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Two Big Boys albums to see reissues this month

Deborah Sengupta

Editor’s note: This article was originally published May 1, 2014

Light in the Attic Records announced two upcoming reissues of albums by the Austin skate punk pioneers on their blog yesterday. Limited editions of the albums “Lullabies Help the Brain Grow” and “No Matter How Long the Line Is At the Cafeteria, There’s Always a Seat” will be available on May 20. The band’s influence in Austin continues to resonate years after their six year run in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Fun Fun Fun Fest, Austin’s annual genre fest at Auditorium Shores pulls its name from one of the band’s tracks on the 1982 album of the same name.

When the band’s lead singer Randy “Biscuit” Turner died in 2005, the Statesman’s Joe Gross wrote the following about Biscuit and his band:

With the Big Boys, Turner subverted the rapidly entrenching dogmas of American hardcore punk in the late 1970s and early ’80s with humor, eclectic songwriting and outrageous costumes.

“With guitarist Tim Kerr, bassist Chris Gates and drummer Rey Washam, the Big Boys, which lasted from 1978 to 1984, became known for explosive and funky live shows. They slowed down punk tempos to allow for syncopated rhythms and played with nonpunk bands such as the Washington, D.C., go-go act Trouble Funk. The Big Boys can be seen as a direct precursor to funky rock acts such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Fishbone. The band’s encouragement of audience participation made them iconic punk rockers.

“It’s hard to overstate how huge they were in Austin,” Butthole Surfers drummer King Coffey said Thursday evening. “They weren’t just a punk band. A really wide spectrum of people would check out the shows. It was due in a large part to Biscuit. Everyone in the crowd would be dancing and having so much fun, and Biscuit was like the ringleader of this band that would sometimes have a full horn section on stage. The band’s motto was ‘fun, fun, fun,’ and that was Biscuit to a T.

“People like Biscuit created an amazing community here,” Coffey continued. “The Big Boys were the heart and soul of it, and he was the heart and soul of the Big Boys. He meant so much to the music scene here in Texas and to punks throughout the U.S.”