Don Giovanni Records, P.O. Box 628, Kingston, NJ 08528, Usa, www.dongiovannirecords.com
This is the story of the label from the guy who founded it. Larry is a good story teller and obviously has plenty of story’s to tell. It is a fun read and almost never boring. It is detailed but only as far as going beyond the surface to make things understandable without being to detailed. It begins with a intro – the author tells the story of where he is coming from (Detroit) and how he grew up and other happenings in the pre-Lookout years. The Lookout-story starts in 1985, remember Lookout was a magazine and a band first, before there was the label. The book has 24 chapters, chronological but always focusing on a certain subject. That has not necessarily to do with the label, since Larry was also involved with Gilman street from the beginning plus writing for Maximumrocknroll. But of course the main focus is on label related stuff – in short, the rise and fall. Livermore has a great way to tell storys, it feels like you know all the characters (wait, some I do know…. so I might be wrong here) and he usually is not trying to „get“ people or make them look bad.
At the same time he doesn’t mince matters and is not thrifty with selfcriticism which makes it even more sympathetic. There is tons of story’s in here, some of them are important in a historical context, others are plain fun to read, but I would say the stuff that matters is predominant. And while I have by coincident been in the Bay Area around the time when Gilman opened, met Larry and of course Trust had always had a relationship with Lookout Records for years, I have to say that alot of what was going on back then, either slipped my mind or I simply never knew about it. Therefore it is great to have this book. Find out about the Gilman-scene, MRR and Tim Yohannan and more scene information from the late 80s. Understand why Lookout Records was established and what happened in the beginning. How it was run and when it became so big, that it was not that much fun anymore (but a multi million dollar business) and its downfall. I personally was never a big fan of all that nerdy fun punk stuff, that often happened at Gilman and was also represented by Lookout. (At the same time, I was also no big fan of the drunk punk stuff, with all the violence!) Alot of the action seemed fitted and while I have no problem at all to have nerdy kids from dysfunctional homes in the scene, at some point you almost had to be like that to be accepted. Or maybe that was just my impression…… If I remember correctly I never met that Ben Weasel guy, but it seems he is pretty much an asshole and always has been – that is my words, Larry would never say that! In the book you find a couple of people (artists) the label and Larry had to deal with – that where not so much fun do deal with. Seems that was never the case with Green Day, yes Lookout is the label where one of the biggest bands of the world started (that was also the reason the label made so much money and could last for the time they did). So if you are a fan, there is plenty of story’s to dig into. At a certain point the boss of Lookout was not happy there anymore, so he walked away, not with empty pockets, but probably with an empty and even more disappointed soul. After that, well, you gotta read the book, I only babble away here. Highly recommended for a great reading time with tons of information and backgroundstorys. Paperback, 280 pages, 14,99 US $ (dolf)
[Trust #179 August 2016]