i was like ma thats tom morello from rage against the machine
who not only looks like a thinner, wealthier, healthier me,
also happens to be a damn guitar hero.
as in, he’s one of the guitar heroes you have to face off against in the billion dollar best selling video game guitar hero
born in harlem, but raised in naperville i think.
like chicago, his mom is half italian half irish and his dad is from kenya. but the good part of kenya. his great uncle was the country’s first elected president. i guess they had kings before that. who knows. who knows anything?
tom probably would. he graduated from harvard and then found his way in one of the most powerfully aggressive hyper political heavy rock bands of the 90s. the singer zach de la rocha had this wild afro and stormed around the stage exactly like you would if you were trying to incite a riot.
riots were incited.
only one guitarist in this band that sounded like it had 80. and that one was tom. he plays solos like no one else.
it’s painfully sharp at times.
it sounds like what electrocution probably feels like.
the music is meant to get under your skin. the bassist has a stylized filled in giant tattoo of all black.
also, tom is a cubs fan. also, he played in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band for a little while, and on eight tracks of his album “high hopes”.
when chris cornell left soundgarden for a little while, rick rubin suggested that he hook up with tom and rage because zach had left them to do something far more interesting than be a super star singer of a incredibly important band
chris and tom and tattoo guy and the drummer (who has been dating juliet lewis for a while) made a band called audioslave which showed us what rage would sound like with an otherworldy singer instead of a dynamic rapper shouter.
they kicked ass.
audioslave’s first record went triple platinum, and their follow up went regular platinum. they had a medicore third record, broke up, and tom found himself in a band with the dude from cypress hill and chuck d from public enemy called prophets of rage which was an interesting thing on paper but weirdly… bruce, chris, chuck d, b real, there was something very different about tom and zach
it was a one two punch in the middle of grunge that took it up a notch. for years if you wanted to put a little spice into a huge festival youd have the red hot chili peppers, but on a night of say 15 bands, if rage was on the bill they better be put on last because how are you gonna follow a hurricane of angst and power and barbed wire solos?
which brings us to sunday. some devout fans of rage and tom thought that presenting at the oscars is the opposite of punk rock, and to wear a tuxedo is not very rock n roll.
but anyone who has listened to him in interviews would know, he’s not really here begging for you to love him. he’s just here to save the world.