Before singer Peter Wolf and drummer Stephen Jo Bladd joined up with what would become The J. Geils Band, they were playing in the blues-rock-soul and, in the words of Wolf, “attitude-heavy” band The Hallucinations. Their live shows built them a large local following, and they served pretty much as the on-call opening act at The Boston Tea Party when it was still on Berkeley Street. Legend says that Wolf became the band’s singer when he attended a Brookline loft party where The Hallucinations were performing, and the original singer was too drunk to remember the words, so Wolf jumped onstage and took over. The eventual lineup was Wolf, Bladd, Paul Shapiro on lead guitar, Doug Slade on rhythm guitar and Joe Clark on bass. The band performed from 1965 to 1968.
(by Ed Symkus)
According to an often-repeated story, an early version of The Hallucinations was playing at a party when the singer was too drunk to continue and Peter Wolf, who was at the party, jumped up and took his place. Not so says guitarist Paul Shapiro. “The Hallucinations did not exist at that party. Steven Bladd, Doug Slade and myself were playing at this party in a very informal way, we had never played together before. Steven had just purchased a set of drums and was very new to drumming. Peter Wolf shows up and pulls out a harmonica and starts playing with us. I suggested that we form a band and a week later Doug recruits Joe Clark on bass and we are off and running. Steven Bladd came up with the name The Hallucinations. A month later Barry Tashian hears us and exclaims that this is America’s answer to the Rolling Stones and gets us his manager and booking agent John Sdoucos of Music Productions, where Don Law was a young employee.”