Larry Livermore (Formerly of Lookout Records) Live!

Larry Livermore Book Cover
Death To Lookout Records!
The Classic Larry Livermore Photo
Larry Livermore Today
Friday, May 20, 2016 - 8:00pm to 10:15pm
4823 Baltimore Avenue
Philadelpia , PA

The "Speakers Series" Event #2: Larry Livermore

Larry Livermore, former owner of Lookout Records, former columist for MaximumRockNRoll magazine, and current author of the book "How To Ru(i) A Record Label," live at Cindergarden.

Larry will read from his book, take audience questions, and sign copies of the book.

Friday, May 20, 2016 8 PM

At Cindergarden 4823 Baltimore Avenue in West Philadelphia (19143)

$3 suggested donation

*** Please help out this event by spreading the word to your friends! It's crucial that everyone who'd potentially like to attend the event knows it's happening. Thank you! ***

More about the book and Larry Livermore"

How To Ru(i)n A Record Label

In 1987, Larry Livermore began documenting the burgeoning DIY East Bay punk rock scene with his newly founded label, Lookout Records. During the ten years he ran Lookout, first from his solar-powered cabin in the Northern Californian wilderness, then from a scruffy studio in the backstreets of Berkeley, it would grow from a shoestring operation into a multi-million dollar business responsible for introducing the world to the likes of Green Day, Operation Ivy, and a host of other artists.

The label’s meteoric rise to prominence was followed by a similarly spectacular fall from grace. In 1997, disillusioned by the pressures and conflicts that had accompanied Lookout’s success, Livermore abruptly walked away, handing control of the company to a 24-year-old junior partner. Within a few years, Lookout was bankrupt and ceased to exist.

In his book How To Ru(i)n A Record Label (Don Giovanni, 2015), Livermore describes what happened and tries to make sense of why. His story has resonance not just for fans of the music Lookout specialized in, but for anyone who ever dreamed of sharing their music or art with the public — or simply anyone who ever had a dream. “At my core,” Livermore writes, “I’d never stopped being that Detroit kid with a chip on his shoulder, out to show the world that ordinary people from ordinary places could, given half a chance, do extraordinary things.”

Since the book’s publication, Livermore has been speaking to audiences across North America and Europe, recounting his journey from gun-toting teenage hoodlum to Woodstock-attending hippie to California punk pioneer to watching his protégés being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Though his tale spans multiple generations and subcultures, it ultimately centers on what he describes as “the heart of what it is to be human: the never-ending need to re-imagine, re-invent, and, above all, transcend ourselves.”


Larry Livermore was the co-founder of Lookout Records, the editor and publisher of Lookout magazine, a longtime columnist for Maximum Rocknroll and Punk Planet, and a contributor to numerous books, magazines, and anthologies, and the author of How To Ru(i)n A Record Label (Don Giovanni, 2015) and Spy Rock Memories (Don Giovanni, 2013). He sang and played guitar with the Lookouts and the Potatomen, and gave Grammy Award winner and Rock and Hall of Famer Tre Cool his first drum lessons. Originally from Detroit, he has spent much of his life in California and London, and currently makes his home in Brooklyn.

Praise For How To Ru(i)n A Record Label

"A great book by a true veteran. Well told, funny and entertainingly opinionated." – Jesse Michaels, Operation Ivy

"How To Ru(i)n A Record Label is Larry Livermore's engrossing account of being in the epicenter of the East Bay punk scene when it exploded, told from the perspective of the man holding the detonator." – Liz Prince, author of Tomboy

"While Green Day and Nirvana were causing kids to start bands, labels like Lookout were inspiring them to start record labels." – Joe Steinhardt, Don Giovanni Records "[Larry Livermore] created Lookout Records for all the right reasons." – Mike Dirnt, Green Day

"Larry Livermore's memoirs offer invaluable insight into his life not only as a champion of Lookout Records, but also as an activist, author, and intrepid adventurer" – Marissa Paternoster, Screaming Females

“It’s so rare to get to have an independent label that’s putting out bands that are in a scene, a place like Gilman Street, where we come from. They [Lookout] were putting out my favorite records at the time, whether it was Crimpshrine, Operation Ivy, [or] Isocracy . . . “ – Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day

“Larry writes incisively and tellingly about an era he didn’t just witness, but helped define.” – Danny Penman, author of You Are Not Your Pain and Mindfulness For Creativity

“A brilliant book by one of the greatest tastemakers in the history of punk rock”. – Grant Lawrence, award-winning broadcaster and author, former lead singer of the Smugglers