Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Lookout - Wake Me Up When The Lawsuit Ends

LOOKOUT - Wake Me Up When This Lawsuit Ends

Current mood: cranky

Not sure what we need to talk about today, but hey it's humpday & I guess I'll do a bit of rambling about Lookout Records & Green Day.

First up though I am gonna give props to T _ Rex.

Marc Bolan, mega hit maker & international man of mystery...

from sloppy drippy hippie , to forthright glam tastic maestro galore...

didja know he was one of the few old school rockers to take a liking too & prop up punk in it's early controversial daze... he allowed the Damned to open up his 1977 U.K tour...

anyhow... beware the Mash Up

U.K mash-up maven Tone396 has reconstructed the T-Rex hit Get It ON (Bang A Gong) in honor of the late great Marc Bolan's passing away some 28 years ago this month.

T-Rex - "Bang A Gong "( Get It On Tone 396 Remix)

Here's another one of my all time faves from Mr. Bolan

T Rex - "20th Century Boy "

and just to be fair, we'll offer up David Bowie & Placebo doing the same track as Bolan tribute in a joint appearance at the 1999 Brit Awards.

Placebo & David Bowie -"20th Century Boy"

Incidentally for all you glam fans out there, I recently picked up the new double DVD set that features a couple complete Bolan gigs from 1972, plus his silly long out of print movie "directed" by Ringo Starr. There's over 300 minutes of content on this thing, including a 47 documentary and beautifully restored rare film & 5.1 audio mixed by Tony Visconti. Here's a DVD cover link to get yer own for less than $25 ...

Other stuff:

Speaking of glammed out eyeliner wearing rock stars...

Green Day has come a long way since I stood with Dave MDC & Fat Mike at a backyard keg party in the East Bay circa 1989 watching some new kids from Pinole do a Buzzcocks on steroids imitation. Over the past decade plus they steamrolled on through to stadiums & have become a rock n roll juggernaut having sold literally millions of t-shirts & records.

I remember that first run in, when I invited them to submit a demo so I could get them a gig at the Covered Wagon Saloon, and their then drummer Al Sobrante chewed me out. He accused me of trying to corrupt the band with show biz b.s, and that they would never sell out or have a press kit.

Al is obviously no longer with the guys... I can only wonder what he does for money now. probably lives off royalties from those early singles.

Eventually they hit SF in 1990 at The Women's Bldg at a show promoted by a volunteer crew of our pals that operated under the title "Shred of Dignity" headed up by my friend Shawn who has since moved to Hawaii. Later that year Green Day came and rocked 11th & Folsom at The Oasis, where I helped promote the late October gig with a chick named Melinda, and I can only wonder where she is now...

I managed to get the guys to play SF at an all ages collectively run party space/ studio in an old auto body shop called Komotion. They played a memorable KALX benefit there for a hundred plus lucky kids in 92, and were already becoming quite popular on the underground circuit. We recorded the show to DAT and I chose a version of "2,000 Light Years Away" probably because I knew the title, when the band let us use a track for our cassette & CD sound magazine series. That issue is long out of print, and if ya find one it's probably pretty rare.

Billie Joe also came through with Pinhead Gunpowder, his side project featuring Aaron Cometbus...

Here's a live Pinhead Gunpowder MP3 from a 2001 reunion show at The Starry Plough in Berkeley CA with the band doing their punked up version of Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi"

Pinhead Gunpowder -
Big Yellow Taxi

I remember calling Billie Joe's house once in Rodeo, and his uncle answered the phone telling me that "Billie Joe went down to L.A to get himself a manager"... and needless to say they came back and had one of those Beverly Hills booking agents and they weren't doing anymore wherehouse parties.

So, I'll assume it's been awhile since they've played many dives with crappy P.A's I suppose...

This week the band comes back to San Francisco, and they'll be playing SBC Park, a stadium that has also hosted The Stones & Bruce Springsteen...

After a couple years with declining sales, Billie Joe's well publicized DUI, it was about time for their latest album to return them to the top of the pops. They have infused their lyrics with more astute social observations, political realities and even dare we say "rock opera" aspirations.... kudos to the boys outta Berkeley...

here's the band rocking a huge crowd in Basel Switzerland earlier this year...

Green Day -
Wake Me Up When September Ends

And them doing American Idiot at The Grammy Awards

Green Day -
American Idiot

Despite leaving the Gilman St gang behind, Billie Joe Armstrong has reinvested into the bay area punk scene through his indie record label...

One of his "discoveries" was One Man Army, who existed from 1996 to 2004, and was an SF area band that delivered yer basic flat footed & feisty millenial era speed freak "punk" trio thang. They whipped out tunes with all the faux fury of finding yer Warped Tour support slot shifted from sunset on the main stage to shlepping it at noon on the hot asphalt behind the porta poddies. They managed to ooze out two albums on Billie Joe Armstrong's Adeline imprint, as well as stuff via Fat Records and this EP that came out on BYO.

This track is from a split EP on BYO Records with Chicago's Alkaline Trio

One Man Army -
The T.V Song

here's one from their debut on Adeline

One Man Army -
Another Dead End Story

and here's another tune from their last CD on BYO
Rumors & Headlines

One Man Army -
All Night Long

if ya like 'em, you can order the 16 track live DVD recorded live at The Troubadour in L.A from Kung Fu Films here:

Vocalist/Guitarist Jack Dalrymple has reportedly joined Bay Area stalwarts The Swingin' Utters...

In the meantime, Green Day recently decided to sue their old label Lookout Records, and take back their earlier releases after a long period of non-payment of royalties. Essentially, Lookout was started by a guy who sold the label awhile back to new management, and they apparently just dropped the ball.

I used to live in the same house as Lawrence Livermore, who had a xerox zine called Lookout...

After seeing the success of the Turn It Around dbl 7" compilation recorded via the burgeoning punk rock scene at the Maximum Rock N Roll magazine sponsored Gilman St. Project in Berkeley, Lawrence was compelled to put out some 7"s himself.

Pretty soon he had the label of record from Berkeley and had indie hits with Neurosis, Mr. T Experience, Operation Ivy ( who've since moved over 600,000 units alone on Lookout) and several other bands.

Green Day put out their first full length effort in 1990 I believe, did a couple tours, and soon in the post-Nirvana climate were offered a deal on Warner Bros.

After the band hit it big, they let Lookout continue to manage their back catalog, and as time wore on, making plenty money from their new albums, they didn't worry much about it. Larry Livermore continued to sign bands, write his column in MRR but gradually grew increasingly frustrated with punk bands wanting the same budgets and promo hype as those on majors. He soon tired of running a "big label" with a beehive of employees, a retail store, and overall style that started resembling and competing with the major labels he hated originally. Lawrence, now well older than his label's demographic, drifted away from day to day operations, quit writing for MRR & moved to the UK, went back to college, and cashed out his stake.

Amongst the complaints made now is that over the years, the new Lookout folks took Green Day profits/royalties and invested in bands that didn't break even, and even watered down the label's once stellar reputation. Perhaps with products say, like these guys below...

ex-members of Lookout band American Steel formed this more tender footed keyboard infused group and this track is from their debut Lookout Records release from 2004...

Communique -
My Bay

The band is now still playing around, and shopping a demo, as Lookout is probably too broke to put out another money losing effort...

to read a fairly good overview of the Lookout situation click pic to see this recent article in the East Bay Express by Rob Harvilla

1 comment:

San Francisco Click said...

Here is something related to music, yes.

SBC Park
Here is the area of San Francisco around it - a virtual tour. In Stereo!

By the way, a personal question: What a guy like you thinks about Argentine Tango? I am serious.