Tom Morello Biography, Age, Career, Parents

Tom Morello is an American musician and political activist. He is famous for playing guitar in bands like Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave.

He also played with Bruce Springsteen and made his own music as the Nightwatchman. He cares about political issues and formed groups like Street Sweeper Social Club and Axis of Justice.

He is known for his unique guitar style and his socialist views. People think he is one of the greatest guitarists ever, ranking him at number 19 in Rolling Stone magazine.

Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine speaks onstage during the 38th Annual Rock Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center on November 03 2023 - Thrill NG
Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine speaks onstage during the 38th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center on November 03, 2023

Profile Summary

Full Name Thomas Baptist Morello
Age 59 years old
Date of Birth May 30, 1964
Place of Birth Harlem, New York
Occupation Guitarist, Singer, Songwriter & Political Activist
Parents Father: N’gethe Njoroge
Mother: Mary Morello
Wife Denise Luiso
Children Two (Rhoades & Roman Morello)
Relatives Uncle: Jomo Kenyatta
Aunty: Jemimah Gecaga
Height 180 cm
1.80 m
Weight 76 kg
168 lbs
Socials Instagram
Net Worth $40 Million

Tom Morello Biography

Thomas Baptist Morello was born on May 30, 1964, in New York. His parents were from different places – his mom “Mary Morello” was American, and his dad “N’gethe Njorogo” was from Kenya. His mom was a teacher, and she traveled to different countries to teach English. His dad was involved in important political things in Kenya.

His parents met at a protest in Kenya and got married in New York. But his dad left when Morello was very young. He grew up with his mom in Illinois and went to school there. He was interested in politics from a young age and called himself an anarchist when he was in high school.

After high school, he went to Harvard University to study political science. He was also in a band that won a music competition. He graduated in 1986 and moved to Los Angeles. He even worked as a stripper to support himself.

Tom Morello’s Journey Into Music

When Tom Morello was 13 years old, he joined his first band called Nebula, where he was the lead singer.

They played songs from bands like Led Zeppelin, Steve Miller Band, and Bachman–Turner Overdrive. Around the same time, he got his first guitar.

In 1982, when he was still a teenager, he started taking the guitar seriously and formed a band called the Electric Sheep with future Tool guitarist Adam Jones.

They wrote their own songs with political messages. Morello was influenced by Run-D.M.C, especially Jam Master Jay, which is why his guitar solos sometimes sound like a DJ scratching.

He loved hard rock and heavy metal music, especially bands like Kiss and Iron Maiden. He admired Black Sabbath and their guitarist Tony Iommi.

Punk rock bands like the Clash and the Sex Pistols, as well as artists like Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan, also had a big impact on his music and political views. He was a fan of the band Queen and greatly missed Freddie Mercury.

Race Against the Machine

In 1991, Tom Morello wanted to start a new band because his old one, Lock Up, had broken up.

He met a guy named Zack de la Rocha, who was really good at rapping and asked him to join the band.

Morello also found a drummer, Brad Wilk, and talked his friend Tim Commerford into playing bass. That’s how they formed the band called Rage Against the Machine.

They played at clubs in Los Angeles, and in 1992, they signed a record deal with Epic Records.

That same year, they released their first album with the same name as the band. They got really famous and released three more albums: “Evil Empire” in 1996, “The Battle of Los Angeles” in 1999, and “Renegades” in 2000.

In August 2000, during the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, the band performed outside the Staples Center while the convention was going on inside.

Some people in the crowd caused trouble, so the police turned off the power and used rubber bullets and pepper spray to control the situation.

Later in 2000, the band had some disagreements, and de la Rocha left. On September 13, 2000, they had their last concert. Even though the band broke up in October 2000, they still released their fourth album, “Renegades,” two months later. In 2003, they released their final album, “Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium,” which was a recording of their last two concerts.

After the band split up, Morello, Wilk, and Commerford formed a new band called Audioslave with Chris Cornell and made three albums. De la Rocha tried to make his own music but decided to work with Trent Reznor instead. Only two songs from that project were released.

Tom Morello Acting Career

Asides from singing and playing the guitar, Tom Morello is also an actor. He appeared as himself in various documentary films, including “Sounds Like a Revolution,” “Iron Maiden: Flight 666” (which is about the band Iron Maiden), and “Chevolution” (about Che Guevara).

He also had roles in movies like “Iron Man” as a terrorist, “Star Trek: Insurrection” as an uncredited Son’a officer, and made a cameo in the “Star Trek: Voyager” episode “Good Shepherd.” He was also seen in the film “Made.”

In the documentary “Let Fury Have the Hour,” released in 2012, Morello shared his views on global citizenship, creative activism, and his support for workers’ rights.

Political Activity

Tom Morello and his bandmates from Rage Against the Machine are known for their left-wing political views. Morello identifies as a socialist and believes that socialism is necessary for the world.

He criticizes capitalism for its response to global issues like the pandemic, environmental concerns, and racism. He also incorporates communist symbols like the hammer and sickle into his music and has expressed support for figures like Fidel Castro.

In his youth, Morello looked up to groups and individuals who fought against injustice, such as the Black Panther party, Che Guevara, and the Weather Underground.

Morello and his band have shown support for various social and political movements, including the Zapatista Army of National Liberation and the Brazilian Landless Workers’ Movement. He has also attended events commemorating historical events like the Chilean coup in 1973.

Guitar Arsenal

It is said that Tom Morello uses heavily modified guitar with each having a different slogan written on it. Here is a list of guitars in his arsenal.

  • Mongrel Custom “Arm The Homeless”
  • Fender Stratocaster “Soul Power”
  • Fender Telecaster Sendero Luminoso
  • Fender Telecaster 2. 
  • Ibanez Artstar Hollowbody (Custom)
  • St. George MP-3 “Creamy” 
  • Ibanez Talman (Custom) 
  • Gibson EDS-1275 (Double Neck SG)
  • Gibson “Budweiser” Les Paul
  • Gibson Les Paul Standard
  • James Trussart Steelcaster
  • Ibanez custom guitar “Arm The Homeless duplicate”
  • Ovation Breadwinner
  • Music Man St Vincent
  • “Whatever It Takes” guitar 
  • “Black Spartacus” guitar
  • Tanglewood Acoustic Guitar.
  • Gibson Explorer
  • Kay K-20T – Morello’s first electric guitar.

Personal Life

Tom Morello is a married man. He tied the knot with his wife Denise Luiso in 2009. The couple have two children whose names are Rhoades Morello and Roman Morello. His son Morello was named in honor of of longtime quarterback Roman Gabriel.

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