Getty Green Day is back in a big way. After cancelling a tour in support…
- Posted on Jan 16th 2012 4:10PM by Jason MacNeil
In a post titled "Lookout! Ist Kapuut," Leo replied to fans who inquired about why some of the artist's albums "disappeared from all the digital services."
"A better eulogy should be forthcoming, but just to answer these questions, this means that these records have reverted to my complete ownership, which is kind of cool in some ways, I guess, except that it also means I have to basically run my own label for them now unless I wind up licensing them to someone else in the future," Leo wrote.
"I'm not happy to see Lookout gone, but having complete rights of usage and total and direct revenue from sales now, can ultimately turn this into a positive situation."
Lookout! Records began in 1987 in Berkeley, California by Larry Livermore and David Hayes. The label was a mainstay in punk circles and was the first to sign Green Day, releasing the band's '39/Smooth' in 1990 and 'Kerplunk' in 1992 as well as some EPs. "Their records were selling in the tens of thousands and, as I always had to point out, they were getting paid, at a higher rate than they were likely to receive from any major label, for every single one," Livermore, who left as label head in 1997, said in a blog post last November about the band's infancy.
"Between record sales and touring, Green Day had become practically self-sufficient, something that in those days was almost unheard of for a homegrown punk rock band. A couple of months later, their second album sold out its entire first pressing of 10,000 copies the day it was released, and we -- by underground standards, anyway -- had a hit on our hands."
According to a 2005 article in the East Bay Express, the label at one time had 18 full-time staff as well as its own record store. In 1995, Lookout! Records reached $10 million in sales. However groups slowly began severing ties with the label with Green Day -- then signed to Reprise -- removing its back catalog from Lookout! Green Day's actions resulted in several staff employees being laid off,
"It's been over ten years, and really, we're not the first band to do it," bassist Mike Dirnt said at the time. "I feel we've more than honored our handshake agreement with Lookout!
Other groups on the roster, including Screeching Weasel, the Riverdales, Enemy You and Operation Ivy, would also remove their masters from Lookout Records' back catalog, leaving the label a shell of its former self in recent years. The label hadn't released any new studio albums by artists since 2006 but continued keeping the catalog in print.
"Requiem for a dream?" Livermore tweeted on Friday regarding the news. "Or just time to say goodbye to something that really ended a long time ago?..."