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The Luv-Lites

The Luv-Lites - Where It's At / Born in Chicago - 7

Where It's At / Born in Chicago - 7"
Op-Art - 1967

Michael Panontin
The Luv-Lites may be barely a footnote in the annals of CanRock, but that doesn't excuse fans of r'n'b for not knowing about their scorching version of Nick Gravenites' 'Born in Chicago'. Gravenites was part of that city's coterie of white boy blues rockers that included Elvin Bishop, Michael Bloomfield and Paul Butterfield. Butterfield of course recorded the song for his first LP on Elektra in 1965 and it is most likely that version that found its way into the hands of four other white boys from Toronto.

The Luv-Lites were bassist and singer Jeff Elliot, guitarist Pete Nichol, organist Ron Burns and drummer Larry Roberts. The guys somehow found themselves under the wing of local honcho Art Snider, the man responsible for labels like Chateau and Sound Canada. They often shared the stage with fellow labelmates the Tiaras, with at least one documented appearance together at The Hawk's Nest on Yonge Street as well as a couple of shows at The Oak Door up in Ottawa.

'Where It's At' was the Luv-Lites' only release, and though Snider - or the boys, perhaps - chose to include it on the top-side, it is clearly the searing 'Born in Chicago' that got all the attention back in the day. To wit, an excerpt from the May 13th, 1967 edition of RPM magazine: "Now you westerners hang on for a few lines 'cuz I got a few thousand words to talk at you about the Toronto scene. You think that English blues group have the world by the axis? Wait, you ain't heard nothin' 'til you wrap your eardrums around 'Born in Chicago' by the Luv-Lites, a gas of a group."

('Born in Chicago' can be found on the 2009 CD Wyld Canada Vol. 6, but for those who like their blues on black wax, original copies of 'Born in Chicago' can still be had for about a hundred bucks.)

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