December 1959 to December 1960

CASS & CASANOVAS. Gustafson:"We were playing local dives and cabaret clubs, doing Latin American Stuff mixed with rock'n' wasn't the most inspired band. Cass was both the founder and leader, and the rest of us were getting increasingly fed up with him...So we hatched this plot to disband and re-form without him. Later he went to London and became Casey Jones!" As a result of the Parnes audition, they toured Scotland with Johnny Gentle and Duffy Power. Hot locally. 


Johnny Gustafson: bass; 
Johnny Hutchinson: drums, vocal; 
Adrian Barber: guitar; 
Brian Casser: rhythm, vocal (Engineers). 


    January 1961 until June 1962

THE BIG THREE.Changed to solid rock'n'roll/R & B. An aggressive, power house trio, loud and uncompromising, they were respected and popular. Barber, a bit of an electronics whizz, made their gear - the loudest, and most impressive in town. A blueprint for Cream & Hendrix, they also had dexterity to back Cilla Black's early Cavern gigs. 


Johnny Gustafson: bass, vocal; 
Johnny Hutchinson: drums, vocal; 
Adrian Barber: guitar. 


July 1962

Spent whole month playing the Star Club, Hamburg. Gustafson: "People who'd been over there told us that the audiences liked to see a lot of activity on stage - and there were doubts about a trio. So we got Brian in...he was really good and was at a loose end. We arrived full of apprehension, but we went down a storm! I'll never forget the reaction that first night...all these shouting, cheering, rowdy Germans! It was just amazing! Adrian decided to stay there". 

Brian Griffiths: guitar; 
Johnny Gustafson: bass, vocal; 
Johnny Hutchinson: drums, vocal; 
Adrian Barber: guitar (manager of Star Club). 

August 1962 to November 1963

Signed by Brian Epstein just after the Beatles broke through. Decca (who'd lost the Beatles) snapped them up. Dynamite live, they were thwarted by Epstein and Decca's efforts to mould them into a "nice" group. They toured Britain, did the TV Shows, made the charts - but their records belie their wall-shaking, sweaty, roaring, onstage magnificence. 


Brian Griffiths: guitar; 
Johnny Gustafson: bass, vocal; 
Johnny Hutchinson: drums, vocal. 

November 1963 until March 1964

Hutchinson, now the undisputed boss, hired Faron and Chambers on wages - a situation which did little to engender enthusiasm or unity. A stack of studio tracks were recorder, but none issued; their only available performance being a contribution to Decca's live Cavern album. After four months, Chambers quit...later formed Paddy Klaus & Gibson. 


Johnny Hutchinson: drums, vocal; 
Faron: bass, vocal; 
Paddy Chambers: guitar, vocal (to Dominoes). 

April 1964 until October 1964

Recorded a final single for Decca, who then dropped them...Liverpool groups were no longer commercially viable. After this line-up fell apart, Hutchinson recruited new sidemen but it was game over. He retreated into the building trade. Faron kept singing and playing and currently leads a French rock band. Pilnick later in Deaf School. 

Line up
Paul Pilnick: guitar (Stealer's Wheel); 
Johnny Hutchinson: drums, vocal; 
Faron: bass, vocal (to New Flamingos). 


(1963 - 1965) 


'Some Other Guy'/                             DECCA F 11614    3/63 
'Let True Love Begin' 

'By The Way'/'Cavern Stomp'            DECCA F 11689    6/63 

'I'm With You'/'Peanut Butter'            DECCA F 11752  10/63 

'If You Ever Change Your Mind'/      DECCA F 11927    6/64 
'You've Got To Keep Her Under Hand' 

                            Johnny Gustafson

'Just to Be With You'/'Sweet Day'     POLYDOR 56022   7/65 

'Take Me For A Little While'/           POLYDOR 56043 12/65 
'Make Me Your Number One' 


'At The Cavern'                                DECCA DFE 8552  7/64 

Also featured on the compilation LP At The Cavern. 'If You Ever Change Your Mind' is better known as 'Bring It on Home to Me'.


Merseybeat Home Page