In 1982 post-hippie Larry Livermore — 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 co-founding the DIY record label that introduced the world to the likes of Green Day, Operation Ivy, and Neurosis.
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.
Larry Livermore was born and raised in Detroit. Following a brief and unrewarding career on the assembly lines of several of that city’s auto plants, and an equally unsuccessful stint shoveling coal and and smashing slag at a steel mill on Zug Island, he lit out for the coasts, first New York City, then California, where he would spend most of the next 30 years.
Somehow surviving his involvement with several self-destructive subcultures, he went on to co-found the legendary punk rock label, Lookout Records, edit and publish Lookout magazine, and play guitar and sing for a band called, yes, the Lookouts. All three took their name and inspiration from a mountaintop tower overlooking the off-the-grid wilderness in Northern California where he lived for most of the 1980s.
In addition to his own magazine, Livermore’s writing has also appeared in Maximum Rocknroll, Flipside, Punk Planet, Hit List, Cometbus, Homocore, Verbicide, and Absolutely Zippo, and the Boonville-based Anderson Valley Advertiser. After leaving California in 1997, he relocated to London, and subsequently to Brooklyn, where he presently resides. Spy Rock Memories is his first book.
Cover art by Gabrielle Bell.
238 page paperback
Don Giovanni Records, 2013