The Big Three
The Big Three

The Big Three

About The Big Three

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. ~ Richie Unterberger

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