Unofficial Rage Against the Machine FAQ v1.6

A...General Rage Information

1...What is Rage Against the Machine?
2...Didn't they break up?
3...Did they perform at Lollapalooza?
4...Did they perform naked or something?
5...What happened on Saturday Night Live?
6...What is the relationship between them and...

b...Pearl Jam?
c...Public Enemy?
7...Isn't being on Sony's Epic label more than a little hypocritical?
8...How can I contact Rage?
9...Are Rage communists, or what?
10..What does Rage have against sampling?
11..Does Rage hate white people?
12..Ack! Those tattoos!

B...Band Information

1....Who are the members of Rage?

a...Zack de La Rocha, vocals/lyrics
aa...Is Zack related to Beto de la Rocha?
ab...Does Zack speak Spanish?
b...Tom Morello, guitar
aa...Tom's Mom
c...Tim Commerford, bass
aa...Why does he keep changing his name?
d...Brad Wilk, drums
2...What equipment does the band use?
a...Tom Morello, guitar
b...Tim Commerford, bass guitar
c...Brad Wilk, drums
c...Zack de la Rocha, vocals
3...What other bands would I like?


1...What does xxxxxx in the lyrics to xxxxxx mean?
2...Rage Against the Machine

a...What is going on with the monk on the cover?
3...Evil Empire
a...What does "Evil Empire" mean?
b...Who is that kid on the cover?
c...What are all those books in the liner notes?
4...What singles are there?
aa...My single says "PinkPop" on it. What is that?
b...Bullet in the Head
c...Killing in the Name
e...Bulls on Parade
aa...My version has a family on the cover, not a microphone. Why?
f...People of the Sun
5...What about other stuff? (Miscellaneous)
a...I got this weird 45 in the mail. What is it?
b...What about soundtracks and compiliations?

D...Propaganda and Images

1...What is going on with...

a...the guy's face on the shirts and singles?
b...the kid with the gun to his head?
c...the woman on the poster and shirt?
d...the four guys with guns and hoods?

E...Movies and Videos

1...What songs are music videos?

aa...Why have I never seen this on MTV?
c...Killing in the Name
d...Bullet in the Head
e...Bulls on Parade
f...People of the Sun
2...What songs have appeared in movies?
a...The Crow
b...Higher Learning
c...Natural Born Killers


1...Are there any Rage imports (bootlegs)?

a...What ones are good?
b...Are these illegal? Where can I get them?


2...Mumia Abu Jamal
3...Leonard Peltier
4...Evil Empire Liner Notes

A...General Rage Information

A-1 What is Rage Against the Machine?

Rage Against the Machine was formed in 1991 in Los Angeles. Their first performance was at a friend's living room party, and they decided they had something. They opened for mulitple bands, and gained a following. Their earliest demos were recorded for sale at their shows, and Atlantic Records asked for a few copies to "check out." They then slapped their logo and name on it and marketed it illegally. Their self-titled debut album on Epic (a division of Sony) was released in November, 1992 (see C-2).

However, it goes far deeper than just the title of a band.
Lee Smith explains:

Rage by definition is violent uncontrolled anger.  Rage is being fed up with
the Machine to the point of taking action.

The Machine is what we have come to know of as our governments, our 
politics, our economies, the people and corporate conglomerates that have 
come to dominate our society in this day and age.  The Machine is the 
oppression of people everywhere, from Mexico to China to the United States. 

The Machine is the politics that keep the people out of power; keep the 
poor in their place and the rich in the lap of luxury.  The polluting fuel
that runs the Machine is money. The Machine has brainwashed the people with
the media that they control, and now the people have begun to believe that 
the Machine is the only way to survive.  
Rage Against The Machine is a people's movement everywhere to
try and push back the corporations, the governments, the empowered
moralists from controling our lives.

Rage Against the Machine is about enlightening people, and changing minds
and attitudes towards a brighter future for all the people of the world.

A-2 - Didn't they break up?

This is partially true. Because of their almost-immediate signing with Epic and the subsequent touring, they didn't really know each other as well as they would have liked. So, they rented a house and one car in Atlanta to live together for a while to get ready for the next album, and they just about went crazy. They talked about breaking up, but decided that wouldn't be right and didn't.

A-3 Did they perform at Lollapoolaza?

Rage played in 1993's Lollapalooza tour. Lollapalooza is a showcase of various alternative bands and acts (at least it used to be) that tours the US each summer with a different lineup of guests. They also performed at four stops in the southeast US in 1996.

A-4 Did they perform naked or something?

At the 1993 Lollapalooza (see A-3) stop in Philadelphia, they got up on stage naked with PMRC (one letter per person) painted across their chests, electrical tape on their mouths and with the guitars feeding back for fourteen minutes and just stood there in protest. They played a free show a few days later to make up for not performing their music. The PMRC is the Parents Musical Resource Council, a group founded by Tipper Gore, that promotes music censorship through stickers and ratings on albums and other such means (see B-1-b-aa). For those of you who just have to know, yes they were completely naked. Tom wasn't even wearing his hat. It was broad daylight; the audience got quite an eyeful. You can find pictures around if you really must see for yourself.

A-5 What happened on Saturday Night Live?

This is more than you ever wanted to know about the incident, from Rock Out Censorship's official statement, by Kenny Moore:

Many of you were left wondering why Rage Against The Machine
performed only one song when they appeared on Saturday Night Live on
April 13th.  We hope that many of you, once you know about what went down
behind the scene, will join us and never watch the show again, and to
express your opinions in writing or by phone to Saturday Night Live and
NBC executives.
As many of you know, the show was hosted that night by ex-Republican
presidential candidate, and billionaire Steve Forbes.  According to RATM
guitarist Tom Morello, "RATM wanted to stand in sharp juxtaposition to a
billionaire telling jokes and promoting his flat making our own

To make that statement, RATM hung two upside-down American flags from
their amps.  Seconds before they took the stage to perform "Bulls on
Parade", SNL and NBC sent stagehands in to pull the flags down.  The
inverted flags, says Morello, represented "our contention that American
democracy is inverted when what passes for democracy is an electoral
choice between two representatives of the privileged class.  America's
freedom of expression is inverted when you're free to say anything you
want to say until it upsets a corporate sponsor.  Finally, this was our
way of expressing our opinion of the show's host, Steve Forbes."
RATM first attempted to hang the flags during a pre-telecast rehearsal on
Thursday, SNL's producers "demanded that we take the flags down," says
Morello.  "They said the sponsors would be upset, and that because Steve
Forbes was on, they had to run a 'tighter' show."  SNL also told the band
it would mute objectionable lyrics in "Bullet In The Head" (which was
supposed to be RATM's second song).  SNL even insisted that the song be
bleeped in the studio because Forbes had friends and family there.
On show night, following the first performance, and the flags being torn
down, RATM were approached by SNL and NBC officials and ordered to
immediately leave the building.  Upon hearing this, RATM bassist Tim Bob
reportedly stormed Forbes' dressing room, throwing shreds from one of the
torn down flags.
"SNL censored Rage, period.  They could not have sucked up to the
billionaire more," said Morello.  "The thing that's ironic is SNL is
supposedly this cutting edge show, but they proved they're bootlickers to
their corporate masters when it comes down to it.  They're cowards.  It
should come to no surprise that GE, which owns NBC, would find 'Bullet'

particularly offensive.  GE is a major manufacturer of US planes used to
commit war crimes in the Gulf War, and bombs from those jets destroyed
hydroelectric dams which killed thousands of civilians in Iraq."  Morello
noted that members of the Saturday Night Live cast and crew, whom he
declined to name, "expressed solidarity with our actions, and a sense of
shame that their show had censored the performance."
Because NBC is not a department of the U.S. Government, they were within
their rights to run their show as they see fit by censoring Rage Against
The Machine's performance.  However, we as intelligent viewers and
citizens have the right to choose what shows we watch and make our
opinions known about how shows are being run. When SNL made the decision
to censor RATM, they did so because they were worried what the sponsors
of the show would think.  They did not take into consideration what the
progressive minded fans of RATM would think of their decision, or even
what fans of their supposedly irreverent brand of comedy would think of
their decision.  This is a slap in the face to all of us.  If it were not
for the fans and viewers of the show, there would not be a show there for
the corporations to sponsor.  Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to send
a strong message to the suits at NBC that we as viewers will not tolerate
programming decisions such as these.  It is the nature of the television
industry that if the viewers are there, the corporate advertisers will
come.  If some of the corporate suits get their feathers ruffled over
some controversy, but the ratings are still there, other sponsors will be
lining up to advertise with a popular show.  However, if a show takes a
noticeable nose-dive in the ratings, ALL the sponsors will be abandoning
ship.  To assist in sending the message to NBC that we will not tolerate
their decisions to censor artist's free expression, we urge everyone to
write or call NBC Viewer Services and express your "RAGE" at this blatant
act of censorship.  Send your message to:  NBC-TV, 30 Rockefeller Plaza,
ATTN:  Viewer Services, New York, NY 10020.  Phone:  (212) 644-2333.

A-6 What is the relationship between them and...

A-6-a ...Tool?

Tom and Adam Jones, the guitarist from Tool, went to high school together and played in a garage band called Electric Sheep. Brad and Tom played "Calling Dr. Love" on the KISS tribute album with Maynard Keenan (Tool) and Billy Gould (Faith No More). They called themselves Shanti's Addiction.

Maynard does the "I've got no patience now..." interlude on RATM's "Know Your Enemy."

A-6-b ...Pearl Jam?

Rage opened for them on several dates in 1992, thanked the group on their first album, and Brad Wilk played drums for them during a tour of Europe before joining Rage.

A-6-b ...Public Enemy?

Chuck D and the band are good friends. Zack has performed with him at various shows, and he is rumored to have something to do with the next album. He raps with Zack on "Zapata's Blood" on the "People of the Sun" single.

A-7 Isn't being on Epic more than a little hypocritical?

I believe Tom says it best:

A lot of labels contacted us, and lots of them just didn't seem to
understand what we wanted to do.  They kept talking about the message of the
music as a gimmick. They were interested in us just because there was a 
buzz... They saw us as the latest local rock band to be hyped. But Epic 
agreed to everything we asked--and they've followed through... we never saw a
conflict as long as we maintained creative control. When you live in a 
capitalistic society, the currency of the dissemination of information goes
through capitalistic channels.  Would Noam Chomsky object to his works being
sold at Barnes & Noble? No, because that's where people buy their books. 
We're not interested in preaching to just the converted. It's great to play 
abandoned squats run by anarchists, but it's also great to be able to reach
people with a revolutionary message, people from Granada Hills to 

A-8 How can I contact Rage?

Rage Against the Machine PO Box 2052 Los Angeles, CA 900069


The web site is the "Official" site, although you can find far more information on the fan pages. Tour dates are best found at Sony's general artist information page, as it is updated daily. All dates can be found there, in many cases even before anyone at the venue itself knows about it.

A-9 Are Rage communists, or what?

Or what. They aren't communists, they call themselves Socialists. Keep in mind that the hammer and sickel symbolism isn't "communist", it is signifying the proletariat.

A-10 What does Rage have against sampling?

They don't have anything against sampling in the least. It is commonly thought that because of the disclaimer in the liner notes that they somehow disapprove of it. Not true. They are simply proud of the fact that they can create those sounds without the use of machinery. Tom is apparently even a fan of industrial music and Zack is into hip-hop.

A-11 Does Rage hate white people?

Some people apparently think this. No, they do not. Rage is against all discrimination. Besides, how can a band hate whites when the bassist and drummer are white, the guitarist is half-white, and the vocalist is of mixed race? Some people just don't get it.

A-12 Ack! Those tattoos!

Everyone but Tom apparently has at least one. Zack has Dr. Martin Luther King on his left shoulder, Brad has a huge swirly thing on his left shoulder to his elbow, and Tim has a BLACK armband on his left shoulder and a BLACK shoulder-pad looking design that goes from his neck to about where a t-shirt would extend, across his chest to his pectoral. There is a green face near the elbow, and a huge face across exactly half of his back. When I say "BLACK" I mean honest-to-god black; it looks like paint. Ouch.

B...Band Information

B-1 Who are the members of Rage?

B-1-a Zack de La Rocha, vocals/lyrics

Zack was born in Long Beach, CA in 1970, and is primarily Chicano in descent. His parents separated when he was a child. His father was an artist (see B-1-a-aa), and he grew up with his mother in Irvine, CA. Before Rage, Zack sang in band called Inside Out and played guitar in a band called Hardstance. He writes and performs poetry and organizes local shows in addition to his Rage-related activities. He is also currently involved in buildling a community center near his home.

B-1-a-aa Is Zack related to Beto de la Rocha?

Beto is Zack's father. He was a founding member of Los Four, a group of Chicano artists who created murals in Los Angeles and was crucial to the early Chicano mural movement. He had a breakdown in 1983, during which he and a young Zack destroyed all of his work. He then isolated himself in his house, becoming devoutly religious. He has since reemerged and runs an ice cream shop in LA and has performed poetry with Zack. After experiencing his son's work, he has taken up painting and writing once again.

Beto's ice cream can be found at:

560 N.Westlake
V.L.A.C 90026

B-1-a-ab Does Zack speak Spanish?


B-1-b Tom Morello, guitar

Tom Morello was born in New York City in 1964 and grew up in the Chicago suburb of Libertyville. His father was a member of the Mau Mau guerrilla army which freed Kenya from British colonial rule, see B-1-b-aa for information on his mother. Tom graduated from Harvard in 1986 with an honors degree in Political Science. Before joining Rage, Tom was in an LA band called Lock Up, which released an album on Geffen.

B-1-b-aa Tom's Mom

Tom's mom, Mary, is Italian and Irish and founded Parents For Rock & Rap (see G-4), an anti-censorship organization, in 1987. She recently won the Hugh Hefner First Amendment Award, for her work in the organization in June of 1996. She traveled with Rage when they were with Lollapalooza, and introduced them as "The best fucking band on this tour."

B-1-c Tim Commerford, bass

Tim's father is an aerospace engineer. He is the youngest of five kids, and his mother was a mathematician who died of brain cancer when he was seven. His family dissolved and he lived with his father after that. He and Zack have been friends since elementary school, and it was Zack who turned him on to playing bass. He follows Brad Wilk's philosophy of being in the band for the music, but has since decided it is also about "education." He writes poetry on the side, and loves jazz.

B-1-c-aa Why does Tim keep changing his name?

Tim was listed as "Timmy C." on RATM, then as "Tim Bob" on Evil Empire. He has said that he will change his name for every album, though he has given no reason why.

B-1-d Brad Wilk, drums

Brad was born in 1968 in a hospital/sanitarium in Portland, Oregon. After watching money ruin his father as a child, he tries to put minimal worth in material things. He is in the band for the music, and is not especially politically inclined. He admits that Rage is a political band, and that opening people's eyes is a great thing, but that sometimes "People want to be rocked... and we will rock you."

B-2 What equipment does the band use?

Many thanks to Rog Patterson, the band's production manager, for this definitive information.

B-2-a Tom Morello, guitar


Tom's main guitar is a Strat-style body modelled after a Kramer with an extra-wide rosewood Performance neck. The hardware is from all different guitars. Tom also brings a stock Fender American Standard Telecaster along on the road, just to be safe. Other guitars have also been seen in various photographs and performances, but specifications are unknown. Tom claims they are all "mongrels."
Note: The custom is the blue one, with "Arm the homeless" written on it, and a small red/yellow hammer and sickle sticker. The Telecaster is yellow. One of his other "backup" guitars has "Sendero Luminoso" written on it and is black and white.

*Effect pedals*

  1. Dunlop Crybaby
  2. Digitech Whammy
  3. Ibanez (custom) Delay
  4. DOD EQ Delay
  5. Ibanez Flanger


Stock 50-watt Marshall JCM 900 2205 Head

B-2-b Tim Commerford, bass


Modified Fender Jazz Bass
Rickenbacker 8-string

*Effects pedals*

Marshall Guvnor distortion pedal feeds one amp stack. Whole stack switched in or out as required.


2 Ampeg SVT-II Pro heads, each driving an Ampeg SVT 8x10" cabinet

B-2-c Brad Wilk, drums


Gretsch Pork Pie



B-2-d Zack de la Rocha, vocals


Audix OM-7

B-3 What other bands would I like?

Bands similar to Rage that are popular with Rage fans include:

These bands typically share the rap-with-rock that is the core of Rage (except Minor Threat), and are all great bands. Check them out.

Everybody knows the Beastie Boys.
311 are a pop version of Rage's style.
Downset is very similar to Rage but may be hard to find.
Minor Threat was the original straight-edge hardcore punk band in the early eighties. Zack has named them as a major influence.


C-1 What does xxxxxx in the lyrics to xxxxxx mean?

Some of the most frequently asked questions have to do with things mentioned in various songs (such as, What does "Get offensive like Tet" mean in the song People of the Sun?). This particular section is so large, a separate FAQ is maintained (by me) to deal with it. It is the RATM Obscure References FAQ, and you can always get the new version at:

C-2 Rage Against the Machine

1 Bombtrack 4:05
2 Killing in the Name 5:14
3 Take the Power Back 5:37
4 Settle for Nothing 4:48
5 Bullet in the Head 5:09
6 Know Your Enemy 4:55
7 Wake Up 6:04
8 Fistful of Steel 5:31
9 Township Rebellion 5:24
10 Freedom 6:06

C-2-a What is going on with the monk on the cover?

The burning monk on the cover of Rage Against The Machine is Thich Quang Duc, an elderly Buddhist monk, immolating himself on a main intersection in Saigon, Vietnam on June 11, 1963 to protest the rule of Ngo Dinh Diem, the American backed leader of Vietnam who was leading an anti-Buddhist campaign in southern Vietnam. This action was witnessed and filmed by many members of the American media and led to the end of the Diem rule in Vietnam. This photo won the 1963 Pulitzer Prize.

C-3 Evil Empire

1 People of the Sun 2:30
2 Bulls on Parade 3:51
3 Vietnow 4:39
4 Revolver 5:30
5 Snakecharmer 3:55
6 Tire Me 3:00
7 Down Rodeo 5:20
8 Without a Face 3:36
9 Wind Below 5:50
10 Roll Right 4:22
11 Year of the Boomerang 3:59

C-3-a What does "Evil Empire" mean?

Evil Empire is what former US President Ronald Reagan referred to the USSR as in a speech in 1982.

C-3-b Who is that kid on the cover?

That kid is named Ari Meisel, and he is 14 years old. He attends the United Nations International School. The original artwork is derived from _Crimebuster_, which is (C) Mel Ramos.

C-3-b-aa What is "_Crimebuster_?"

We have no idea, but it is (C) Mel Ramos. So there.

C-3-c What are all those books in the liner notes?

Title Author
The Age of Reason Jean-Paul Sartre
What Uncle Sam Really Wants Noam Chomsky
Play It As It Lays Joan Didion
The Black Panthers Speak Philip Foner, ed.
Power at Play: Sports and the Problem of Masculinity Michael A Messner
90 Years of Ford George H. Dammann
Tropic of Cancer Henry Miller
Live from Death Row Mumia Abu-Jamal
The Autobiography of Malcolm X Malcolm X (with Alex Haley)
Rebellion from the Roots: Indian Uprising in Chiapas John Ross
The Anarchist Cookbook William Powell
Race for Justice: Mumia Abu-Jamal's Fight Against the Death Penalty Leonard Weinglass
Hegemony and Revolution: A Study of Antonio Gramsci's Political & Cultural Theory Walter L. Adamson
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man James Joyce
Guerilla Warfare Che Guevara
The Media Monopoly Ben H. Bagdikian
The Fire Last Time: 1968 and After Chris Harmon
Democracy Is in the Streets James Miller
Joe Hill Gibbs M. Smith
50 Ways to Fight Censorship & Important Facts to Know About the Censors Dave Marsh
Bob Marley: Spirit Dancer Bruce W. Talamon
The Wretched of the Earth Frantz Fanon
Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson George Jackson
Killing Hope: U.S. Global Intervensions since World War II William Blum
Chronicles of Dissent Noam Chomsky and David Barsamian
Class Warfare: Interviews with David Barsamian Noam Chomsky and David Barsamian
The Marx Engels Reader Robert C. Tucker
The Teachings of Don Juan: a Yaqui Way to Knowledge Carlos Castaneda
Promissory Notes: Women in the Transition to Socialism Sonia Kruks, et al.
Johnny Got His Gun Dalton Trumbo
Marxism and the Oppression of Women toward a Unitary Theory Lise Vogel

C-4 What singles are there?

Note: This information is strictly for CD versions. There have been several vinyl editions of some of these, but until someone puts that info on a platter and sends it to me, I am will not try to sort it out. Be aware that what is presented here is not complete in this respect.

C-4-a Bombtrack

1 Bombtrack 4:03
2 Bombtrack (from Mark Goodier's "Evening Session") 4:08
3 Bombtrack (Live) 5:53

C-4-a-aa My Bombtrack single says "Pinkpop" on it. What is that?

Pinkpop is a European music festival that Rage has played at for several years. This special edition has a slightly modified cover and different tracks, including all of the Bullet in the Head single.

1 Bombtrack 4:03
2 Freedom (Live) 5:59
3 Settle for Nothing (Live) 4:59
4 Bombtrack (from Mark Goodier's "Evening Session") 4:08
5 Bullet in the Head (Remix) 5:36
6 Take the Power Back (Live) 6:11
7 Darkness of Greed 3:40
8 Bullet in the Head (Live) 5:44
9 Bombtrack (Live) 5:53

C-4-b Bullet in the Head

1 Bullet in the Head 5:09
2 Bullet in the Head (Remix) 5:36
3 Bullet in the Head (Live: Amsterdam, February 7, 1993) 5:44
3 Settle for Nothing (Live: Amsterdam, February 7, 1993) 4:59
3 Bombtrack (Live) 5:53

C-4-c Killing in the Name

1 Killing in the Name 5:14
2 Darkness (of Greed) 3:40
3 Clear the Lane 3:48

C-4-d Freedom

1 Freedom 6:07
2 Take the Power Back (Live: Vancouver, April 11, 1993) 6:14
3 Freedom (Live: Vancouver, April 11, 1993) 5:59

C-4-e Bulls on Parade

1 Bulls on Parade 3:50
2 Hadda' Been Playing on the Jukebox 8:03

C-4-e-aa My version has a family on the cover, not a microphone. Why?

There are two versions of this single; the Australian version whose cover artwork is a shot of a militia family wearing camouflage and carrying guns in their living room (with a couple children with AK-47's as well). The other version is a simple drawing of a microphone, but the mouthpiece is a grenade ("This microphone explodes, shatterin' the molds...").

C-4-f People of the Sun

1 People of the Sun 2:30
2 Zapata's Blood (live with Chuck D) 3:49
3 Without a Face (live) 4:07

C-5 What about other stuff? (Miscellaneous)

C-5-a I got this weird 45 in the mail. What is it?

If you ever sent something to the address in RATM, you probably wondered just which black hole it fell into. Well, it turns out Rage's manager was a jackass and the fan club address had become backlogged with thousands of people and mail. Rage dumped the manager, and are sending this, in a packet with information on EZLN (see section G-1) as a sort of apology.

Fuck tha Police is Rage's only released cover, and is an NWA song from several years back. It is taken from the Mumia Abu-Jamal benefit (see section G-2) in Washington DC on 8/13/95. Bombtrack is the "Swing" version from Mark Goodier's Evening Sessions, on the BBC. It can also be found on several singles and bootlegs.

The record is only available from this source.

C-5-b What about soundtracks and compilations?

Rage is featured on:

Higher Learning soundtrack: Year of the Boomerang
The Crow soundtrack: Darkness
Tonnage (Sony) compilation: Freedom (Live)

D...Propaganda and Images

D-1 What is going on with...

D-1-a ...the guy's face on the shirts and singles?

The guy on the Bombtrack single is Che Guevara, a leader of the communist revolution in Cuba and attempted revolutions elsewhere in Central America and eventually in Africa. He is seen on old TV propaganda from Cuba on CNN every now and then.

D-1-b ...the kid with the gun to his head?

The guy with the gun is General Nguyen Ngoc Loan, head of the South Vietnamese National Police. The kid getting shot is a Vietcong terrorist.

D-1-c ...the woman on the poster and shirt?

This artwork is from the cover of Promissory Notes: Women in the Transition to Socialism, by Sonia Kruks, et al. (See C-3-c.)

D-1-d ...the four guys with guns and hoods?

These are Zapatista freedom fighters. See G-1 for further information.

E...Movies and Video

E-1 What songs are music videos?

There have been several Rage videos.

E-1-a Freedom

The video for Freedom deals with the case for Leonard Peltier (see section G-2-b), while the band plays live.

E-1-b Bombtrack

If you can provide this information, send mail to

E-1-b-aa Why have I never seen this on MTV?

Its airplay was banned by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), which prohibits it from ever being shown over the airwaves in the USA. Its legal status is unknown in other countries, however.
As to WHY it was banned...

If you can provide this information, send mail to

E-1-c Killing in the Name

Shots of the band playing live. There is a scene where a security guard stops some kid from stage-diving and Zack goes and confronts him over it.

E-1-d Bullet in the Head

Shots of the band playing live.

E-1-e Bulls on Parade

An outdoor stage performance of Bulls on Parade is interspersed throughout clips of young people organizing in the streets with political signs, military drills, and other similar images. Various lyrics are flashed on top of these scenes in a scrawled sort of handwriting throughout. Antique-looking film is used with scratches, dust, etc.

E-1-f People of the Sun

Statistics illustrating the plight of the Zapatistas are shown from a film projector being run in a morgue where the bodies of dead Latinos are stored. Military footage of US arms arriving in Mexico and the Zapatistas themselves are interspersed with this and shots of the band playing in front of a brick wall in about a 10 by 10 space. The version seen on MTV is the edited version; scenes of a Mexican worker being buried alive and trampled, and dead teenagers in the morgue, have been removed and replaced with military footage.

E-2 What songs have appeared in movies?

E-2-a The Crow

"Darkness" is heard coming from a car's sound system as it drives past the hot dog stand that the cop and the girl eat at several times during the movie. It is also found on the soundtrack.

E-2-b Higher Learning

The earliest version of Year of the Boomerang is on the Higher Learning soundtrack, and is played when Remy is hanging his posters in his dorm room. A differently-mixed version of Tire Me is played during a confrontation with a gun, and YOTB shows up again for the chase scene.

E-2-c Natural Born Killers

"Bombtrack" and "Take the Power Back" do not appear on the sountrack, but appear in the movie. "Bombtrack" starts when Mickey Knox grabs the shotgun and starts shooting to initiate the riot, and runs right together with "Take the Power Back", which picks up part way through. The complete songs aren't heard, just the fastest sections and the chorus to TtPB.


F-1 Are there any Rage imports (bootlegs)?

Yes, there are several dozen, actually. Complete listings can be found at many web pages.

F-1-a What ones are good?

Due to the fact that there are dozens of bootlegs available, it really is impossible to pick the "best," but some are better than others. These are generally considered to be "Save the Planet/American Headlines," because of the excellent quality and varied tracklist, and "Dirty Dozen" because it contains twelve original demos from 1991, with several unreleased songs that you should get your hands on. "Bombs & Bullets" is also excellent.

F-1-b Are these illegal? Where can I get them?

As brought to my attention by Gaz Jones (in the UK), all following information is for the USA ONLY (where I live). The illegality and such varies widely with different countries, so don't believe any of this ouside the US.

They are, technically, illegal, because the music is copyright and you aren't paying the owner of the copyrights any money for it. However, no one cares, and you really shouldn't either. The best way to get them is to trade with people you know are reliable and aren't going to rip you off, and you can also buy them at most independent music stores. The major chains do not carry them, don't bother. The typical price for one in CD format is $25.00, but that can vary depending on a variety of factors. My advice: trade for them, don't buy them.
However, Gaz says:

Trading isn't the best way. The best way is to copy any bootlegs you've
got for anyone that wants them like I do. I've only got bombs & bullets
and a few live tracks from glastonbury I recorded though. Better to
ask someone to send you a tape so you can copy a bootleg, but that
person to send you a tape with a bootleg he/she`s got. Much fairer.
Copy 'em for everyone that wants them.


(see section G-4)

The EZLN is the Ejercito Zapatista de Liberacion Nacional (Zapatista National Liberation Army). It principally operates in the state of Chiapas, although its demands and influence are national. The members of the EZLN are primarily indigenous people from the Lacandon region of Chiapas, Mexico. The EZLN has around 12,000 troops, 2-3000 of whom are fairly well-armed. There are 11 general demands of the EZLN, as outlined in the 1st Declaration From the Lacandon Jungle; they are: work, land, shelter, food, health, education, autonomy, freedom, democracy, justice, and peace. The EZLN took its name from the Mexican revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata, who led the armies of the south in the Mexican Revolution, developed the Plan de Ayala (see the RATM Obscure References FAQ), and was eventually betrayed and killed. The movement was born just over 10 years ago in the Lacandon jungle.

Zack has visited the region to "help out" the EZLN on several occasions, and often wears a shirt with "E Z L N" written on the chest. Several Evil Empire songs deal with this subject as well. For further information, see G-4.

G-2 Mumia Abu-Jamal
Information provided by Refuse & Resist! (see section G-4)

At the time of his arrest, he was a prominent radio journalist and president of the local chapter of the Association of Black Journalists. Mumia was also a strident critic of Philadelphia's racist police force, and was affiliated with the Black Panthers. One evening in 1981 when Mumia was moonlighting as a cab driver, he came upon a cop beating his own brother. The street was full of people (the bars had just closed) when Mumia ran to his brother's defense, and after the ensuring conflict, Mumia was sitting on the curb shot in the body, his brother was bleeding from the face, and the cop lay dead. Following his arrest, he was beaten several times by police and was said by police to have confessed to the murder of the police officer. Mumia has always maintained that he did not kill the cop, and a number of witnesses blamed another man who fled the scene. Prosecutors argued for the death penalty by reciting his history in the Black Panthers and quoting his political writings. Mumia was to be put to death for consorting with radicals and upholding revolution. Mumia sits on death row because of who he is and the political views he advocates. He exposes police brutality and racism and stands with revolutionary peoples throughout the world.

Rage performed in the Mumia defense fund benefit in the Capitol Ballroom, Washington, DC on August 13, 1995. A bootleg of this performance called "Killing Your Enemy in 1995" can be found (see section C-5-a).

G-3 Leonard Peltier
(see section G-4)

Leonard Peltier was a leader of AIM, the American Indian Movement. In the late 1970's, at Pine Ridge, a group of FBI and ATF agents approached a building where Peltier and other AIM members were trapped. A siege and shootout followed where 2 FBI agents were shotgunned to death. Peltier was arrested and plead not guilty, however he would not reveal who did the shootings. He has since resided in the Federal Prison at Leavenworth, Kansas.

Rage gave a free concert for him which raised $70,000+ for his defense fund, and give out information about the case whenever possible (see section G-4).

G-4 Evil Empire liner notes

Anti Nazi League
PO Box 2566
London N4 2HG, England

Committee to Support the Revolution in Peru
PO Box 1246
Berkeley, CA 94701

FAIR 130 W. 25th ST.
New York, NY 10001

Internation Concerned Friends and Family of Mumia Abu-Jamal
PO Box 19709 Philadelphia, PA 19143

Parents for Rock & Rap
PO Box 53
Libertyville, IL 60048

Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
PO Box 583
Lawrence, KS 66044

Refuse and Resist
305 Madison Ave STE. 1166
New York, NY 10165

National Commission for Democracy in Mexico
601 N. Cotton STE A-103
El Paso, TX 79920

faq and htmlization by gavin rattmann | many thanks to all who contributed
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