RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE guitarist Tom Morello performed acoustically as his alter ego THE NIGHTWATCHMAN earlier today (Thursday, October 13) at the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in New York at Liberty Plaza/Zuccotti Park. This followed his free concert for Occupy Los Angeles last weekend. Morelloplayed a number of acoustic tracks and spoke to the crowd about the “1,300 cities and towns” which are now taking part in similar anti-corporate protests across the world.
Fan-filmed video footage of Morello‘s performance can be seen below.
Morello‘s third folk-oriented album under the THE NIGHTWATCHMAN name, “World Wide Rebel Songs”, came out this past summer via New West Records.
THE NIGHTWATCHMAN is a band name Morello used for two previous solo albums — 2007’s “One Man Revolution” and 2008’s “The Fabled City”.
Morello explained a while back the origin of THE NIGHTWATCHMAN moniker, which started when he first began performing his protest songs in coffeehouses. “I would sign up anonymously, you know,” he said. “I didn’t want to sign up as Tom Morello and have people, you know, between their mochaccinos clamoring for ‘Bulls On Parade’. So I signed up as THE NIGHTWATCHMAN, and it was a moniker that seemed to fit the music that I was writing and playing, and it stuck.”
Tom Morello is a founding member and guitarist of the rock bands RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE and AUDIOSLAVE. The two bands are responsible for multiple Grammy Awards and a combined 30 million albums sold worldwide. Morello has also received critical acclaim as a solo artist known as THE NIGHTWATCHMAN. Widely celebrated for his unique voice as a master electric guitarist, he is recognized by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the “100 Greatest Guitar Players of All-Time” (#26). He is also one of only two guitarists featured as a playable animated character in the overwhelmingly popular Activision video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.
Tom Morello graduated from Harvard University with honors as a political science major and has been a widely recognized political activist throughout his career. With SYSTEM OF A DOWN‘s Serj Tankian, Morello formed Axis of Justice, an organization whose purpose is to bring together musicians, music fans, and grassroots political organizations to fight for social justice.