If you’re a big Green Day fan, there’s something fabulous about to happen. New and old music from some of the band members is being released on March 10th. If you’re intrigued, read on. If you’re not, you’ve already started reading so you might as well finish. No one likes a quitter.
Green Day is being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year, and it’s about time. I can remember my dad driving my brother and I to middle school with Dookie blasting, and every one of us loving it. There’s just something about the green album cover and it’s bizarre illustrations that really bring me back to a certain place and time. Green Day is a band of epic proportions that has come a very long way from the early days of the East Bay punk scene. Not too many other bands can say that its members have been creating music since the ripe age of 12, with three albums to show for it, as Tre` Cool, drummer for Green Day, has.
Before Green Day, before Dookie, before American Idiot became a Broadway musical, and before the band was nominated for a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction, there was another band that boasted the skills of Tre` Cool. At just 12 years old, Cool began drumming in his very first band, The Lookouts. The Lookouts consisted of Cool, Larry Livermore on guitar and vocals and Kain Kong on vocals and bass. The band’s demo album, Lookout! It’s the Lookouts, was released in 1985 through Lookout! Records. Livermore was the co-founder of the label and went on to manage it after Cool joined Green Day.
Besides their demo album, The Lookouts released two studio albums, One Planet One People in 1987, and Spy Rock Road in 1989 along with two EP’s. Luckily for Green Day fans and collectors, Spy Rock Road (And Other Stories) is being made available to the public again. The album is being re-released with some new material through Don Giovanni Records.
One track titled “Story” features some sweet vocals and guitar by none other than Billie Joe Armstrong. “Agape,” “Out My Door,” and “Kick Me In The Head,” also feature his guitar and vocals while he sticks to just guitar on “Once Upon A Time.” Other tracks “Living Behind Bars” and “Sonny Boy” showcase Tim “Timebomb” Armstrong, formerly of ska punk band Operation Ivy, and currently lead singer for another legendary band in the punk scene, Rancid. Rancid along with Operation Ivy, Green Day, and The Offspring are in part credited for reviving mainstream interest in punk rock in the 1990’s. The scene seemed to explode out of Gilman Street, and good thing it did. These bands and many more from the East Bay came onto the scene with something new and fresh just as Green Day had, and just as The Lookouts had before them, adding to the success they now know.
Be sure to check out “Story” and listen to young Billie Joe’s vocals and Tre`’s early drumming attempts. These tracks are sure to be treasures for hardcore Green Day fans. After all, it is one of the first actual documentations of the two current band mates playing music together. That’s something special. You can read an interview Alternative Press did with Cool and Livermore regarding the re-release here.
As for what happened to The Lookouts after their five year run, Livermore went on to run Lookout! Records, selling it in the 1990’s, Kong became a National Park Service ranger, and Tre` Cool found his place behind a set of SJC custom drums with what would become one of the most successful punk rock bands of the last two decades. You might consider them punk, pop-punk, or sellouts for joining the mainstream…I mean, they’ve got a Broadway musical based on their concept album, American Idiot, telling the story of the anti-hero character “Jesus of Suburbia.” Whatever you consider them, they are still one of the most influential and well-known rock bands of our time, and just for the record, they rock.
Pre-order Spy Rock Road (And Other Stories) digitally, on a CD, or on limited edition green vinyl here. I’d go with the green vinyl. Just sayin.
Article by: Ashley Rodriguez