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. Mike H

    so no one has listened to an artist that they might disagree with politically before? Or haven't listened to an artist where the lyrics aren't the most favorable to your own views or actions? we aren't all that myopic are we? I get that the politics between Morello and Ryan are vastly different, but who cares? Pointless

    August 17, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  2. Tree

    That tells you something about Ryan and Romney, just want to see want bite with the American People......they are losers.......what they don't understand is this we are smarter than what they think.

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

    Morello, you're a dewshbag. Suuuuuuuuuure you "stand with the Occupy movement". Is that why you live in a mansion, get carted around in limos, make ridiculous demands in your dressing room and spend more on a guitar than some families spend on food.

    August 17, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. MikeInTarzana

    and for the record, Tom is a Harvard Grad – true fact.

    August 17, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. Jmaz

    @ Seth – it's as insulting as that big fat greasy slob Michael Moore – the darling of the left – who rails against capitalism. Meanwhile, he's living fat and happy and high on the hog in a multi-million dollar condo in Manhattan. Without capitalism, Moore would be another fat, ugly loser living in mom's basement.

    August 17, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  6. CNN Fan

    You all can see how unpopular of Romney-Ryan ticket among middle-class, and 99% of Americans...I don't know why GOP still not get it....GOP are down because of their extremely politics by supporting extremist tea party....I thought Ryan was a smart guy..but they are the same apple when I get to know them more...two words..."Extremist"...and "Flip-flopper"...that why they will lose this election..

    August 17, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. Sandy

    Jmaz

    @ Seth – it's as insulting as that big fat greasy slob Michael Moore – the darling of the left – who rails against capitalism. Meanwhile, he's living fat and happy and high on the hog in a multi-million dollar condo in Manhattan. Without capitalism, Moore would be another fat, ugly loser living in mom's basement.
    _______________

    Michael Moore and Rage are not lobbying politicians to get what they want, like the rich Romney supporters. And are willing to pay more taxes to help the country out, unlike the unpatriotic Romney who hides his money so that America can't benefit from his taxes.

    August 17, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  8. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Go ahead "Rage" Bite the hand that feeds you. Where were you when they passed out the brains? Maybe I missed it but it takes real people to stock those grocery shelves. There is no 1 Percent. There is only winners and losers. When those grocery shelves isn't stocked, when the local gas station runs out of gas and you can't get any, you will apprecitte those "One" Percenters, Savvy?

    August 17, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  9. mike52

    The new GOP party wants a new America. Why they hate the America before this is anyone's guess. Maybe they hate baseball and apple pie. They obviously hate Chevy's because they wanted them to fail, just like they want America to fail.

    August 17, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  10. Seth

    We are running out of money, folks. Even if we tax millionaires at 100% of their income, we would not even come close to balancing our budget. Eventually, our government will run out of funds we can borrow to pay for all of our 'rights'. Such a shame that so many leftists will not open their eyes to this fact until it is too late. Like sheep, they will continue to believe every lie that 'the rich' have enough to take care of all their needs.

    August 17, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. Brandon

    Tom Morello? Oh! You mean that guy from that band that admit to being pro communism? Yeah, why would someone want to use their music for a Democratic campaine anyways?

    August 17, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  12. Jatovi

    "Seth
    We are running out of money, folks. Even if we tax millionaires at 100% of their income, we would not even come close to balancing our budget. Eventually, our government will run out of funds we can borrow to pay for all of our 'rights'. Such a shame that so many leftists will not open their eyes to this fact until it is too late. Like sheep, they will continue to believe every lie that 'the rich' have enough to take care of all their needs."

    Sorry you have been drinking the Kool-aid.

    August 17, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  13. hangar13

    Typical entertainer, shooting off his mouth without one iota of knowledge about the issues. Is it any wonder that Democrats want to maximize voter participation among people who don't understand policy or economics? Fact: Exit polling indicated that less than half of Obama voters in 2008 could even identify which party controlled the Congress. Heaven help the Democrats if we ever have an informed electorate.

    August 17, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  14. trickbunny

    Funny. Seems like Republicans have no entertainment they like that "likes" them back. Probably because far, far more creative people seem to side with a liberal viewpoint than a conservative one. Basically, unless it's Fox News, the Drudge Report, Rush Limbaugh, or a smattering of websites and country music artists, everything Republicans watch or listen to either makes fun of them, disagrees with them, or probably doesn't even want to count them among their fanbases (like Rage Against the Machine). That *has* to be a weird, kind of uncomfortable feeling, knowing that bands, painters, tv shows, movies, authors, etc. that you like probably wish you wouldn't like them, lol.

    August 17, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  15. trickbunny

    Jmaz wrote:

    "Morello, you're a dewshbag. Suuuuuuuuuure you "stand with the Occupy movement". Is that why you live in a mansion, get carted around in limos, make ridiculous demands in your dressing room and spend more on a guitar than some families spend on food."
    --------------------------------–
    Live in a mansion, gets carted around in limos, makes ridiculous demands, and spends more on his guitars than some families pay to eat, huh?

    Present PROOF of these claims or S tf U and stop making yourself look like a loudmouthed fool. Thanks,

    August 17, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  16. 82 Days until Obama is RE-ELECTED

    @Seth – the display of crass ignorance by you Teatrolls is astounding... Sure our govt will eventually run out of funds... and if we give the reins back to the Grand Obstructionist Party – who have put Party above country for the last four years – we'll get there sooner !!

    Let's look at the REAL aftermath and carnage left by the last Repuglican president – that Obama is attempting to fix WITHOUT the help of the GOBP !!
    Evaporation of $500 BILLION surplus, -8.9% GDP, $11 TRILLION national debt – $6.4 TRILLION added by Dubya, $1.47 TRILLION deficit, $2.8 TRILLION in tax cuts (unpaid for), TWO Wars (unpaid for), Medicare prescription plan (unpaid for), $3 TRILLION borrowed from China, BILLION dollar no-bid contracts award to the military-industrial complex, a Wall Street, Banking, Auto, Mortgage crisis, losing over 700,000 jobs monthly and a economy heading into Depression. All of this in less than 8 yrs of Dubya, then handed to President Obama as he took office.

    Yet you right wing lemmings want to go BACK to MORE of that??? Please examine the definition of insanity, then look in the mirror !!

    August 17, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  17. Dennis

    Oh well . . . Guess Paul shouldn't count on the filthy, aging hipster, suboxone-popping limousine liberal vote. Since Morello has a problem with people he disagrees with enjoying his music, perhaps he'll refund a few of his millions to moderates and conservatives who've bought one or two of his songs off of itunes...

    August 17, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  18. MR.CANADA

    Those people listening to Ryan and Romney are real winners. Not many overachivers in that group. Hope the reps win so they get what they deserve.

    August 17, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  19. Trailboss

    This GAS,OIL and PETROLEUM (GOP) party is going to see that what they stand for now is so nasty with their blame game tactics thinking we are not going to forget it Nov.6. You have been so nasty as a Representative of the people who put you in office is going to put you out of office. The party is not going to vote you in office and guest who you have to look at...You haven't did nothing to help in office i.e. the job bill you wouldn't pass so I'm seeing a lot of GOP friends I have told us they are going to vote for the President because the party don't thing about there family's and that's going to put out of office.I think it's going to be a long time before the GOP party get back in the driver seat. SEE YOU NOV.6 I sure your party will vote you back in to your seat.

    August 17, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  20. Johnnie Stevens

    I highly doubt he listens to this style of music, I think he's just trying to be "popular with the kids" Obviously he chose the wrong band to lie about, he must not know that they are political activists. I know nothing about Ryan other than he's full of "it" like every other politician.

    August 17, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
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