This song was written by Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong and is about the days he and bass player Matt Freeman spent in their previous band, Operation Ivy (1987-1989). Operation Ivy actually disbanded because they were becoming too popular, hence the lyric, "Too much attention unavoidably destroyed us."
The East Bay is in San Francisco, where punk rock flourished. Most of the bands that played there in the '80s stayed underground, but in the '90s, acts like Rancid, Green Day and The Offspring emerged from the scene to go mainstream.
This song was part of Rancid's third album, ...And Out Come The Wolves, which made them far too popular for the tiny clubs of their come-up. Tim Armstrong had mixed feelings about their success; he didn't like the idea of backstage passes and press parties.
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