Punk USA: The Rise and Fall of Lookout Records

Punk USA: The Rise and Fall of Lookout Records

by Kevin Prested

Through hundreds of exclusive and original interviews, Punk USA documents an empire that was built overnight as Lookout sold millions of records and rode the wave of the second coming of punk rock until it all came crashing down. In 1987, Lawrence Livermore founded independent punk label Lookout Records 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 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. As punk broke nationally in the mid 90s the label went from indie outfit to having more money than it knew how to manage.