Watch Tom Morello’s Mom Introduce Rage Against the Machine as ‘Best F–king Band in the Universe’ in 1996
As a mom, you love to see your kid's success, and in 1996 there may have been no prouder mom than Mary Morello, who took the stage at Chicago's Aragon Ballroom ahead of her son Tom's band to introduce "the best fucking band in the universe," Rage Against the Machine.
The badass white-haired woman onstage sporting a white Rage Against the Machine T-shirt had raised her son Tom Morello in a Northern suburb of Chicago known as Libertyville, and on this night in 1996 his band Rage Against the Machine was on top of the music world, promoting that year's newly released album Evil Empire in a venue that was close to where her son Tom had grown up.
In the video posted here, Mary proclaims to exalted cheers from the crowd, "I'd like to introduce the best fucking band in the universe. From Los Angeles, California, Rage Against the ...." leaving the crowd to chant "Machine" as she raised her fist to the air and then received a hug from Zach de la Rocha.
Mary Morello was a teacher, and in fact, one of her students and Tom's classmates was Tool's Adam Jones, who recalled during a Talk Is Jericho podcast, "Tom and I grew up together. Tom's mom was my homeroom teacher. Mary Morello, she's the coolest lady you'd ever meet."
In a 2021 documentary short called Killing in Thy Name about race, Tom Morello stated, “My mom [Mary Morello] is a white woman with a radical voice. For three decades she was a progressive teacher in a conservative high school inspiring students to challenge the system — in her actions and words she has always taught that racism must never be ignored and must always be confronted.”
And while Mary was proud of her son on the night shared below in 1996, Tom was equally impressed with the accomplishments of his mother that he recounted in a 2018 Mother's Day social media post. Talking up her accomplishments by decade, Morello recalled countless acts of activism and stepping up to support those in need, which is where the guitarist's strong sense of activism comes from as well. Check out that post in full below.
So on Mother's Day, check out this special mother-son moment as Mary Morello gets to introduce her son's band to a hometown crowd, and gets some pretty killer Tom Morello riffs from "People of the Sun" to open the show as well. Watch it happen here.