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Wed Oct 14, 2020, 05:06 PM

Tom Morello on the Music of His Life

Tom Morello is not your typical guitar god. At 56, he’s lived several lifetimes as a musician, mostly avoiding the trappings of rock’s gilded halls in a search for sounds that are as radical as his politics. Morello’s career has been defined by exploring the boundaries of what a guitar can do, seeking to unlock new mysteries within an old instrument. He’s also worked with some of the most powerful political voices in music, and eventually became one himself. A card-carrying member of the Industrial Workers of the World, he’s protested Wisconsin’s assault on collective bargaining rights, performed at various sites as part of the Occupy movement, fought the use of his music in torturing detainees at Guantanamo Bay, and founded the Axis of Justice, a social justice group supporting immigrant rights and the abolition of the death penalty.

From the beginning, his music and his activism have been intertwined. In the 1990s, Rage Against the Machine created a new template for politically minded rock, infusing bone-crushing riffs with a rhythm that could have only come from hip-hop. When that group folded and morphed into Audioslave, Morello channeled his activist streak into the solo acoustic folk project the Nightwatchman, writing union songs and performing at open mic nights and uprisings. And as the presidential election bore down on the country in 2016, he assembled the supergroup Prophets of Rage with Chuck D and B-Real to remind people of the dangers he’d been fighting against all this time. He hasn’t slowed down, either. This summer he dropped the protest song “Stand Up,” with proceeds benefiting the NAACP, Know Your Rights Camp, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Marsha P. Johnson Institute.

Calling in from his Los Angeles studio, his speech is brisk and eloquent as he refers to his journey as a “uniquely American story of bizarre vectors that have forged this patchwork career and life.” The only Black kid in the all-white Midwestern town of Libertyville, Illinois, he was a radical anarchist who graduated with honors from the conservative high school where his mother taught history. He wore spandex and shredded heavy metal riffs while studying political science at Harvard in the ’80s, before going on to spread enlightened angst in areas around the world with Rage.
https://pitchfork.com/features/5-10-15-20/tom-morello-on-the-music-of-his-life/


This is a really good article if you need a break from all the bad news in the world right now!

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Reply Tom Morello on the Music of His Life (Original post)
Initech Oct 14 OP
OneBlueSky Oct 14 #1
Initech Oct 14 #3
sarcasmo Oct 14 #4
BusyBeingBest Oct 14 #2
abqtommy Oct 14 #5

Response to Initech (Original post)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 05:15 PM

1. thanks for posting this . . .

Tom Morello has been a member of Springsteen's touring band for the last few concert tours . . . he and Bruce do a great rendition of "The Ghost of Tom Joad" . . . including at Pete Seeger's 90th birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden . . . here's another video of them together . . .



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Response to OneBlueSky (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 05:18 PM

3. I have that single!

Rage released it a long time ago and I still have the CD of that. Awesome song!

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Response to OneBlueSky (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 06:05 PM

4. One of my favorite versions of this song.

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Response to Initech (Original post)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 05:16 PM

2. That was an interesting interview. KISS is unfortunate because they were terrible, but

everything/everyone else he mentions makes sense as influences.

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Response to Initech (Original post)

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 07:14 PM

5. Thanks for enlightening me. Until today I'd never heard of Tom Morello but DU is a

wonderful place to get an education!

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