I love everything about this song, including the super 80s video that makes no sense at all! MTV was only a few months old when this song was released, and though The J. Geils Band had been around for more than a decade by that time this was their first number one album and only the second of their top twenty hits.
I was eight years old when I first heard this song. I had started watching MTV from pretty much the first day, even though I was still pretty unaware of a lot of contemporary music in 1982. My music knowledge was based on the 50s and 60s records my mother and uncle loved, and those were the records I played every day on my pretend radio station in our basement. I watched Solid Gold, American Bandstand, and Dance Fever, so I was aware that there was other music out there, but the records I had were songs they would play on Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, and Sha Na Na.
Still, the idea of a TV channel that played nothing but music was intriguing to me. Videos were a weird concept, especially since I was used to not knowing what most of the musicians I loved looked like. I knew Elvis, The Beatles, and Mick Jagger, but I had no idea what most other old rock stars looked like. For the longest time, I thought Chuck Berry was white!
The J. Geils Band made an impression on me in those early days. As cheesy as the videos were, they were super cool and high tech at the time. We were all fascinated by these little movies on our televisions. I remember how scandalous the video for “Centerfold” seemed, but what I really loved about it was the music. That is a really catchy fucking song! Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na!
“Freeze Frame” was a lot of fun to sing to, and Peter Wolf was a masterful frontman. I really dug his whole deal, and I thought he was cool as fuck. As I got older and heard more of their previous music, I was so amazed that they weren’t superstars! Peter has so much soul, so much funk in his voice and delivery, I just can’t believe the band wasn’t selling out stadiums all over the world.
They were superstars to me.