Rage Against the Machine History
Rage Against the Machine was formed in Los Angeles in 1991. Vocalist Zack De La Rocha was previously in a band called Inside Out and took the name "Rage Against the Machine" from Inside Out's second unreleased album. Their first public performance was in a living room in Orange County. Shortly after this the band recorded a 12-song demo tape which included "Bullet in the Head" later released on RATM's self titled debut album. They managed to sell 5,000 copies of the demo tape through their fan club and at various live performances around L.A. Rage then supported Porno For Pyros on their debut performance. Rage then got to play two shows on the second stage at Lollapalooza II at Irvine Meadows, California where they were spotted and signed by Epic. In October 92, rage toured Europe supporting Suicidal Tendancies then shortly after the tour finished "Rage Against the Machine" was released on November 10, 1992. The album recieved a lot of attention from critics. Timothy White the billboard editor in cheif remarked, "On the strength of the album, they must be viewed as one of the most original and virtuosic new rock bands in the nation". The album went on to sell over one million copies and was on Billboard's top 200 chart for 89 weeks peaking at #45.
In 93 rage went on a US tour where they toured with House of Pain and played benefits such as the Headlining Anti-Nazi League Benefit and the Rock for Choice Benefit. In 93 Rage appeared at Lollapalooza III this time on the main stage and without playing a single note. They created a silent protest against the P-M-R-C (Parents Music Resource Center) with each band member standing naked on stage for 14 minutes each with duct tape across his mouth and the letters "P" "M" "R" "C" written with one letter on each of the members chests. The idea of the protest was if we don't take action against censorship soon we wont be able to see bands like rage. In december 93 the Freedom video was premiered on MTV's "120 Minutes". The video directed by Peter Christopherson, contained live performance footage as well as scenes from the 1992 documentary "Incident at Oglala" and text from Peter Matthiesen's "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse". In Febuary 94 the video was #1 in U.S.A. Later In 1994 rage played two benefits for Leonard Peliter. The first was organised by rage and called "For the Freedom of Leonard Peltier". It was played in California with acts including Cypress Hill and a guest appearance by the Beastie Boys. The second Benefit was "Latinpalooza" which was a joint benefit for Leonard Peltier, United Workers and Para Los Ninos.
With the extreme tour schedule rage had been engaged in they hadn't got the time to really know each other and rumours of their break up began to circulate. So the band moved to Atlanta and started living together. They attempted to record a new album but found it didn't work. The came back to L.A and started to work effectively on recording their second album "Evil Empire". In 96 rage appeared on "Saturday Night Live" and had their two song performance cut to just one song after the band attempted to hang inverted American Flags from their amps as a protest against having president candidate Steve Forbes on the show that night. The next day Bulls on Parade was premiered on MTV's 120 minutes. Then two days later on April 16, 1999 Evil Empire was released entering the Billboard top 200 charts at #1. In July, 96 rage begin a headlining US tour which toured across the US until October that year.
In January 97, Tom Morello and Zack De La Rocha took part in two-hour debut of "Radio Free L.A" which was broadcast over the internet and on more than 50 commercial US radio stations. The broadcast included two live sets of a band made up of Tom Morello (guitar), Zack De La Rocha (vocals), Flea (Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Bass) and Steven Perkins (Porno for Pyros, drums). In February 97, "Tire Me" won the best Metal performance in the Grammy awards. Shortly after this in April rage began a series of concerts supporting U2. Rage donated it's net earnings from these performances to organizations including Mumia Abu-Jamal, FAIR, EZLN, and Women Alive. In August rage began a headlining US tour with the Wu-Tang Clan. Wu-Tang Withdrew from the tour after just one week of shows for a reason I dont know. The hole that Wu-Tang left was filled by bands including The Foo Fighters and Roots. On November 25 Rage released it's first home video more to keep the fans happy than anything else. The video featured live concert footage as well as all the video clips rage had made up to that point. An extra incentive to buy the video was it came with a CD single: a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "The Ghost of Tom Joad". In Santa Monica that December Tom Morello was arrested for protesting against sweatshop abuses by Guess?.
Early in 98 rage recorded "No Shelter" which appeared on the Godzilla Soundtrack. Midway thorough 98 rage began rehersals for "The Battle of Los Angeles" and by September they had recorded the instrumentals for 14 songs with the lyrics not completed. In January 99 rage organised a benefit for Mumia Abu-Jamal. The benefit attracted a lot of attention and at one point wasn't going to be allowed to go ahead. But in the end it was allowed and acts including Black Star, Bad Religion and the Beastie Boys appeared. In Geneva, on April 12 Zack appeared before the United Nations on the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal and and the death penalty in the US. If you find some pictures of this conference you will be lucky enough to see zack in a suit. Rage then went on to play the Tibetan Freedom Concert and Woodstock 99. At Woodstock, rage again made their presence felt by burning the American flag on stage as the played their last song - Killing in the Name. On october 12, "Guerilla Radio", the first single from the new album was released. This was followed up by the Australian release of "The Battle of Los Angeles" on October 25. The album hit US shelves on election day November 2, 1999. On the same day rage made an appearance on David Letterman performing the new single "Guerilla Radio". Rage then appeared on Conan O'Brien which resulted in the FOP boycotting the NBC network for allowing rage to play. Amidst all this Rage kicked of their US tour promoting the new album.
the epic continues...
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