Personalities | Green Day | In The Beginning (1987) | Key Events
924 Gilman Street
‘Isn’t it time we created a real alternative?’
Tim Yohannan was the driving force behind local radio show and then fanzine MaximumRockNRoll and it was his determination that led to the establishment of a new music venue in Berkeley at 924 Gilman Street. Run along co-operative lines with a no drugs, no alcohol and no major bands policy it opened its doors on 1 January 1987 and soon became the focus of the local music scene. It promoted hardcore and nu-punk music, staging gigs by a diverse number of artists including the Mr T Experience, Monsula, Isocracy and the undisputed darlings of the local scene, Operation Ivy.
‘Everyone’s got their band,’ Billie Joe told Spin in 2005, ‘and I’ve got to say that Operation Ivy was definitely one that changed me.’ With a line-up of Jesse Michaels (vocals), Tim Armstrong (guitar), Dave Mello (drums) and Matt Freeman (bass), Operation Ivy played their first gig together in April 1987 and their hedonistic mix of ska/punk won a devoted local audience at Gilman. Their debut EP Hectic (1988) and LP Energy (1989) were both released on the local Lookout! label and, before the band split in 1989, Operation Ivy had even conducted a short club tour of America.
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