In 1982 Larry Livermore, ex-greaser, post-hippie, 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 the DIY record label that introduced the world to the likes of Green Day, Operation Ivy, and Screeching Weasel.
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 the co-founder of Lookout Records, the editor and publisher of Lookout magazine, and a longtime columnist for Maximum Rocknroll and Punk Planet. He lives in Brooklyn.
Praise for Spy Rock Memories
“Livermore writes with deference for his time spent on Spy Rock, finding a way to keep nostalgia from clouding his experiences, and the book’s breezy nature finds its middle ground between music memoir and personal essay. Spy Rock Memories paints its characters in lush details, allowing for readers to be welcomed into the culture of Iron Peak, just as Livermore was all those decades ago.”
-The AV Club
“Spy Rock Memories is an unflinching look at life in Northern California’s Emerald Triangle, a world usually hidden from view. Part social history and part personal history, it is as critically insightful as it is hopelessly romantic.”
- Aaron Cometbus
“Greaser, hippie, glam rocker, punk… Larry tells some amazing stories. And I’m stoked he’s my friend.”
- Billie Joe Armstrong
“A remote mountain neighborhood in remote Mendocino County has inspired this most remarkable memoir by a gifted man who came down from the mountain to bring America some of its best music ever.”
- Bruce Anderson
“Larry was always deemed the troublemaker up on Spy Rock for telling and writing the truth.”
- Tre Cool
“Livermore's book Spy Rock Memories provides a glimpse at Livermore's trials and tribulations as a brutally outspoken, city-punk, post-hippy, trying to survive in an unforgiving environment that proved to be just as deadly and threatening as it was beautiful and nurturing.”
- The Willits News