August 17th, 2012
02:42 PM ET
2 years ago

'Rage' guitarist rages against Paul Ryan's love of 'Rage'

(CNN) - Paul Ryan's claim that Rage Against the Machine is among his favorite bands did not poll well with the rap metal group's guitarist Tom Morello.

"He can like whatever bands he wants," Morello wrote in a Rolling Stone opinion piece on Friday about the Republican vice presidential hopeful. "But his guiding vision of shifting revenue more radically to the one percent is antithetical to the message of Rage."

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Ryan lists the anti-establishment group along with Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Hank Williams Jr. and Beethoven among his favorite music choices on his Facebook page.

Rage Against the Machine is widely known for its anti-war, anti-establishment lyrics with songs titled "Bulls on Parade" and "Killing in the Name of."

"I wonder what Ryan's favorite Rage song is?" Morello wrote, "Is it the one where we condemn the genocide of Native Americans? The one lambasting American imperialism? Our cover of "F- the Police"?"

Morello, who was a vocal supporter of the Occupy Wall Street movement and is well-known for supporting union rights, railed against the Romney-Ryan ticket which he sees as supporting the 1%.

"This unbridled rage against those who have the least is a cornerstone of the Romney-Ryan ticket," Morello wrote.

The Ryan campaign did not respond to repeated request for comment, so it's unclear why he likes the band.

Morello makes the point that the music can overpower the message behind Rage's lyrics and that the music can affect people differently.

"Some tune out what the band stands for and concentrate on the moshing and throwing elbows in the pit," Morello wrote.

Joe Levy, editor at Billboard magazine, believes it is possible Ryan listens to Rage for the music and not the lyrics. But Levy still finds the pick odd.

"It's weird because he's forty-two years old and you cannot possibly be a genuine Rage Against the Machine fan without understanding what they stand for," Levy told CNN.

Still, Morello remained cynically hopeful, suggesting in his piece that perhaps some of his politically charged lyrics sank in with the Wisconsin congressman.

"My hope is that maybe Paul Ryan is a mole," Morello said.

But he wasn't counting on it. Instead, Morello had a suggestion for Ryan.

"Perhaps Paul Ryan was moshing when he should have been listening."

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Filed under: Paul Ryan
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Squigman

    If Romney/Ryan, want to see real intolerance and hate come watch me vote on election day.

    August 17, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  2. Expat American

    In other words, Ryan needs to stick to Nugent.

    August 17, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  3. anthony76

    "Perhaps Paul Ryan was moshing when he should have been listening."

    Rage has always been political. I remember them doing their guerrilla show on the steps of Wall Street long before any recessions, crashes, or any occupy movements. You can try and dis Rage all you want, but you have to give them credit, they backed up their music with actions. Morello made his point quite clearly.

    Paul Ryan is what we from the 90's call a "poser".

    August 17, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  4. Bob the Cat

    I cannot wait for the real republican nominees to come forth... yeesh...

    meow

    August 17, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. Mike

    My bet is that he had an assistant find out what bands would have been popular when he was in college. I'm sure he and the other Delts were enjoying something a little more g-rated at the time.

    August 17, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  6. California Gary

    Actually, Ryan has probably never heard the band......just heard they were popular so jumped on board to appear cool. Didn't know what they sang about.......just like he "didn't know" that his idol Ayn Rand was an athiest......the guy is a phony.

    August 17, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. Obama - Ending the American Dream as We Know It

    Another worthless opinion from a braindead druggie rocker.... who cares?

    August 17, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain: Under the Ryan Plan, Romney Pays 0.87% in taxes

    Munster is lying ... the GOP is lying ... what else is new?

    August 17, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. Expat American

    Ryan pretended he was a fan of Alanis Morrisette during his college years; so that any girl would pay attention to him….

    August 17, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  10. FajitaBob

    Rage is just a bunch of posers.

    August 17, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  11. Timmeh

    Morello who's a millionaire, is a 1% joke! He donates his time, doubtful he donates his money, railing against what he is. But being a limousine commie liberal has it's perks.

    August 17, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  12. cali girl

    Wow, I find it interesting at all that Ryan listens to them Reading Ayn Rand's tale and listening to Rage Against the Machine is telling. I am not sure why Ryan is even a senator. With both the book and music I would expect Ryan to be a hard core militia man (and no offense to the militias).

    August 17, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Hank, Jr. wrote that offensive song that he was asked not sing at the Country Music Awards show back when the song was new and at the top of the charts. The song's name was "The South Should Of Won."

    August 17, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  14. myviewis

    I wouldn't pay much attention to Tom Morello Njoroge, he's just a very angry person because his personal life has not been the greatest, even though he always seems to fail to mention that he's father was the ambassador of Kenya to the United Nations and his uncle was the president of Kenya. Yeah, he relates well to all the common problems of everyday people and he's angry at Wall Street and banks, etc.............I think we can conclude that he is extremely smart in having found a gimmick that has made him Millions of dollars$$$$$$$$$$ and he is putting those millions in the bank!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 17, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  15. The TrueChristian

    Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”(Matthew 19:21-24).

    Romney is THE RICH MAN. His way of enriching the already rich and taking away from the poor are not God's ways.

    August 17, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  16. plush

    LOL, Morello is a 1%er. So I love how he rails against the so called establishment. Dude, on the back of your fans you ride.

    August 17, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  17. musicfan

    Oh ok, so he can only like you if he agrees with your politics? I get it.

    August 17, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  18. Gisabun

    Seems to me like the majority of musicians seem to be anti-GOP. Remember Springsteen telling Bush not to use Born in the USA?
    Will wonder if Metallica will tell Ryan to shove it as well. I think they aren't GOP fans either.
    Will be difficult for Beethoven to do so. :-)
    As for Led Zep, they're British. Unsure if they care.

    August 17, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  19. musicfan

    Call girl above- Ryan isnt a senator.

    August 17, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  20. myviewis

    Timmeh

    Morello who's a millionaire, is a 1% joke! He donates his time, doubtful he donates his money, railing against what he is. But being a limousine commie liberal has it's perks.
    ---------------------

    Morello also fails to mention that he is a Harvard University graduate which is not cheappppp!!!!!!!

    August 17, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  21. raged

    When you get on Guitar Hero and old rich white guys play with their kids to be "cool" Then this is what you get, Morello is as corporate rock as any other. Yea, lets rage against the machine while intrinsically involved in it.

    August 17, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  22. robert

    you know what cracks me up about musians who make political statements, is that they should run for office and see if they win with thier radical views. they probably wouldnt get elected dog catcher.....ha!

    August 17, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  23. Seth

    Rage Against the Machine are complete hypocrites. They are the mouthpieces to builders of the machine. Larger governments getting their all-invasive tentacles in every aspect of my life. People like this would build this government behemoth of a machine and then complain when it turns against them. Disgusting. Maybe they should read some more history to see what happens to voices of dissent once government has complete totalitarian control. Maybe they need to sober up and see that they are endorsing the very thing they pretend to be against.

    August 17, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  24. Howard

    I can't wait till all you infantile morons who slobber over the empty suit, finally have reality hit you over the head.
    Romney-Ryan 2012

    August 17, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  25. Jamie

    Cali Girl, open a book or read a newspaper. Ryan is not a senator. He's a congressman. And everyone here notes that no conservative can possibly like Rage? I guess we can't like Bruce either, huh? Or 90% of all the other musicians out there. Who really cares?

    August 17, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
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