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The Big Three

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The Big Three were a British and group. Their format (as implied by their name) and raucous yet refined live performances and groundbreaking high levels of wattage made them one of the most beloved and highly regarded Merseybeat groups, second only to The Beatles in popularity. The Big Three’s 1963 single, “Some Other Guy”, reached #36 on the British singles charts. Their 1963 live EP, At The Cavern, is a well-regarded document of the live scene of the infamous Cavern Club.

The Big Three evolved from a group called Cass & The Cassanovas which were formed in the late 50’s by Brian Casser. Although originally a four-piece outfit, by 1959 they had slimmed down to a trio comprising of Casser (guitar/vocals), Adrian Barber (guitar) and Johnny Hutchinson (drums). In need of a bass guitarist, Hutchinson brought in Johnny Gustafson. At that time Gustafson didn’t have a proper bass guitar so Barber converted an acoustic for him.

Late in 1960, Casser left the group and moved to London reducing them to a trio again. In January 1961 the Cassanovas re-emerged as the Big Three. Despite being a three-piece they were one of the loudest bands in Liverpool due to Barber’s talents in the electronics field. He built the band giant amps, standing over five feet high, which were nicknamed “coffins”.

Brian Epstein signed them to his sable and sent them over to Hamburg. It was during that trip that Brian Griffiths joined the group, Barber left, and the best-known line-up of the Big Three was established. Their musicianship and attack were legendary and they exerted a considerable influence on their contemporaries.

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