Over and Underground

Larry Livermore

 Lawrence Livermore was born in 1947 and lived in the Mendocino Mountains, located in California.  Larry has done a number of things in the underground scene from music to journalism.   As a musician Livermore formed a band when he was in his 30s with two member, Frank Edwin Wirght III (Tre Cool) and Kain Kong, calling themselves The Lookouts.  In 1987, Larry started a label called LookOut! Records with his friend Patrick Haynes which recorded a number of bands that have gotten their names out today.   (Screeching Weasel, Operation Ivy, Green Day, The Queers etc.)  Larry retired in 1997 and gave the label to a friend.  Together, the two also formed a band called The Potatomen.  Livermore was also the founder of Lookout Records Magazine, in Laytonville California until 1995.  He has also written in Maximum Rocknroll, Homopunk, and Verbicide.  Right now Lawrence Livermore lives in Brooklyn, New York.   



These are the wise words of Larry Livermore.  The source is here.

    One of the greatest (and, some say, worst) legacies of the punk movement was the notion that anyone can be in a band. Even me, as it turned out. When I formed the Lookouts, I quickly became the laughingstock (I should amend that to "an even greater laughingstock") of the remote mountain community where I was living at the time. Already well into my 30s, I was playing music (to use the term very loosely) with a 14 year old bassist who had never played bass before and a 12 year old drummer who had never laid hands on a drum set. The abuse wasn't limited to the verbal variety, either; there was the matter of the legendary black eye I received when a local lunkhead tried to physically restrain us from playing at a town dance, a black eye which I wore semi-proudly (the other guys in the band used makeup to draw their own in solidarity) at our first record release party at Gilman Street the next night. The Lookouts, even several years down the road, were never noted primarily for their technical skill, but we did manage to get a good bit better. We never got a chance to tour, but we were privileged to play at some truly awesome shows, by far the most memorable being the last Operation Ivy show. Maybe even more important, we had the honor of being part of the Gilman Street phenomenon from pretty much the ground up. We first played at Gilman only a couple weeks after it opened, and our next to last show, opening for Bad Religion in June of 1990, was there as well. When we finally split up the next month, it wasn't so much that we were tired of the band or each other. In fact we all felt as though we had finally hit our stride, and were capable of playing together as a pretty darn good band. But we were living in three widely separate places and it was next to impossible to get together for shows or even practice, so we reluctantly called it quits. Later that year, Tre was asked to join Green Day and started making a new kind of history. Since those days I've learned a lot more about music and played with a lot of other musicians, but your first band, like your first love, is always special beyond anything words can tell. No doubt we embarrassed ourselves many times while we were struggling to master our instruments and figure out what it meant to be in a band, but we were too dumb and too sincere to know it. We just kept on bashing away and howling at the moon, and by the time we were finished, well, we'd fashioned some of the best days of our lives.