20 Things You Should Know About Rage Against The Machine

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Photo of RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE

In June 2010, Rage Against The Machine played a free gig in London’s Finsbury Park, as a thank you to fans for getting ‘Killing In The Name’ to number one at Christmas. All 40,000 tickets were snapped up in just three hours.

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Tom Morello used to be an exotic dancer. He told NME: “When I graduated from Harvard and moved to Hollywood, I was unemployable…at one point, I even worked as an exotic dancer. ’Brick House’ [by The Commodores] was my jam!”

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While appearing on Saturday Night Live in 1996, bassist Tim Commerford took a U.S. flag, tore it up, and charged into guest host/Republican Steve Forbes’ dressing room, hurling it at his associates. This incident followed Rage’s planned two-song set being cut short after they hung inverted American flags onto their amps.

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The band are vocal supporters of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, especially De la Rocha, who has taken several trips to the Mexican state of Chiapas to aid their efforts.

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Tim Commerford is a huge mountain biking fan. He even went as far as to thank all of his bikes in the liner notes for the band’s third studio album, ‘The Battle of Los Angeles’.

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Reading Festival 2008

Tom Morello, a fan of ‘Star Trek: Voyager’, appeared in the episode ‘Good Shepherd’ where he played Crewman Mitchell. He also played a terrorist in the film ‘Iron Man 2’.

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Drummer Brad Wilk first took up drumming at the age of 13, and got his first drum kit a year later.

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Tom Morello played guitar for ‘The Ghost of Tom Joad’ on the limited edition Bruce Springsteen 10” that was released for Record Store Day.

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Democratic Convention

Zach de la Rocha led a march after an anti-war concert at the Democratic National Convention in Denver in 2008.

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Photo of RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE

Tim Commerford’s father was an aerospace engineer who worked on the Space Shuttle, and his mother was a teacher and mathematician.

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At Lollapalooza 1993, RATM appeared naked on stage, with only duct tape covering their mouths, as a stand against censorship. They later made another political statement in 2008 when they appeared at a festival in Guantanamo Bay jumpsuits with bags over their heads (while playing ‘Bombtrack’).

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Hollywood Labor

RATM entertained thousands of Writers Guild of America writers at the fifth day of their strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers in Los Angeles in 2007.

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