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Big Boys

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The Big Boys were a pioneering band who are credited with helping introduce the new style of hardcore punk that became popular in the 1980s.

Based in Austin, Texas the band members were Randy ‘Biscuit’ Turner on vocals, Tim Kerr on guitar and Chris Gates on bass. Over the years the group played with four drummers in all; Steve Collier, Greg Murray, Fred Shultz and Rey Washam. The band also featured a horn section on some recordings and at many of their shows.

The hardcore punk style, a development from the earlier punk sound, arose spontaneously in various cities, but in Austin it was represented by MDC, Big Boys and The Dicks. The bands often played with each other, and Big Boys and The Dicks released a split single and an LP, Live At Raul’s, together. Big Boys shows were legendary, frequently involving food fights, ‘Biscuit’ in a tutu, or dress, and invitations to the audience to come up and sing along, which often occurred. At the end of early shows the band was famous for yelling, “OK y’all, go start your own band”. The Big Boys are credited as well with the introduction of funk rhythms to hardcore, producing funkcore, an innovation influential on later bands such as Red Hot Chili Peppers. They were also one of the first bands involved in the skatepunk scene, appearing in Thrasher skateboarding magazine and in Thrasher’s videos, and had their own Big Boys skateboard. After a Bad Brains show in Austin that ended in controversy involving Biscuit (and later inspired the song “Pay to Come Along” by MDC), conflicts began to arise within the band, specifically between Biscuit And Chris.

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