PUNK USA: THE RISE AND FALL OF LOOKOUT! RECORDS
[Punk] Extraits du Livre de Kevin Prested (Microcosm Publishing 2014)
PUNK USA: THE RISE AND FALL OF LOOKOUT! RECORDS
Extrait: « [Paul Curran] When Pete and Idon left the band mid-tour, Aaron busted out his list of people he knew who played bass and started making phone calls. I didn’t know Aaron very well, but had known him since my earliest days of punk. My brother Jack and I got in my 1976 Ford Pinto and drove to Chicago to meet up with Aaron and Jeff. We arrived at the home of Ben Weasel and Johnny Jughead of this band that I had only heard of before: Screeching Weasel. I remember Ben making fun of us for bringing our skateboards on tour and hearing about their shitty experiences of trying to buy a tour van. The rest of the tour was crazy long but with very few shows, many of which were booked as we went along, and the route made no sense whatsoever. »
Extrait: « Filth’s peer would be the next band documented by Lookout. An export from Philadelphia, Jesse Townley found kinship in the walls of 924 Gilman, after relocating to San Francisco in the summer of 1989 for the Anarchist Gathering to join an art magazine. Attending Gilman to see MDC perform as part of the gathering, the young East Coast punk never left. Already well versed in the punk world, having been involved in local shows since 1986, Townley changed the format of his Philly Zine to match his new location – Berkeley Sucks.
[Jesse Townley]: Joey, Eggplant, and Marshall were practicing in the side room at Gilman and I walked in. They asked me if I wanted to sing for their band, Blatz. I said ‘sure’, took out some lyrics from a band I’d had during my three-month college career in 1988, and that was it. We decided to invite our friend Annie to join the band, but we all got confused and asked both Anna and Annie and they fit in perfectly to our mismatched barrel of chaos, shrieks, and nudity. »
Extrait: « Lawrence Livermore offered a record deal for the new release, remembering his encounter with Ben when the band played at Gilman Street with Operation Ivy in 1988. Ben wanted to drop the Screeching Weasel legacy into the ocean and start afresh with a new name, but the Lookout contract stipulated that the new release would use the publicity from the Sreeching Weasel moniker and feature new songs written for the band, as well as the inclusion of the older track « I wanna be an homosexual ». Livermore had previously made an offer for Boogadaboogadaboogada – losing out to the already commited Roadkill Records.
John « Juhead » Pierson: I remember Lawrence taking Ben and I out for pizza, the decision to keep the name the same seemed to become a bigger deal with hindsight. We promised the song ‘I wanna be an homosexual’ to Bruce LaBruce, it wasn’t left off as has been claimed. We chose to give it exclusively to Bruce. We knew it was a good song. Lawrence almost cancelled the deal based on this, but it went through. Most of those songs were just Ben and Dan (writing) with no pressure. It was much more organic back then. Once we got everyone together…it was already established that it would indeed be Screeching Weasel. »
Extrait: « The major labels began sniffing around Green Day, as they were an established phenomenon in the underground punk scene. Everyone in their proximity felt they were always set to go on to bigger things.
Pete Rypins: We played a lot with MTX, Green Day, Jawbreaker, Rancid, Citizen Fish and Nuisance. There was a definitive surge amongst all these bands in the scene that was weird, because it was such a commercial and very rapid ascent. We were playing these rock clubs that previously turned a blind eye to pop punk music. Touring was no longer the exception, but the rule. There was pressure from the label to tour a lot. There was a cultural divide I could sense coming on. Believe me, I like to earn money – but the touring circuit that paids the bills was a ‘rocker’ social scene rather than the one I grew up with. »
Extrait: « Chris Appelgren took a weekend trip to Los Angeles to play a couple of out of town shows. With encouragement and assurances from Ben Weasel to help him in the next step of his carrer, Appelgren was planning his resignation upon returning to the Lookout offices. He felt the situation had escalated beyond the means and morality of an indie punk label. Chris Appelgren’s resolve was great, yet when he walked into the Lookout office upon his return he was greeted by an even bigger surprise.
Chris Applegren: Larry had written a long letter to the staff, resigning and explaining that Patrick was also resigning. He started that he was confident that I could continue in the same spirit we had worked in and make the label a success. I was surprised but honored and felt like it was an exciting opportunity that I wanted and would have the chance to do right by the bands in ways that I didn’t think Larry was inclined to. Which is sort of ironic since I kind of fucked up a number of important relationships myself. »