Monday, June 29, 2009

The Big Three - At The Cavern (1963-64)

The original lineup formed in January 1961. They were the same musicians as in Cass & The Casanovas, except for Cass. (see early post)
Brian "Griff" Griffiths - guitar/vocals
Johnny "Gus" Gustafson - bass/vocals
Johnny "Hutch" Huthinson - drums
Around the time the Beatles started recording, the Big Three were one of their biggest Liverpool rivals. Their then-novel power trio attack was anchored by drummer Johnny "Hutch" Hutchinson, who actually filled the drum set for the Beatles as an emergency replacement on a few gigs. Managed by Brian Epstein as well, the Big Three were renowned locally as a tough, R&B-inflected outfit, but were made to cover pop material more suited for Gerry & the Pacemakers on most of their singles. The group only managed to cut four singles in 1963 and 1964, as well as a Live at the Cavern EP that was the only official release recorded at one of the most legendary rock clubs of all time. A couple of these singles dented the British Top 40 briefly, but the original lineup broke up in late 1963; bassist Johnny Gustafson went on to join the Merseybeats for a time and played on three albums by Roxy Music in the '70s. While eyewitness accounts affirm that the Big Three were a powerful live outfit, they were unsuccessful at translating this energy to record, which doomed their status to a footnote of the British Invasion.
Singles :
Mar '63 Some Other Guy/Let True Love Begin Decca F 11614 UK#37 Jun '63 By The Way/Cavern Stomp Decca F 11689 UK#22 Oct '63 I'm With You/Peanut Butter Decca F 11752 Jun '64 If You Ever Change Your Mind/You've Got To Keep Her Under Your Hand Decca F 11927
E.P. :
Jul '64 Live At The Cavern - What'd I Say?/Don't Start Running Away/Zip A Dee Doo Dah/Reelin'And Rockin' Decca DFE 8552
Their best memorial is probably the E.P. "Live At The Cavern", actually recorded in 1963 and featuring the classic Griffiths/Gustafson/Hutchinson line-up, which conveys something of the excitement they created in their heyday.
1 Some other guy 1:51 2 Let true love begin 2:38 3 By the way 2:13 4 Cavern stomp 1:38 5 I' m with you 1:46 6 Peanut butter 2:07 7 Bring it on home to me 2:21 8 You've gotta keep her under hand 2:54 9 High scool confindential 2:23 10 What' I say 3:37 11 Don't start running away 1:48 12 Zip-a-dee-doo-dah 2:31 13 Reelin' and rockin' 2:10 14 Bring it on home to me 1:54 15 Bring it on home to me 2:03

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