Lawrence Livermore and David Hayes both planned on starting record labels in 1987. Livermore already had some experience, having released an album the previous year by his own group, the Lookouts. Hayes had been responsible for a series of cassette compilations of Bay Area punk. They both had an idea to document the scene of up-and-coming punk bands centered around The Gilman Street Project, the all-ages cooperative punk venue founded by Maximum Rock 'n' Roll's Tim Yohannon, which had opened New Year's Eve 1986. The groups who populated the stage of the small club in West Berkeley, CA were unlike much of the hardcore music dominating the punk scene of the time; this was something new. Instead of starting two labels, Livermore and Hayes combined their efforts and consolidated their releases under the label name Livermore had haphazardly chosen for the back cover of his band's LP. And Lookout! Records was born with a series of four EPs released in early 1988.