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Operation Ivy

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Berkeley, San Francisco CA, United States (1987 – 1989)

Operation Ivy was a highly influential / band that originated from the East Bay of San Francisco (in Berkeley) and was active from 1987 through 1989. They were credited as one of the first bands, influencing bands such as The Suicide Machines, Choking Victim and Authority Zero.

The band consisted of frontman Jesse Michaels (vocals), Tim Armstrong (Credited as “Lint”) (Vocals/Guitar), Matt Freeman (Credited as Matt McCall) (Bass/Backing Vocals), and Dave Mello (credited as Hujuku Girl) (Drums/Backing Vocals). Their name was derived from the Operation Ivy series of nuclear tests. Two of their members, Armstrong and Freeman, also perform(ed) with the bands Rancid (their current, and biggest project), Basic Radio, Downfall and Shaken 69.

Armstrong also went on to perform with The Transplants, and contribute to Dance Hall Crashers, P!nk and on solo work.

Additionally, Freeman has performed with Auntie Christ, Generator, MDC and Social Distortion.

Mello went on to perform with Schlong. There was a great deal of speculation regarding the fate of Michaels, with many fans believing that he had moved to Nicaragua or became a Buddhist monk. Michaels eventually resurfaced into the music world with a project band, Big Rig, and later with a more active band, Common Rider, which included bassist Mass Giorgini (of Screeching Weasel) and drummer Dan Lumley (of Squirtgun).

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