By Jon Wiederhorn
Ever since Rage Against the Machine debuted in 1992, its members have been leading the fight against the establishment, following the declaration of their first ever single “Killing in the Name”: “F— you, I won’t do what you told me.”
Three members of that band, guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and bassist Brad Wilk are now in Prophets of Rage, which also features Public Enemy’s Chuck D and DJ Lord and Cypress Hill’s B-Real. The group’s latest act of rebellion took place last night when they were turned away from a show they were scheduled to play inside Norco Prison due to a last-minute order by the California Department of Corrections. Instead of packing up and going home, Prophets of Rage set up their gear and performed an impromptu set outside of the prison grounds.
“We were denied at the last-minute because apparently they got some calls from right-wing nuts in Sacramento who said they were going to foment rebellion,” Morello told CBS. “What we meant to do is come here to play a great show… The barbed wire cannot keep the music out.”
The concert was supposed to support the nonprofit organization Jail Guitar Doors, which provides musical instruments and guidance to help rehabilitate prisoners. The organization’s co-founder Wayne Kramer (ex-MC5) said, “They didn’t want to see good things happen for what they consider to be bad people, when in truth, they’re just people.”
“We play for those on the lowest rungs of the ladder,” added Morello. “We play for the underclass, those who do not have a presidential candidate who presents them.”
Prophets of Rage released their first single “Prophets of Rage” last month to coincide with a show to protest the Republican National Convention.