Watch: Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello Gives Passionate Revolution-Inspiring Speech at Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Last night (November 3), Ice-T inducted Rage Against the Machine into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Most of the band was absent; however, guitarist Tom Morello was there to accept the honor and deliver a passionate speech.

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First, Morello expressed his gratitude for being able to share musical chemistry with the rest of his bandmates but added they don’t always agree on everything. “Like most bands, we have differing perspectives on a lot of things, including being inducted into the Rock Hall,” he said.

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Then, he shared his point of view. “My perspective is that tonight is a great opportunity to celebrate the music and the mission of the band, to celebrate the fifth member of the band and that is Rage Against the Machine’s incredible fans,” he explained. Morello urged the fans to carry on the mission and the message behind the music.

“The lesson that I’ve learned from Rage Against the Machine’s fans is the music can change the world,” Morello declared. “Organizers, activists, public defenders, teachers, the presidents of Chile and Finland have all spent time in our mosh pits.

“When music is done right, we can hear a new world emerging in the songs,” he continued, adding such music can skewer the oppressors of the day and show us all that there is more to life than we may realize.

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“Can music change the world?” Morello pondered aloud. “The whole fucking aim is to change the world.” he said. At a minimum, he added, the goal is to “stir up a shitload of trouble.”

Morello, much like the spirit of Rage Against the Machine, is more activist than musician. As a result, he used the second half of his speech to inspire revolution among the people. “The world is not going to change itself,” he stated. “Throughout history those who have changed the world in progressive, radical, or even revolutionary ways do not have any more money, power, courage, intelligence, or creativity than anyone watching tonight.”

Then, Morello informed those watching that average, ordinary people who have had enough and are willing to stand for what they believe in have changed the world in the past. He believes the same kinds of people will continue to do so in the future.

For those wondering what they can do to change the world, Morello shared three ways to start. “One, dream big and don’t settle. Two, aim for the world you really want without compromise or apology. And, three, don’t wait for us. Rage is not here, but you are.”

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Morello concluded his speech by thanking his mother, lifelong activist and radical Mary Morello. He also delivered a message from his mother. “History, like music, is not something that happens. It’s something you make.”

Photo by Mike Coppola/WireImage

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