Operation Ivy is an American ska punk band from Berkeley, California. Their name comes from the series of nuclear tests carried out by the United States in 1952 in the Marshall Islands. The group was formed in 1987 in San Francisco by Lint and Matt, two childhood friends who had already played together in bands such as Basic Radio. Soon joined by Jesse and Dave, they play a punk rock very influenced by groups of the first wave punk, such as The Clash or Ramones, but also by English ska groups like Madness or The Specials.
The fusion of the two musical genres took the name of ska punk, mix, as its name suggests, ska and punk. Its characteristics are: the famous 2-tone of ska, the rhythm and speed of punk and the abandonment of additional instruments of ska, such as brass (they will return in ska punk in the 1990s with groups such as Voodoo Glow Skulls).
This group, of a very short life, lasts from May 1987 to May 1989, as it is written in the lyrics of Rancid's Journey to the End of the East Bay, which appear on ... And Out Come the Wolves: Started in 87 / Ended in 89 / You got a garage or an amp, we'll play anytime / It's just the oven of us, / Yeah man, the core of us, / Too much attention unavoidably destroyed us>.
Their first concert is given May 16, 1987 in the garage of Dave Mello. Then from the following day and regularly, the group gave performances at 924 Gilman Street, a collective non-profit stage in Berkeley, California. They released a record, Hectic, in January 1988, and an album called Energy on the Lookout! Records in May 1989. The band breaks up the same month and their last official performance is on May 28, 1989, at what was to be their party for the release of their first album. They play another show the next day, mostly for their family and friends, in Robert Eggplant's backyard in Pinole, California. After only two years of career, the group had played 185 shows and released an album.