Larry Livermore releasing “Spy Rock Memories” book on June 4th

Music News | Mar 6th, 2013

The co-founder of Lookout! Records, and a longtime columnist for Maximum Rocknroll and Punk Planet, Larry Livermore, is releasing a book entitled Spy Rock Memories. The book will be released on June 4th via Don Giovanni Records. So if you’re looking to learn some juicy details about the early days of Lookout! Records and the California punk rock scene, this is your book!

Don Giovanni Records is pleased to announce their first ever book release, Spy Rock Memories by none other than esteemed OG DIY legend, Larry Livermore. Spy Rock Memories chronicles Livermore’s humble, yet wild entry into the DIY label game.

The book opens in 1982, with a young Larry Livermore, ex-greaser, post-hippie, burnt out and disillusioned by the Bay Area punk scene, journeyed north into an off the map, off the grid mountain wilderness that lay at the heart of California’s Emerald Triangle in search of something “real.”

Things got way more real than he’d bargained for, as he ended up confronting blizzards, droughts, floods, fires, marauding bears, skunks, rattlesnakes, and a posse of ornery pot growers, all while launching a magazine, a solar-powered punk rock band, and the DIY record label that introduced the world to the likes of Green Day, Operation Ivy, and Screeching Weasel.

As he learned valuable lessons in self-sufficiency, taking responsibility, and how to avoid (for the most part but not always) getting punched in the face by irate hippies, Larry also found his place and made his home in the far-flung, disjointed and eccentric community he encountered in the anarchic realm that begins where Highway 101’s tattered tarmac dissolves into the dust of Spy Rock Road.

Spy Rock Memories will be released on June 4th, 2013 by Don Giovanni Records, featuring cover art by Ignatz Award-winning cartoonist Gabrielle Bell.

Read a short excerpt from the book, where Livermore first encounters, Green Day:

“I watched from the back, only half paying attention at first. But before they’d finished even one song, I was absolutely riveted. I’d seen this level of performance before, but only in giant, packed arenas or stadiums, delivered by bands at the peak of their careers. 16-year-old Billie Joe exuded the casual self-confidence of a superstar, offset slightly but not entirely by a shy, self-effacing humility. Stopping every few songs to thank his minuscule audience, he sang and played as though he’d been doing this all his life—which, I would learn, wasn’t far from the truth. Walking up to me afterward, he offhandedly asked, “What did you think?” “I want to make a record with you guys,” was all I could say. They went into the studio at the end of the year, and by March we had everything in place for a four-song EP. Just as I was about to print the covers and labels, they casually informed me that they’d decided to change their name to Green Day. I blew a gasket. It was too late, I told them; there was no time to redo all the artwork. On top of that, I demanded, how was I supposed to sell a record by a band no one had heard of? “Green Day?” I sneered. “What’s it even supposed to mean?”

You can read more of Larry’s work at


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