This Day In Music 30.05.2015
Born in Harlem, New York City, on May 30, 1964, Tom was raised by his mother in Libertyville, Illinois. As a teenager, Morello became infatuated with both rock music and politics, as he was almost entirely self-taught on guitar . Upon graduation in political science, he relocated to the Los Angeles area, where he decided to try and make a career out of music, making ends meet by working for a spell as a California senator's secretary. By the late '80s, Morello was a member of L.A. rockers Lock Up.
With Morello joined by vocalist/rapper Zack de la Rocha, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk, Rage Against the Machine were born in 1991. Over the course of a four-album career RATM became one of rock's leading and most confrontational bands.
But rumors of friction between de la Rocha and the rest of the members continued to persist and shortly before the release of the fourth album, de la Rocha left the band. Undeterred Morello and the rest of the RATM members enlisted the services of former Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, forming the group Civilian, which would later be redubbed Audioslave.
In addition to his work with RATM and Audioslave, Morello has lent his playing (and in some cases, production) talents to recordings by a variety of other artists, including Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, the Crystal Method, Perry Farrell, Primus, Puff Daddy/Jimmy Page, Run-D.M.C., as well as collaborating with enigmatic Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley on a cover version of Pink Floyd's 'Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2' for the soundtrack of the 1998 film 'The Faculty'.
Morello also performs solo material sporadically under his political folk alter ego, the Nightwatchman. The artist also performed during the demonstrations in Wisconsin supporting the rights of state workers to collectively bargain, protesting a historic union-busting bill spearheaded by governor Scott Walker. He was inspired by the demonstrations there, and by the protests in Cairo, Egypt demanding democracy that eventually toppled the regime of Hosni Mubarek, to record an eight-song EP of pro-union anthems entitled 'Union Town' under the Nightwatchman moniker. It was released early in the summer of 2011 -- with all profits going to the America Votes Labor Unity Fund. The set included three Morello originals and five standards, including the full-length version of Guthrie's 'This Land Is Your Land'.
In April 2008 Morello started a collaboration with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band making some live appearances and recording pieces for Springsteen's 18th studio album 'High Hopes' released in 2014.
Morello is famed for his guitar style, which consists of heavy metal/punk hybrid riffs and hip hop-inspired sounds, a creative guitar playing style, which incorporates feedback noise, unconventional picking and tapping as well as heavy use of guitar effects.
He was ranked #40 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".