Luke & The Apostles

Luke & The ApostlesFrom: Toronto, ON, Canada

Luke & The Apostles were a 1960s blues band known for their 1967 hit “Been Burnt.” Members included Luke Gibson, Mike McKenna, Peter Jermyn, Jim Jones, and Pat Little. They are considered to be innovators of the electric Blues. Many of the members from Luke & The Apostles would go on to form other notable Canadian bands, including McKenna Mendelson Mainline, Kensington Market, and the Modern Rock Quartet (the MRQ).

The band formed out of the band Mike’s Trio in 1964. Mike McKenna had previously played with Whitey & The Roulettes and bassist Graham Dunsmore. Rick McMurry became the drummer of Mike’s Trio, and the band started playing gigs at the Cellar club in Toronto’s Yorkville Village.

Later in 1964, McMurry introduced the band to singer Luke Gison who was also joined by classically trained keyboard player Peter Jermyn. It was Jermyn who coined the name Luke & The Apostles, and the band became a regular on the local club scene, starting out at the El Patio and then the Purple Onion.

Soon after they began playing at the Purple Onion, Jim Jones was brought in as a replacement for Dunsomore, while Ray Bennett was added to play harmonica. Luke & The Apostles signed to Elektra Records in 1965. After signing the contract, the band relocated to New York, where they recorded two tracks. Paul Rothchild, the man who signed the band, was arrested for marijuana possession, delaying the release of their single for a year. Jim Jones left in the summer and was replaced by Dennis Pendrith.

In 1967, Luke & The Apostles returned to New York where they were given the opportunity to play at the Cafe Au Go Go. During one of their performances at the Cafe Au Go Go, manager Albert Grossman and rock promoter Bill Graham approached the band, offering them a management contract. They were also promised a chance to play at the Fillmore West that summer.

The band was beginning to face difficulties in terms of agreeing upon potential offers, so they returned to Toronto to determine their future. Graham approached the band, asking them to open for Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead at Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square. After this show and a couple of others at the O’Keefe Center, Gibson left for the Kensington Market, while the other members all went in their own directions.

In February 1970, Gibson, McKenna, and Little discussed the idea of reforming the band. They recruited Danny McBride (guitar) and Denny Gerrard (bass). Gerrard only lasted for a few days before he was replaced by Bruce Palmer, formerly of Buffalo Springfield. Later that month, Palmer was replaced by Jack Geisinger. Luke & The Apostles performed at the Toronto Rock Festival at Varsity Arena on March 26 along with Funkadelic, Nucleus, Damage, and others. This new lineup recorded the lone single “You Make Me High.” The song is arguably one of the best records to come out of Canada during this time, and reached #27 on Canada’s RPM chart in October 1970.

Luke & The Apostles continued touring for a brief period of time before finally calling it quits. The band would reunite in the late 1990s, and in 2009, McKenna and Gibson formed the McKenna-Gibson Band. In 1970 Luke Gibson released Another Perfect Day which features a collection of solo work, as well as “You Make Me High.”

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

From the 1970 album Another Perfect Day
Another Perfect Day

  • You Make Me High