Raging Against The Machine

Imagine the world without music.Or imagine a world where we are told what to play, what to sing and even what we may listen to in the privacy of our own homes.That world already exists.A very politically charged band known as Rage Against Machine is one band out of thousands that has run into problems with the explicit nature of their music. To make a statement, Rage Against The Machine (RATM) had hung two upside-down American flags from their amps.Seconds before they took the stage to perform "Bulls on Parade," Saturday Night Live (SNL) and NBC sent stagehands in to pull the flags down.The inverted flags, says Tom Morello (Rage's guitarist), represented "our contention that American democracy is inverted when what passes for democracy is an electoral choice between two representatives of the privileged class.America's freedom of expression is inverted when you're free to say anything you want to say until it upsets a corporate sponsor.Finally, this was our way of expressing our opinion of the show's host, Steve Forbes."RATMfirst attempted to hang the flags during a pre-telecast rehearsal, SNL's producers "demanded that we take the flags down," says Morello."They said the sponsors would be upset, and that because Steve Forbes was on, they had to run a'tighter show'."SNL also told the band it would mute objectionable lyrics in "Bullet In The Head" (Which was supposed to be RATM's second song).SNL even insisted that the song be bleeped in the studio because Forbes had friends and family there.On show's opening night, following thefirst performance, with the flags being torn down, RATM were approached by SNL and NBC officials and ordered to immediately leave the building (Hendrickson). Why did Saturday Night Live invite Rage Against The Machine to perform on their show when they disagree with what the band represent…


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