Seminal punk label Lookout Records has officially closed its doors, according to label alumnus Ted Leo. Over the years, Lookout! had released material from Green Day, Screeching Weasel, Operation Ivy and others, but ceased issuing new records in 2006. The label had kept its back catalogue in print from that point until December 2011, according to Leo:
“I’ve been getting a lot of Twitter questions about why a bunch of my records have disappeared from all the digital services (Sportify, iDudes, Mandora, etc.). It’s because our beloved Lookout Records, which ceased releasing new material in 2006, but carried on keeping the catalog in print until this past December, has, sadly, shuttered it’s doors for good. 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. In the immediate, I have to go through some legal stuff with the digital services to get the records back up online, and I’m hoping to have that all taken care of very soon. Physical records are now officially out of print and will likely not be repressed for a while (but I’m sure I’ll get around to it eventually). I do have a bunch of stock laying around with no plans to tour for quite a while, so if there’s interest, maybe I’ll set up a web-store so you can buy direct from me if you want. Please feel free to email or tweet me with ideas for that. All entertaining ideas will be entertained!
And thank you, seriously, for giving a crap. 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. I just have to get creative about it. Might try to bang one out more special
Tyranny of Distance event before the 10th anniversary year is over this spring…”
Lookout was dealt a massive blow in August 2005 when Green Day rescinded their masters for their early releases (1990's 39/Smooth and 1992's Kerplunk) from the label, citing unpaid royalties. Interestingly, Lookout founder Larry Livermore is curating a compilation for Adeline Records (co-owned by Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong) titled The Thing That Ate Larry Livermore, which is expected out later this year.