Randy “Biscuit” Turner, vocalist for the Big Boys and Cargo Cult, was found dead in his South Austin home yesterday, reports the Austin American Stateman’s Joshua Sanders and Joe Gross. Turner, the subject of an Austin Chronicle cover story that incredibly, ran the very same day, fronted one of best live bands in US punk history in the shape of Austin’s Big Boys.

Backed by the ridiculously talented trio of Tim Kerr (guitar), Chris Gates (bass) and Rey Washam (drums), Turner worked the stage with charisma and humor to spare ; a show I saw at the Greenfield (MA) Grange in August of 1983 in front of about 25 high school kids still sticks in my brain as one of the funniest, most entertaining rock gigs I’ve ever seen.

The Big Boys’ deft introduction of funk stylings into what the rest of America was calling “hardcore” at the time, won them a big bag of Minutemen comparisons. But to anyone saw these guys tear shit up on stages across the USA, at the very least, the Big Boys had to be considered contemporaries, if not one of the best bands of the era.

(ADDENDUM : A wake for Turner is planned this evening at 8pm, taking place at Pedazo Chunk Video, 2009 South First Street, Austin)