Very Small Records
Very Small Records is an independent record label, formed in 1989 by David Hayes, co-founder and former co-owner of Lookout Records. The name of the label was changed to Too Many Records around 1994, but was changed back around 1997. The label terminated in 2003.
Lookout Records was first founded in Laytonville, California in the spring of 1987 as a device to put out the first album by The Lookouts, a punk rock band featuring Larry Livermore (née Lawrence Hayes). Following the release of the LP the label would remain dormant for the rest of 1987. The year was an exciting one in the East Bay, however, with the explosion of a vibrant musical scene around the Gilman Street Project, closely associated with the influential monthly punk fanzine Maximumrocknroll (MRR).
Livermore decided to launch Lookout as a general record label as a means of documenting the new Gilman bands, entering into a business partnership with an acquaintance, David Hayes (no relation), who had previously been instrumental in preparing a compilation album released by MRR. In January 1988 the new Lookout burst into the world with the simultaneous release of four 7-inch EP records, including releases by legendary East Bay groups Crimpshrine, Isocracy, and Operation Ivy.
After two years of rapid-fire releases, Livermore and Hayes would soon suffer an acrimonious parting of the ways. David Hayes left to start his own Berkeley-based label, which he named Very Small Records, with Livermore retaining the name and back-catalog of Lookout — which would ultimately explode in popularity, powered by such associated East Bay bands as Operation Ivy and Green Day. Very Small Records, by way of contrast, would remain very small, continuing to produce a great number of its releases on the comparatively unprofitable 7-inch vinyl format.
Very Small Records released records for such punk bands as Operation Ivy, Jawbreaker, Pinhead Gunpowder, Crimpshrine, Corrupted Morals, Less Than Jake, Schlong, Sewer Trout and compilation albums featuring such bands as Less Than Jake, The Piss Shivers, J Church, and Blanks 77.
- Larry Livermore, "How I Became A Capitalist: The Lookout Records Story, Part One," www.larrylivermore.com/
- Dave Thompson, Alternative Rock: Third Ear — The Essential Listening Companion. Backbeat Books, 2000; pg. 108.
- "Very Small Records," www.discogs.com
- David Edward Hayes, "Very Small Records Hella Retro Hoodie," www.kickstarter.com/ Funded Nov. 20, 2011.
- Official website
- Matt Sweating, A History of East Bay Punk: An Interview with David Hayes," Transition Video Magazine, No. 2 (Oct. 2013). —Documentary video.