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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 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 together; Big Boys and The Dicks jointly released a split single and an LP, Live At Raul's. 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, who actually opened up for the Big Boys in Hollywood. This is due in no small part to the addition of a Horn Section, The Impromptu Horns, spearheaded by Chris Gates' brother, Nathan. The Impromptu Horns played mainly local shows, and played on some of the funkiest tracks recorded by The Big Boys. (Most of the horn players, who rotated in and out of the section, went to High School with Chris and Nathan.)

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. The Big Boys played their last show very unexpectedly. Biscuit and Chris never spoke to each other again.

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