Operation Ivy

Operation Ivy was formed in Berkeley, California in May, 1997. Although they only lasted two years, their influence on the Bay Area punk scene is undeniable. Comprised of vocalist Jesse Michaels, guitarist Tim ‘Lint’ Armstrong, bassist Matt ‘McCall’ Freeman, and drummer Dave Mello, Operation Ivy was a pioneering force in the ska-punk genre, ushering in the ‘East Bay Sound’ and becoming one of the key bands that helped establish the Lookout Records label. Operation Ivy’s first released studio recording was “Turn It Around”, released on a Maximumrocknroll Magazine compilation in October, 1997. Three months later, in January, 1998, Operation Ivy signed to Lookout Records. They became part of the infamous 924 Gilman Street punk scene alongside Crimpshine, The Mr. T. Experience, and, later, Green Day. Their debut on the Lookout label was the seven inch EP Hectic. The following year, the band released their debut album, Energy, to great acclaim. They scheduled an album release party at the 924 Gilman Street club on May 28, 1989, which ended up being their final official performance before breaking up. Coincidentally, that was the first show by punk trio Green Day under that name. In many ways, Operation Ivy passed the East Bay Sound torch onto Billie Joe Armstrong and Co. After their split, Operation Ivy’s legacy grew even larger, especially when guitarist Tim Armstrong and bassist Matt Freeman formed Rancid. Lookout Records released a CD containing the Hectic EP, their Energy album, and their first studio release, “Turn It Around”.

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