Rage Against the Machine were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Friday.
Guitarist Tom Morello accepted the award on the band’s behalf. “I am deeply grateful for the musical chemistry I’ve had the good fortune to share with Brad Wilk, Tim Commerford, and Zach de la Rocha. Like most bands, we have differing perspectives on a lot of things, including being inducted into the Rock Hall. My perspective is tonight is the great opportunity to celebrate the music and the mission of the band, to celebrate with the fifth member of the band: Rage Against the Machine’s incredible fans. The best way to celebrate this music is for you to carry on that mission and that message.”
“The world’s changed by average, ever day ordinary people who’ve had enough, who are willing to stand up for a country and a planet that is more humane, peaceful, and just. And that’s what I’m here to celebrate tonight. Fans often ask, but what can I do? Let’s start with this: 1.) Dream big and don’t settle. 2.) Aim for the world you really want without compromise or apology, and 3.) Don’t wait for us. Rage is not here, but you are… If you got a boss, join a union. If you’re a student, start an underground paper. If you’re an anarchist, throw a brick. If you’re a soldier or a cop, follow your conscious not your orders. If you’re bummed out you didn’t get to see Rage Agains the Machine, then form your own band and let’s hear what you have to say. If you’re a human being, stand up for the planet before it’s too late.”
Rage were a particularly interesting group for the Rock Hall to recognize given their anti-establishment ethos. The band acknowledged as such in a statement when their induction was first announced, recounting their history of shutting down the New York Stock Exchange, suing the US State Department, and generally speaking out against racism, war, and other man-made atrocities in their music.
“Many thanks to the Hall of Fame for recognizing the music and the mission of Rage Against the Machine,” they said at the time. “We are grateful to all of the passionate fans, the many talented co-conspirators we’ve worked with, and all the activists, organizers, rebels, and revolutionaries past, present, and future who have inspired our art.”
Rage Against the Machine reunited for their first concerts in 11 years in 2022, but their tour was cut short after singer Zack de la Rocha was injured during an early performance. The shows were never rescheduled, and guitarist Tom Morello seems to know as much (or as little) as we do about whether or not the band will ever perform again. “Right now we’re in time of healing,” he said.