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2 YEARS

Rage Against the Machine Guitarist Tom Morello Calls Paul Ryan 'Clueless'

Much to the musician's dismay, Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate named the hard-rock outfit as one of his favorite bands.

Tom Morello Speaks at Occupy Los Angeles Event - P 2011
Getty Images

In a blistering Rolling Stone op-ed, Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello slams Paul Ryan for naming the anti-establishment hard-rock group as one of his favorite bands.

"Paul Ryan's love of Rage Against the Machine is amusing, because he is the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades," Morello writes. "Charles Manson loved the Beatles but didn't understand them. Gov. Chris Christie loves Bruce Springsteen but doesn't understand him. And Paul Ryan is clueless about his favorite band, Rage Against the Machine."

A recent New York Times story on Mitt Romney's vice presidential selection had referenced the clean-cut Ryan's unexpected interest in the band which has railed against war and corporate greed and is a supporter of the Occupy Wall Street protests.

VIDEO: SXSW 2012: Tom Morello Leads 'Occupy' Protest With Impromptu Sidewalk Sing-Along

"Ryan claims that he likes Rage's sound, but not the lyrics," Morello continues. "Well, I don't care for Paul Ryan's sound or his lyrics. He can like whatever bands he wants, but his guiding vision of shifting revenue more radically to the one percent is antithetical to the message of Rage. I wonder what Ryan's favorite Rage song is? Is it the one where we condemn the genocide of Native Americans? The one lambasting American imperialism? Our cover of "F--k the Police"? Or is it the one where we call on the people to seize the means of production? So many excellent choices to jam out to at Young Republican meetings!"

Earlier this year, the guitarist-activist led a crowd of thousands in chanting the American folk song, "This Land Is Your Land," in an impromptu singalong at an Occupy gathering at the South by Southwest festival in Austin. In the spring, he released a "World Wide Rebel Tour Documentary" to coincide with an "Occupy Guitarmy" march led by Morello himself.