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Tom Morello

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United States

Tom Morello is a simplification of Thomas Baptist Morello (b. 30 May 1964, USA - aka The Nightwatchman), is a guitarist for the bands Audioslave, Rage Against the Machine and Street Sweeper Social Club. He is acclaimed for his unique guitar style and is noted for his outspoken radical politics.

Morello was ranked #26 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.

Morello was born in Harlem, New York. His mother, Mary Morello, who is part Irish and part Italian, is a founder of Parents For Rock And Rap, an anti-censorship group. She was also a teacher at Libertyville High School. His father, Ngethe Njoroge, was a Mau Mau guerrilla and revolutionary. Morello’s great-uncle, Jomo Kenyatta, was the first elected president in Kenya.

Morello grew up in Libertyville, Illinois, at the time a virtually all-white suburb of Chicago. There he attended Libertyville High School. He played French horn in the school band, sang in the chorus, and was active in speech and drama club. (One prominent role was Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.)

He showed his political leanings early; in the 1980 mock elections at LHS, he campaigned for a fictitious anarchist “candidate” named Hubie Maxwell, who came in fourth place after Jimmy Carter at the overwhelmingly Republican school. Ronald Reagan won the mock election. He also wrote a piece headlined “South Africa: Racist Fascism That We Support” for the school’s alternative paper, The Student Pulse.

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