Tom Morello’s May Day throwdown
Award winner: Tom Morello
Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello wants 10,000 musicians to join him in his Occupy New York protest today.
He’ll lead a band of guitarists, drummers and kazooists known as the Occupy Guitarmy through a set of protest songs in what he calls his May Day Throwdown – and later, he’ll be given an award for his support of working people across the world.
Morello last night tweeted: “I’m putting a new band together and ur in it. Our 1st rehearsal is tomm noon @ Bryant Park in NYC. Looking for about 10,000 guitar players. Don’t have a guitar? Bring a drum. No drum? Bring a kazoo. No kazoo? Just come.”
The setlist includes Woody Guthrie’s This Is Your Land, Sergio Ortega’s El Pueblo Unido, Willie Nile’s One Guitar and Morello’s own World Wide Rebel Songs, and will culminate with a performance of We Shall Not Be Moved.
The guitarist insists: “It’s time to choose sides, people. Are you in or are you out?”
In the evening he’ll receive the Sidney Hillman Foundation’s Officers’ Award, presented by the organisation that seeks to promote the work of people in service of the common good. Previous recipients including Martin Luther King, Teddy Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt and Harry Belafonte.
Morello’s World Wide Rebel Tour documentary will be released free today, dubbed into 42 different versions in 30 different languages. He compares the project to the famous Coca-Cola I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing advert, saying: “It’s like that – but with class warfare. From Malawi to Myanmar, from Uzbekistan to the USA, people’s voices and struggles have made their way into my music. I’m returning the favour.”
The documentary can be seen at worldwiderebeltour.com.