Latest Posts

Paul Justman, Who Shed Light on Motown’s Unsung Heroes, Dies at 74

Mr. Justman, who moved to Los Angeles in 1980, was also a fixture behind the scenes with the J. Geils Band as it was climbing from the clubs of Boston toward fame. In the mid-1970s, he made a short documentary, “Postcards,” about the high-energy blues-rock band’s frenzied life on the road. That film, which featured appearances by the rock critic Lester Bangs, was broadcast on PBS.

In addition to his brother, Mr. Justman is survived by his wife, Saundra Jordan, and his sister, Peggy Suttle Kligerman.

Not all Mr. Justman’s work with the J. Geils Band was behind the camera. He often collaborated on songs with his brother, and he contributed lyrics for all the songs on the band’s final studio album, “You’re Gettin’ Even While I’m Gettin’ Odd” (1984), recorded after the kinetic frontman, Peter Wolf, left the band. (Seth Justman handled most of the lead vocals.)

But, his brother said, it was Mr. Justman’s ever-present videos, not his words, that helped break the band into the pop stratosphere. His “Freeze Frame” video, featuring band members dressed in white and splattering one another in paint as if they were human Jackson Pollock canvases, received heavy airplay on MTV. The song hit No. 4 on the Billboard singles chart in 1982.

But it could not match “Centerfold,” from the previous year, in ubiquity. The video for that song, featuring models marching around a high school classroom in teddies and, famously, a snare drum filled with milk, become a token of Generation X pop culture, and the song became the band’s first and only No. 1 hit.

Latest Posts

Don't Miss

Stay in touch

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.