Rage Against The Machine First Album Paycheck Revealed


Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello revealed how much money the band were paid to spend for their debut album in a new Guitar World interview.

“When we were doing the demos for the first Rage Against the Machine record, we had an engineer called Auburn Burrell and I borrowed his Les Paul for the end part of ‘Bullet in the Head,’ the big outro section.

“When we were going in to make the record, I had my Telecaster and ‘Arm the Homeless’ guitar, and we each had $600 to spend on gear.

“I wanted a Les Paul to double my principle guitars. I saw it on the wall of West LA Music in Santa Monica Boulevard and it was exactly the same color as Taco Bell hot sauce. The reason I know that is because Taco Bell was one of the main food staples of the squat I was living in.

“I thought to myself, ‘That guitar looks exactly like the taco sauce we eat all the time!’ and that’s why I bought it. It was not a particularly expensive guitar and rarely stayed in tune, but it became the main overdub guitar for all my drop-D songs from that day forward – including ‘Killing in the Name,’ the end of ‘Freedom,’ the end of ‘Take the Power Back’ and I used it just the other day on my newest recordings!”

He said about music theory, “There was a brilliant book called The Guitar Handbook which really helped flesh out some music theory for me, especially in terms of knowing what to call the scales I was using.

“I had figured out 86%of it on my own just from jamming so of course, I was very surprised to find out that the feel and scales of different solos actually had names. [Laughs]

“For harmonic minor, I would say Randy Rhoads was the principal influence for me. He had one foot firmly planted in this classical minor key, almost violin-like proficiency, and another in flat-out blues jamming to the nth degree. That always appealed to me.”