Tom Morello was the only Rage Against the Machine member present to accept Rock Hall induction
“Like most bands, we have differing perspectives on a lot of things, including being inducted into the Rock Hall,” the guitarist said.
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The group were inducted at the ceremony in New York by rapper Ice-T, though members Zack de la Rocha, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk did not attend the ceremony.
Speaking about the band, Ice-T said: “You can’t impress me with normal stuff. You gotta impress me with stuff like suing the U.S. State Department for using their music in Guantanamo Bay for torturing. Who does that? Rage Against the Machine does that.”
“Or how about 1993, pulling up at Lollapalooza butt naked with duct tape, protesting against the PRMC [Parents Music Resource Center]? Who does that? Rage Against the Machine does that. I respect the hell out of this band.”
“If you want to go down in history, you have to make something or break something,” Ice-T continued. “Rage Against the Machine broke every rule in the book just so they could let you know that they were in the building.”
Meanwhile, Morello began his acceptance speech by thanking his bandmates and the “musical chemistry” they’ve shared over the years.
“Like most bands, we have differing perspectives on a lot of things, including being inducted into the Rock Hall,” he said.
“My perspective is that tonight is a great opportunity to celebrate the music and the mission of the band—to celebrate the fifth member of the band, which is Rage Against the Machine’s incredible fans. The only reason we are here and the best way to celebrate this music is for you to carry on that mission and that message.”
“The lesson I learn from Rage fans is that music can change the world,” the guitarist continued. “Daily, I hear from fans who have been affected by our music and in turn have affected the world in significant ways. Organisers, activists, public defenders, teachers, the presidents of Chile and Finland have all spent time in our mosh pit.”
“When protest music is done right, you can hear a new world emerging in the songs, skewering the oppressors of the day and hinting that there might be more to life than what was handed to us. Can music change the world? The whole aim is to change the world or at a bare minimum, to stir up a shit load of trouble.”
Listen to the full speech below.