PUNK USA - The Rise and Fall of Lookout Records


PUNK USA - The Rise and Fall of Lookout Records
by Kevin Prested

A chronicle of an influential music label (birthplace of 
Green Day) and the underground scene it created told through the participants own voices. Plus the detailing of missteps that squandered tens of millions of dollars through bad business decisions and damaged relationships.
  

Through hundreds of exclusive and original interviews, Punk USA documents an empire that was built overnight as Lookout! Records sold millions of albums and rode the wave of the second coming of punk rock until it all came crashing down. 

In 1987, Lawrence Livermore founded an independent punk label to release records by his band the Lookouts. Forming a partnership with David Hayes, the label released some of the most influential recordings from California's East Bay punk scene, including a then-teenaged Green Day. Originally operating out of a bedroom, Lookout Records created the "East Bay Punk sound," with bands such as Crimpshrine, Operation Ivy, the Mr. T Experience, and many more. The label helped to pave the way for future punk upstarts, and as Lookout! grew, young punk entrepreneurs used the label as a blueprint to try their hand at record pressing. 

Kevin Prested is a music journalist, an archivist, and a musician. He wrote for the official Lookout! Records blog and website.

A small, charming, and innovative publishing house, Microcosm Publishing specializes in work designed to make the reader feel good about being alive, take an active role in bettering their life, and impact the world around them. Microcosm has developed a reputation for teaching self-empowerment, showing hidden histories, and fostering creativity through challenging conventional publishing wisdom, with books and bookettes about DIY skills, food, zines, and art. The then-distro and record-label was founded in Cleveland, OH in 1996 and is now based in Portland, OR. Microcosm constantly strives to be recognized for our spirit, creativity, and value. Our books are printed by union workers in the U.S. and we are moving towards all production using post-consumer papers, with vegan inks and bindings. Further, while only 25-35% of authors are women, over 50% of the books we publish are by women.


Punk USA: The Rise and Fall of Lookout Records (Real World)

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