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Tom Morello

Early life

Tom Morello was born on May 30, 1964, in Harlem, New York, to Ngethe Njoroge and Mary Morello. He is of Irish and Italian descent on his mother's side, and Kenyan descent on his father's side. His mother was a schoolteacher from Marseilles, Illinois, whom earned a Master of Arts at Loyola University, Chicago and travelled to Germany, Spain, Kenya, and Japan as an English language teacher. His father was a Kenyan participant in the Mau Mau Uprising, and served as Kenya's first ambassador to the United Nations. Morello's paternal uncle, Jomo Kenyatta, was the first elected president in Kenyan history. His parents met in August 1963, while attending a pro-democracy protest in Nairobi, Kenya, and Morello was conceived the first night they made love. After discovering her pregnancy, Mary returned to the United States with Njoroge in November, and married in New York City.

When Morello was 16 months old, Njoroge returned to his native Kenya, and denied his paternity of his son. Morello was raised solely by his mother in Libertyville, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. There he attended Libertyville High School, where his mother was a U.S. history teacher. She was the homeroom teacher for Tom's classmate and fellow guitarist Adam Jones, of the band Tool, while teaching at Libertyville. Tom sang in the school choir and was active in speech and drama club; a prominent role was Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Morello developed leftist political leanings early, and has described himself as having been "the only anarchist in a conservative high school", and has since identified as a nonsectarian socialist. In the 1980 mock elections at Libertyville, he campaigned for a fictitious anarchist "candidate" named Hubie Maxwell, who came in fourth place in the election. He also wrote a piece headlined "South Africa: Racist Fascism That We Support" for the school alternative newspaper The Student Pulse.

Morello graduated from high school with honors in June 1982, and enrolled at Harvard University as a political science student that autumn. He was the first student at his high school to be accepted at Harvard, and was in fact the first person from Libertyville, Illinois ever to enroll there. Morello graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Harvard. He moved to Los Angeles, where he first supported himself by working as an exotic male stripper.

"When I graduated from Harvard and moved to Hollywood, I was unemployable. I was literally starving, so I had to work menial labour and, at one point, I even worked as an exotic dancer. 'Brick House' (by The Commodores) was my jam! I did bachlorette parties and I'd go down to my boxer shorts. Would I go further? All I can say is thank God it was in the time before YouTube! You could make decent money doing that job people do what they have to do."

Adam Jones moved to Los Angeles as well; Morello introduced Jones and Maynard James Keenan to Danny Carey, who would come to form the band Tool.

From 1987 to 1989, Morello worked in the office of California Democratic Senator Alan Cranston. However, this proved to be a negative experience of MOrello, who decided never to pursue a career in politics.

"I never had any real desire to work in politics but if there was any ember burning in me, it was extinguished working in that job because of two things: one of them was the fact that 80 per cent of the time I spent with the Senator, he was on the phone asking rich people for money. It just made me understand that the whole business was dirty. He had to compromise his entire being every day. The other was the time a woman phoned up to the office and wanted to complain that there were Mexicans moving into her neighborhood. I said to her, 'Ma'am, you're a damn racist,' and she was indignant. I thought I was representing our cause well, but I got yelled at for a week by everyone for saying that! I thought to myself that if I'm in a job where I can't call a damn racist a damn racist, then it's not for me.."

Morello also became a vegetarian, due to both health and ethical reasons.

Musical influences

At age 13, Morello joined his first band; a Led Zeppelin cover band as the lead singer. At this same age, Morello purchased his first guitar. Around 1984, Morello first started studying the guitar seriously. He had formed a band in the same year called the Electric Sheep which featured future Tool guitarist Adam Jones on bass. The band wrote original material that included politically charged lyrics. None of the songs composed by the Sheep contained solos; soloing was a skill that Morello began learning in college.

At the time, Morello's musical tastes lay in the direction of heavy metal, particularly Kiss, Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath. Morello developed his own unique sound through the electric guitar. Later, his music and musical politics were greatly influenced by punk rock bands like The Clash, The Sex Pistols, and Devo.

Recording career

Rage Against the Machine (1991-2000; 2007-present)

Main article: Rage Against the Machine

In 1991 Tom was looking to form a new band after Lock Up disbanded. Tom was impressed by Zack de la Rocha's freestyle rapping and asked him to join his band. He also drafted drummer Brad Wilk, who he knew from his band Lock Up, where Wilk unsuccessfully auditioned for a drumming spot. The band's lineup was completed when Zack convinced his childhood friend Tim Commerford to play bass. After frequenting the L.A. club circuit, Rage Against the Machine signed a record deal with Epic Records in 1992. That same year, the band released their self titled debut. They achieved a considerable amount of mainstream success and released three more studio albums.

In August 2000 in Los Angeles at the Democratic National Convention, Rage Against the Machine performed outside the Staples Center to a large crowd numbering in the many thousands while the Convention took place inside. After several audience members began to throw rocks, the Los Angeles Police Department turned off the power and ordered the audience to disperse, firing rubber bullets and pepper spray into the crowd.

Tom Morello performing with Rage Against The Machine at the 2008 Reading Festival

In late 2000, after Commerford's stunt at the VMA's, the disgruntled de la Rocha quit the band. On September 13, 2000, Rage Against the Machine performed their last concert at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles. After the band disbanded, their fourth studio album, Renegades, became a collection of cover songs from artists such as Bob Dylan, MC5, Bruce Springsteen and Cypress Hill. 2003 saw the release of their last album, titled Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium, an edited recording of the band's final two concerts on September 12 and 13, 2000 at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles. It was accompanied by an expanded DVD release of the last show and included a previously unreleased music video for "Bombtrack".

After disbanding, Morello, Wilk and Commerford went on to form Audioslave with former Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell, and released three albums as well as a DVD from the band's concert in Cuba. De la Rocha started working on a solo album collaboration with DJ Shadow, Company Flow, and The Roots' Questlove, but the project was dropped in favor of working with Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor. Recording was completed, but the album will probably never be released. So far, only one track has been released: "We Want It All" was featured on "Songs and Artists that Inspired Fahrenheit 9/11".

Main article: Rage Against the Machine reunion tour

On April 29, 2007, Rage Against the Machine reunited at the Coachella Music Festival. The band played in front of an EZLN backdrop to the largest crowds of the festival. The performance was initially thought to be a one-off, this turned out not to be the case. The band played 7 more shows in the United States in 2007 (including their first non-festival concert in 7 years at the Alpine Valley Music Theater in East Troy, Wisconsin), and in January 2008, they played their first shows outside the US since re-forming as part of the Big Day Out Festival in Australia and New Zealand. In August 2008 they headlined nights at the Reading and Leeds festivals.

The band has since continued to tour around the world, headlining many large festivals in Europe and the United States, including Lollapalooza in Chicago. In 2008 the band also played shows in Denver, Colorado and Minneapolis, Minnesota to coincide with the Democratic National Convention and Republican National Convention, respectively. Though they played together for these events, they do not play together regularly.

Audioslave (2001-2007)

Main article: Audioslave

Morello with Audioslave at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2005.

After de la Rocha left Rage Against the Machine, the remaining band mates began collaborating with former Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell at the suggestion of producer Rick Rubin. The new group was first rumored to be called The Civilian Project, but the name Audioslave was confirmed before their first album was released.

The band released their eponymous debut album on November 19, 2002. It was a critical and commercial success, attaining triple-platinum status.

The band released their second album, Out of Exile, on May 24, 2005. It debuted at number 1 on the Billboard charts and attained platinum status. In the same year, they released a DVD documenting their trip as the first American rock band to play a free show in Cuba. The band's third album, Revelations, was released in the fall of 2006. As of February 15, 2007, Audioslave have broken up as a result of frontman Cornell's departure due to "irresolvable personality conflicts". The band reunited with Zack de la Rocha and resumed their previous band, Rage Against the Machine.

The Nightwatchman (2003-present)

Main article: The Nightwatchman

Morello is less known for his folk music, which he plays under the alias The Nightwatchman. He has explained:

"The Nightwatchman is my political folk alter ego. I've been writing these songs and playing them at open mic nights with friends for some time. This is the first time I've toured with it. When I play open mic nights, it's announced as The Nightwatchman. There will be kids there who are fans of my electric guitar playing, and you see them there scratching their heads.

But it's something that I enjoy doing. I look at it more as an extension of my politics. Then again, some of the songs are not explicitly political. It really helped me grow as an artist and songwriter. Once you prick the vein you never know what is going to come out. You could aim for all union songs and you find yourself in other territory."

In November 2003 The Nightwatchman joined artists Billy Bragg, Lester Chambers of The Chambers Brothers, Steve Earle, Jill Sobule, Boots Riley of The Coup and Mike Mills of R.E.M. on the Tell Us the Truth Tour. The thirteen-city tour was supported by unions, environmental and media reform groups including Common Cause, Free Press and A.F.L.-C.I.O. with the ultimate goal of "informing music fans, and exposing and challenging the failures of the major media outlets in the United States." Tom Morello explained:

"Media consolidation needs smashing and globalization needs unmasking. When presidents and politicians lie, it is the job of the press to expose those lies. When the press fails, the gangstas come out from hiding. The lie becomes the law. The point of the Tell Us the Truth Tour is to help others make connections, and to show them that activism can change the policies of this country."

One of his many songs, "No One Left", which compares the aftermath of September 11 to that of a U.S. attack on Iraq, appears on the album Songs and Artists that Inspired Fahrenheit 9/11.

The Nightwatchman also appeared on the album/DVD Axis Of Justice: Concert Series Volume 1, contributing the songs "Until the End", "The Road I Must Travel", and "Union Song".

Morello, as The Nightwatchman, released his debut solo album, One Man Revolution, on April 24, 2007.

The Nightwatchman joined the Dave Matthews Band for its short European tour in May 2007. As well as opening for the Dave Matthews Band, he was invited to guest on a couple of songs each night. The last night of this Morello/DMB arrangement was May 30, 2007 at Wembley Arena in London, on Tom's birthday.

The Nightwatchman is currently supporting Ben Harper on tour. During this tour, Morello has been joining Harper onstage for a cover of Bob Dylan's "Masters of War", on which he plays the electric guitar in the style for which he's best known.

Morello has presided over a Hotel Cafe residency in L.A. since November 2007, which has featured many of his musical cohorts, including Serj Tankian, Perry Farrell, Jon Foreman from Switchfoot, Shooter Jennings, Nuno Bettencourt, Queen V, Sen Dog from Cypress Hill, Jill Sobule, Boots Riley, Alexi Murdoch, Wayne Kramer from MC5, and others.

On October 10, 2008, The Nightwatchman appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson as a musical guest, promoting his new album The Fabled City.

Street Sweeper Social Club (2006-present)

Main article: Street Sweeper Social Club

Following Audioslave's breakup in 2006, Morello met up with Boots Riley of The Coup, suggesting that they start a band which Morello had named Street Sweeper. After giving Riley a tape of various songs to write to, the two created the duo Street Sweeper Social Club.

Street Sweeper Social Club opened for Nine Inch Nails and Jane's Addiction in May 2009.

Other side projects (1994-present)

Morello has played with a great number of artists. Some of the more notable contributions are listed below.

Morello and Wilk joined with Maynard James Keenan of Tool and Billy Gould of Faith No More to record the song "Calling Dr. Love" for the 1994 Kiss tribute album Kiss My Ass. The lineup was billed as Shandi's Addiction.

In 1995 Morello formed a short-lived project called Weatherman with former Articles of Faith frontman Vic Bondi. They recorded demos in September 1995. Bondi wrote all the lyrics, while Morello wrote all the music. One track, "Enola Gay", was recorded by Brett Eliason in fall 1996.

Morello played lead guitar and produced on three tracks of Primus' 1999 studio album Antipop.

Morello played the guitar on The Faculty soundtrack, featured with Class of '99 for their cover of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall (pt. 2)".

Morello worked with The Crystal Method on their 2001 album Tweekend. He co-produced and played guitars on the smash single "Name of the Game" and "Wild, Sweet and Cool".

Morello recorded guitars along with country legend Johnny Cash during his late career with American Recordings, which was released on the Unearthed.

Morello produced the 2003 Anti-Flag album The Terror State. He has played with Anti-Flag in some of their concerts.

Morello played guitar in the single "No Man Army" by The Prodigy, which appears on the "Smack My Bitch Up" single.

Morello played guitar on the Atari Teenage Riot song Rage.

Morello played a short solo on the Benny Mason band song Exodus IV.

In July 2006, reported that Morello and Boots Riley, front man of The Coup, would collaborate on a project called Street Sweepers. Riley has often performed alongside Morello's alter ego The Nightwatchman, and Morello produced and performed on a track for The Coup's 2006 release Pick a Bigger Weapon.

Morello played the guitar solo on the track "Depleted Uranium is a War Crime" by Anti-Flag from their 2006 album For Blood & Empire.

Morello sat in with the Dave Matthews Band featuring Butch Taylor and Rashawn Ross for multiple dates on the band's May 2007 stint in Europe. He performed on "#41", "American Baby Intro" and "Satellite" at various dates on the brief tour.

Morello appears in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock as a "guitar boss" (the first of 3 in the career mode of the game) in a night club. Beating him in a one-on-one battle (playing an original composition he recorded for the game) will unlock him as a playable character and will result in the player and Tom playing the master track of "Bulls on Parade" as an encore immediately following the battle. Morello's original composition features many of his trademark guitar effects like those heard in songs such as Audioslave's "Cochise" and "Doesn't Remind Me" and Rage Against the Machine's "Bulls on Parade" and "Sleep Now in the Fire".

In April 2006, Morello produced two tracks for the group Outernational; on the band's website, it states that Morello will be producing their debut album.

In April 2008, Morello made two guest appearances with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at the Anaheim Pond. They performed "The Ghost of Tom Joad" (which had been previously covered by Rage Against the Machine). Ones of the performance was included on the Magic Tour Highlights EP.

On October 29, 2009 Morello performed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Concert at Madison Square Garden. He performed "The Ghost of Tom Joad", "London Calling", "Badlands" and "Higher and Higher" with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

On February 23, 2010 Cypress Hill released there second single "Rise Up" from their album Rise Up featuring Tom Morello on guitar.

Appearances in films

Morello played on a number of soundtracks, including Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006), Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, and Spider-Man. He was an "Additional Electric Guitar" in the 2008 superhero movie Iron Man and played a terrorist. He also stars in the movie Berkeley (2007)And in "Star Trek: Insurrection"

Guitar playing technique

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"Whatever it takes", a nylon-string acoustic guitar used by Morello in his The Nightwatchman persona.

Morello is famed for his guitar style, which consists of heavy metal/punk hybrid riffs and hip hop-inspired sounds. His guitar playing is also characterized by heavy use of guitar effects, such as delay, modulation, wah, harmonizers, distortion, feedback, and others in unique ways and combinations. The most recognizable effect in Morello's arsenal is the Digitech Whammy, which helps him create many of his sounds. Matthew Bellamy of the English band Muse has cited Morello as an influence, which can be heard in his use of pitch-shifting in solos.

To produce his alien guitar sounds, Morello chooses various effects pedals. During his tenure in RATM, he used a Dunlop Cry Baby, a Digitech WH-1 Whammy, a Boss DD-2 Digital Delay, a DOD EQ pedal (set flat and just used to boost the volume during guitar solos or particular rocking moments), and an Ibanez DFL Flanger. Around the time of The Battle of Los Angeles he added a Boss TR-2 Tremolo pedal (which can be heard on "Guerrilla Radio"). For Audioslave, Morello replaced the Ibanez Flanger with a MXR Phase 90. His amplifier of choice has always been a 50-watt Marshall JCM 800 2205 and a Peavey 4x12 cabinet. Though the Marshall is his amp of choice with Rage Against the Machine, he used a Vox AC30 combo amplifier for multiple overdubs on Audioslave's 'Revelations' album. While the Marshall amplifier has two channels, he only uses the overdrive channel, and simply turns down the volume on his guitar to get cleaner sounds.

In the studio, Morello uses the same setup for the bulk of the guitar tracks. For The Battle of Los Angeles, he also used a few other amps, such as a Line 6 as heard on the clean, spacey intro of "Mic Check", plus a Pignose mini-amp and a MusicMan "Twin" style amp. During the recording of Audioslave's last album Revelations Morello experimented with different amplifier setups. For the title track's solo he split his signal to his standard Marshall 2205 head and Peavey cabinet and a 100 watt Fender Bassman head and an Orange cabinet. With delay sent to one while the other is unaffected the sound is being "ping-ponged" between the two amplifiers. He also borrowed a VOX AC30 amplifier from producer Brendan Orien for some tracks.



On August 27, 2008 Morello performed in Denver, Colorado at the Open The Debates rally in opposition to the Commission on Presidential Debates exclusion of third party candidates from the nationally televised debates. He performed "This Land is Your Land" as The Nightwatchman and endorsed Independent Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader. Sean Penn, Jello Biafra and Cindy Sheehan were also part of the rally.

In October 2009, Morello, among a number of musicians, sued the US government for the declassification of all documents relating to the use of music in interrogations at Guantanamo Bay. He stated, "Guantanamo is known around the world as one of the places where human beings have been tortured -- from waterboarding to stripping, hooding and forcing detainees into humiliating sexual acts -- playing music for 72 hours in a row at volumes just below that to shatter the eardrums. Guantanamo may be Dick Cheney's idea of America, but it's not mine. The fact that music I helped create was used in crimes against humanity sickens me."

Axis of Justice

Main article: Axis of Justice

America touts itself as the land of the free, but the number one freedom that you and I have is the freedom to enter into a subservient role in the workplace. Once you exercise this freedom youe lost all control over what you do, what is produced, and how it is produced. And in the end, the product doesn belong to you. The only way you can avoid bosses and jobs is if you don care about making a living. Which leads to the second freedom: the freedom to starve.


Tom Morello

Morello and Serj Tankian of System of a Down are the co-founders of Axis of Justice, a political group whose declared purpose is "to bring together musicians, fans of music, and grassroots political organizations to fight for social justice together." They "aim to build a bridge between fans of music around the world and local political organizations to effectively organize around issues of peace, human rights, and economic justice." The group has worked for such causes as immigrant rights and death-penalty abolition. Its recommended book list includes such authors as Noam Chomsky, Karl Marx, Che Guevara, George Orwell, Mumia Abu-Jamal and Grant Morrison.

Morello and Tankian, together with a handful of other artists, including Maynard James Keenan, Wayne Kramer of the MC5, the hip hop group Jurassic 5, and Michael "Flea" Balzary of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, released a live recording of covers and original songs, titled The Axis of Justice Concert Series Volume 1.

On April 6, 2006, Tom Morello was honored with the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award for his support of worker's rights and for his AOJ work. Tom has worked on numerous labor campaigns: the Guess sweatshop boycott, the LA janitors strike, the Taco Bell boycott, the southern California grocery workers strike and lockout, and others.

Morello was a strong supporter of the Immigrants Reform Rally and protest around the US. Morello played as The Nightwatchman at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles and has featured many articles on AOJ. On September 28, 2006, Morello was one of 400 protesters arrested protesting in support of immigrant hotel workers' rights, in what organizers called "the largest act of civil disobedience in the history of the Los Angeles". Morello knew he was going to be arrested; he wore a bright yellow shirt, and gave the LAPD his driver's license number a few days before the march. Morello told MTV:

"In these political dark ages, it's important for us to stand up for one another. These hotel workers by the airport make 20% less wages than the hotel workers around the rest of Los Angeles. We are here to express our solidarity with them, to help them unionize and help them close the gap between their sub-poverty wages and the millions and millions of dollars the people who own these hotels make."



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Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2009)

Morello uses heavily modified guitars from various manufacturers, but he has never had an official endorsement deal with any company.

Mongrel Custom, aka "Arm The Homeless" - Morello's most famous guitar, and his main guitar for standard tuning since 1991. The original guitar was made by Performance Guitar, CA,USA for Morello to his exact specifications. It featured a Stratocaster body with a Performance Corsair neck, 2 Seymour Duncan JB pickups and A chrome original Floyd Rose tremolo system. However, when he got the guitar he hated everything about it and completely reassembled it. Since then just about everything has been changed countless times. The only thing that remains from the original guitar is the body. The body is blue with the words "Arm the Homeless" written on it in black and red. It has a 3-way toggle switch mounted on the lower horn, 4 Hippos (painted) on the front, one large hippo (upside down) painted on the back, and a hammer and sickle symbol sticker. The neck is a 22 fret Performance Guitar neck with a rosewood board and a "banana" headstock. It also has Gotoh Crownhead tuners. It has an EMG 81/EMG H set of pickups and a Ibanez Edge Floyd Rose Tremolo. The guitar is tuned to standard E.

Fender Stratocaster, "Soul Power" - It has a black finish with white binding and a color-matched headstock. It also has a mirror pickguard, Ibanez Edge Floyd Rose Tremolo, a 3-way on/off toggle switch wired as a kill switch, a Seymour Duncan Hotrails pickup in the bridge and Fender Noiseless pickups in the middle and neck positions. It has the words "Soul Power" on the top of the body in silver paint and is his main guitar in Audioslave for songs that are in standard E tuning.

Fender Telecaster, "Sendero Luminoso" - A black stock 1982 Standard Telecaster, his main guitar for use in drop-D in Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave. He got this guitar in a trade with his roommate.

Ibanez Artstar Hollowbody (Custom) - Made especially for Morello. Based on an old Vox Ultrasonic, it contains several on-board effects (wah, echo, dist, treble/bass boost) and is painted red and black paint. Used live on the song "Guerrilla Radio" by Rage Against the Machine but rarely seen anywhere else.

Goya Rangemaster de Greco, "St. George Creamy" - Bought by Morello at a Canadian pawnshop for $60. It was modified with a Seymour Duncan hotrails pickup in the bridge position. A toggle switch was also added that is dead in the middle position, resulting in a "hummingbird chirp" when toggled. Used as a drop D guitar for some songs on the Rage Against The Machine record Evil Empire. Currently, it is tuned to drop B. Used in Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave.

Ibanez Talman (Custom) - Has 3 single coil "lipstick" pickups, an Ibanez Lo-Pro Edge tremolo, and a killswitch. It has a custom Kenyan flag finish and it was used on "Revolver", "How I Could Just Kill a Man", and "Pistol Grip Pump" for Rage Against the Machine and "Exploder" for Audioslave. He owns a second Ibanez Talman in a cream finish with a tortoise-shell pickguard.

Gibson EDS-1275 (Double Neck SG) - Tuned to drop-D on the 6-string neck, and only seen used live on "The Ghost of Tom Joad".

Ovation Breadwinner - Tuned to standard E, used for "Ashes in the Fall" for Rage Against the Machine. Also used with a MusicMan amp and Tone Bender pedal to capture the Korean radio station audio heard at the end of "Sleep Now in the Fire". He owns 2 others and confines them to the studio because he thinks they look weird.

Gibson "Budweiser" Les Paul - Used during the recording of Audioslave's third album "Revelations". He hated the Budweiser logo on the guitar and thus decided to burn it off in the parking lot of the studio where he received it using a lighter. Afterwards the burn lines were filled with artwork. He liked the new appearance and modified the guitar with DiMarzio pickups.

Gibson Les Paul Standard, #1 - orange burst finish. Tuned to drop-B for use in Audioslave.

Gibson Les Paul Standard, #2 - Red finish. Has been around since the early Ratm days, but was rarely used live until Audioslave's Out of Exile tour where it was tuned to drop-D and only used for Soundgarden covers.

Gibson Les Paul Standard, #3 - tobacco sunburst finish. Tuned to Drop B and used in Street Sweeper Social Club. Can be seen in the music video for "100 little curses".

James Trussart Steelcaster - A Telecaster style guitar with a body made in steel, finished with red star graphics over a holey front. Seen occasionally on the Rage Against the Machine reunion tour, Tom also owns one with polished finish that was used on early tours.

"Whatever It Takes" guitar - A custom Ibanez Galvador nylon string acoustic guitar he uses during concerts as The Nightwatchman. Plain body with 'Whatever It Takes ((star))' left of the bridge.

Effects & amplifers

Morello's amplifier and effects setup has been practically the same throughout his career in Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave.

A photo of Morello's pedal board; on the far left is a Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 2


Digitech Whammy WH-1

Dunlop Crybaby Wah

Boss DD-2 Digital Delay

Boss TR-2 Tremolo

DOD FX40b Equalizer

Ibanez DFL Flanger

MXR Phase 90 (Replaced the Ibanez Flanger for Audioslave)


Marshall JCM800 2205 (50-watt)

Peavey 4x12 Cabinet

Selected discography

For a more comprehensive list, see Tom Morello discography

Lock Up

Something Bitchin' This Way Comes (1989)

Rage Against the Machine

Rage Against the Machine (1992) US 3x Platinum

Evil Empire (1996) US 3x Platinum

Live & Rare (1998)

The Battle of Los Angeles, (1999) US 2x Platinum

Renegades (2000) US Platinum

Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium (2003)


Audioslave (2002) US 3x Platinum

Out of Exile (2005) US Platinum

Revelations (2006) US Gold

The Nightwatchman

One Man Revolution (2007)

The Fabled City (2008)

Street Sweeper Social Club

Street Sweeper Social Club (2009)


Saturday Night Live (Episode #21.17, 1996) .... Musical Guest (Rage Against the Machine)

Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) (uncredited) .... Son'a officer

Star Trek: Voyager (Season 6, Episode 20, 2000, "Good Shepherd") .... Crewman Mitchell

Made (2001) .... Best Man

Berkeley (2005) .... Blue

Metal: A Headbanger's Journey (2005) ... As Himself

Iron Man (2008) .... Insurgent #5

Iron Maiden: Flight 666 (2009) .... As Himself


^ "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". Rolling Stone. 

^ "The Mary Morello and Cindy Sheehan Show". Axis of Justice. August 6, 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-09. 

^ a b c Devenish, Colin (2001). Rage Against the Machine. St. Martin's Press. pp. 13. ISBN 0312273266. 

^ a b c d Tom Morello:One Man Revolt by The Huffington Post, July 21, 2009

^ Holthouse, David (September 26, 1996). "Bottled Anger Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello pours forth the vitriol" (HTML). Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 2008-01-09. 

^ a b c d

^ October, 2008 interview with The Nightwatchman


^ Asch, Andrew (2000-08-15). "Rage Wage Battle of Los Angeles at DNC". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 16 December 2008. 

^ "Thousands take to the streets outside Democratic convention". CNN. 2000-08-15. Retrieved 16 December 2008. 

^ "Reznor Says Collabos With De La Rocha, Keenan May Never Surface". MTV News. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 

^ Shedden, Iain (2008-01-21). "Silverchair in an even bigger day out". The Australian.,25197,23082231-5006786,00.html. Retrieved 12 November 2008. 

^ "BDO revellers get ready for heat". Television New Zealand. 2008-01-18. Retrieved 12 November 2008. 

^ Portner, Matt and Heller, Sarah. Tell Us the Truth Tour. The Boston Underground retrieved 12/14/2007

^ Nichols, John. Tell Us The Truth! The Nation. retrieved 12/14/2007




^ "Grammy Award-Winning Guitarist Tom Morello to Appear in Guitar Hero(TM) III: Legends of Rock". Activision. 2007-09-06. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 

^ Tom Morello Thinks Outernational Could Be The Next Rage Against The Machine, Gil Kaufman, MTV News Online, May 26, 2006.

^ Outernational's website

^ Tom Morello Radical Shriek.


^ Sean Penn, Val Kilmer, Tom Morello and Cindy Sheehan at Nader/Gonzalez Super Rally in Denver,, August 19, 2008

^ US bands blast use of music in Guantanamo interrogations, October 22, 2009[dead link]

^ Alan Connor (2009-12-18). "What is anti-X Factor song Killing In The Name all about?". BBC. Retrieved 2010-01-07. 

^ Shouting At The Devil: uck You, Capitalism!, By Jason Miller, November 10, 2007

^ Mission. Axis of Justice.

^ Books. Axis of Justice.

^ 2006 Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Awards Celebration.

^ Moss, Corey with Chris Harris Tom Morello Arrested At Protest, Spends Night In Lockup., September 2006

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Tom Morello

Tom Morello at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)

The Nightwatchman

Sandmonkey Lives (!)

Axis of Justice

Video of Tom Morello's network TV debut of "House Gone Up in Flames"

"The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time", Rolling Stone, August 27, 2003.

Listen online: Tom Morello On Corporate Imperialism

Tom Morello at the Internet Movie Database

Performing live at SXSW 2007 on 89.3 The Current

Tom Morello on The Hour

Axis of Justice Video

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Tom Morello


1980-1987: Electric Sheep   1988-1990: Lock Up   2001-2007: Audioslave

1991-2000, 2007-present: Rage Against the Machine   2003-present: The Nightwatchman   2006-present: Street Sweeper Social Club

Lock Up

Something Bitchin' This Way Comes

Rage Against the Machine

Studio albums

Rage Against the Machine   Evil Empire   The Battle of Los Angeles   Renegades

Live releases

Live & Rare   Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium


Rage Against the Machine   The Battle of Mexico City   Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium


Studio albums

Audioslave   Out of Exile   Revelations


Audioslave   Live in Cuba

The Nightwatchman

One Man Revolution   The Fabled City

Street Sweeper Social Club

NINJA 2009 Tour Sampler   Street Sweeper Social Club

Related Articles

Rage Against the Machine discography   Audioslave discography   Axis of Justice   Concert Series Volume 1   Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock

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Rage Against the Machine

Tim Commerford  Zack de la Rocha  Tom Morello  Brad Wilk



Rage Against the Machine (1992)  Evil Empire (1996)  The Battle of Los Angeles (1999)


Renegades (2000)


Live & Rare (1998)  Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium (2003)


Rage Against the Machine (1991)


Rage Against the Machine (1997)  The Battle of Mexico City (2001)  Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium (2003)


"Killing in the Name"  "Bombtrack"  "Bullet in the Head"   "Freedom"  "Year of tha Boomerang"   "Bulls on Parade"  "People of the Sun"  "Down Rodeo"  "Vietnow"   "The Ghost of Tom Joad"  "No Shelter"   "Guerrilla Radio"   "Sleep Now in the Fire"  "Testify"  "Calm Like a Bomb"   "Renegades of Funk"  "How I Could Just Kill a Man"


Rage Against The Machine Tour  1994-1995 Tour  Evil Empire Tour  The Battle of Los Angeles Tour  Reunion Tour

Related articles

Discography  Awards Inside Out  Lock Up  Audioslave  The Nightwatchman  One Day as a Lion  Street Sweeper Social Club

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Chris Cornell  Tim Commerford  Tom Morello  Brad Wilk

Studio albums

Audioslave  Out of Exile  Revelations


Civilian Demo


Audioslave  Live in Cuba


"Cochise"  "Like a Stone"  "Show Me How to Live"  "I Am the Highway"  "What You Are"  "Be Yourself"  "Your Time Has Come"  "Doesn't Remind Me"  "Out of Exile"  "Original Fire"  "Revelations"

Related articles

Discography  Rage Against the Machine  Soundgarden  Interscope Records  Epic Records  Axis of Justice  Temple of the Dog

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Axis of Justice

Serj Tankian  Tom Morello

Notable guests

Flea  Brad Wilk  Pete Yorn  Tim Walker  Maynard James Keenan  Slash   Jonny Polonsky   Chris Cornell  Simon Petty  Malcolm Cross  Sid Jordan  Joe Mora  Wayne Kramer  John Dolmayan  Jurassic 5  Knowledge  Brian O'Connor  Ahmed Ahmed  Boots Riley

Live albums/DVDs

Axis of Justice: Concert Series Volume 1

Related artists

Audioslave  Buckethead & Friends  Rage Against the Machine  Scars on Broadway  System of a Down

Related articles

Columbia Records  Cool Gardens  Elect the Dead  One Man Revolution  Scars on Broadway  Screamers  Serart  Serjical Strike Records



Morello, Tom


Thomas Baptist Morello, The Nightwatchman


American guitarist and singer-songwriter




New York, New York, United States



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