When Green Day left Lookout! Records in 1993, the label sounded off not with an alarm but a ka-ching. The Berkeley band's first two albums remained in Lookout!'s back catalogue and raked in more money than owner and co-founder Larry Livermore ever thought possible for a punk indie. In 1997, Livermore sold the label to Chris Appelgren, who funneled Green Day's royalty money into his own poorly-chosen pet projects. The band was justifiably upset, and in early August of this year, pulled all of its titles from Lookout!, virtually guaranteeing the label's eventual demise. Outtakes was curious to hear Livermore's take on the latest Lookout! fiasco, as well as his previous band the Lookouts, which featured a pre-Green Day Tre Cool.
Outtakes: When's the last time you talked with anyone from Green Day?
Livermore: At the end of last summer, just before American Idiot came out. I rode out to the Reading Festival here in England with them.
Are you on good terms with Lookout!?
Depends what you mean by "good terms." I don't have a lot of contact with them, and haven't had for the past few years. I also haven't made it a secret that I disagree with a number of their decisions and policies. At the same time, I've always been ready to help out with advice or information anytime they want it, though I'm not going to try and force it on them if they don't ask. I have recently talked with Chris [Appelgren], the label president, and I think we had a pretty useful discussion about what can and should be done next. So I'd say I'm on good terms with him, at least.
How much of Lookout!'s official statement on their website [www.lookout.com] is B.S.?
The statement, "An Open Letter From Label Prez Chris Appelgren," is basically an honest recounting -- at least in general terms -- of how they got into trouble. I personally would have offered even more detail, but that's me; I think Chris is sincere in trying to pick up the pieces and start over, and that letter is a step in the right direction.
Were the Lookouts disbanded when Tre Cool joined Green Day?
Not officially, but in practice, yes. We did our last recording in July of 1990, and Billie Joe came in to the studio with us to do some lead guitars and backing vocals. That's the first time he and Tre ever played together, but it wasn't till the end of summer that Green Day's first drummer, John Kiffmeyer, left the band, and not till later that fall that Tre first played with Green Day. I think the first show they did was in November. By then, it wasn't so much that the Lookouts were broken up, but that we were living in three different cities and never saw each other. Would we ever have played together again? Possibly, but who knows? -- Jason Budjinski
The financially emancipated Green Day plays at 7:30 p.m. Friday, August 26, at Office Depot Center, 2555 Panther Pkwy., Sunrise. Tickets cost between $39 and $45. Call 954-835-8000.
Part-time South Floridian Lenny Kravitz recently announced the launch of Kravitz Design, his commercial, residential, and product design firm based in Miami Beach. Outtakes is curious about Lenny's retro-rockin' flair for interior decorating, but we're too poor to find out what our crappy studio apartment would look like redone à la Lenny. Instead, we studied the layout of his albums and drew our own conclusions.
Mama Said Duplex
Soulful and inviting, the "Stand By My Woman" living room beckons with hip, comfortable furniture. The focal point of the "It Ain't Over Till It's Over" master bathroom is an oversized, heart-shaped jacuzzi tub. Inside the "Mama Said" master suite, crystal prisms hang from the picture window, throwing a dance of rainbows onto the wall. An attractive throwback to a groovier time, this home design is a minor masterpiece.
Are You Gonna Go My Way Brownstone
The signature "Are You Gonna Go My Way" den is surrounded by walls of fluorescent lights, and the "Sugar" kitchenette boasts floor-to-ceiling mirrors. There's so much glitz and narcissism inside this place that guests literally need sunglasses (available by the bucketload in the "Black Girl" foyer). Even within the "Believe" meditation room, where Hendrix posters plaster the walls, the kliegs are blinding. The average person isn't enough of an egomaniac to live here, but in Lenny's world, there are no average people.
A sudden step up in tax brackets, this gaudy, stucco-and-wood residence is devoid of character. At the end of a long, dark hall, the "Rock and Roll is Dead" living room is a cozy refuge, but otherwise the rest of the rooms are so familiar they're not worth comment. You're decorating on autopilot, Lenny; we need something new. And we're not talking about your haircut.
Another sprawling, oversized estate. Strangely, it's all a dull beige-on-beige, except for the paisley-painted "Fly Away" backyard deck. And even that's a carbon-copy from the last model we looked at. But the place is softly funky, something appealing to moms who wear toe rings. Word is that this location will be used as a set for the upcoming Partridge Family movie.
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Like an altar to appropriation, this alabaster public space could be described with the same words as Lenny's last big-budget McMansion. A beaded curtain serves as the "Lady" archway at the entrance, but once you're inside, you could be anywhere. This latest work proves the man has become his own brand. Look for the "Lenny Kravitz Living" line of home furnishings and his next album, Does the Carpet Match the Curtains?, at Target this fall. -- Maggie-Margret
Unless you've been living under the 17th Street Causeway, you're probably aware that the biggest fashion show in the music industry returns to SoFla this Sunday, August 28. That's right -- the MTV Video Music Awards return to Miami for the second time, bringing a deluge of celebrity sightings, paparazzi beatings, conspicuous bling, and the odd musical performance. What you don't know is that the Friday before the VMAs, the Magic City plays host to another self-congratulatory industry shindig, the BMI Urban Awards. BMI stands for Broadcast Music Inc., a non-profit organization that collects royalties and licensing fees for hundreds of thousands of songwriters around the world. Important stuff, but about as sexy as the crud between Diddy's toes. For further clarification, Outtakes offers a compare-and-contrast between the two awards nights. Check the calendar section for full details. -- Jonathan Zwickel