awards", Boston Globe
  7. ^ Horowitz, Hal (April 7, 2016), "Peter Wolf: A Cure for Loneliness", American Songwriter
  8. ^ Lester, Peter (5 October 1981). "Dunaway Does Crawford". People. New York City. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  9. ^ Giles, Jeff (August 7, 2015). "45 Years Ago: J. Geils Band Singer Peter Wolf Marries Aactress Faye Dunaway". Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  10. ^ "Peter Wolf - Chart history - Billboard 200". Billboard.
  11. ^ "Peter Wolf - Chart history - Rock Albums". Billboard.
  12. ^ "Peter Wolf - Chart history - Folk Albums". Billboard.
  13. ^ "Peter Wolf - Chart history - Independent Albums". Billboard.
  14. ^ "Swedish Charts > Peter Wolf". Hung Medien.
  15. ^ "Upcoming Releases". Hits Daily Double. HITS Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.

External linksEdit