Guerilla Journalism with Tom Morello: Part One

I began my entrepreneurship with extreme naivete. The plan was to collect a few folks who I believed suitable for work, no criminal background check needed as we were to be great writers, photographers and the like. The next portion would entail assuming the role of publishing entity, acquiring interviews with musicians great and small. We hit no snags until we realized that an endeavor such as this might cost a significant amount of money and that money was far out of reach as most bank accounts in our circle had been in the red for months. With a bump in the road we were through, all of the glorious plans we’d made had been squashed after months of hard work.

It wasn’t all for not, however…as, during these months, we managed to collect a bevy of usable material from artists that were kind enough to allow us the privilege. One such artist was Tom Morello and though I had to snake this interview, stealth style, it remains my favorite to date. A bit of off-the-cuff conversation coupled with a few, “grown-up reporter,” lines of questioning and you’ve got the makings of a grand interview, indeed.

I wound up meeting Morello at  a Ben Harper show that he was opening. My cohorts and I had secured passes to interview Harper and as always, the House of Blues rearranged our plans. They wound up handing us a photo pass sans press pass, which in our meager little world meant we got to take pictures without getting an interview. It didn’t make much sense to us either, but I went along with it. I snuggled up to a gin and tonic and watched the lights change from day-glo to dim. Morello was listed on the bill as The Nightwatchman and I had no clue who he was until he stepped up to the microphone, acoustic guitar in hand, and began playing politically charged tunes. I was elated, as I’ve been a fan of Rage Against The Machine for years. My gin-addled mind decided that I would interview Morello instead and with a little liquid courage already baiting me, I was off to secure a chat.

I thought it would be difficult as I approached him; he was busy signing CD’s and I, being dedicated to musicians actually making a bit of profit from their hard work, bought exactly one album. Patiently I waited while the masses took pictures, gathered autographs and praised him endlessly. It was my turn and I quickly handed him my CD and asked boldly for an interview. He graciously pointed me to his manager and I was certain my antics would prove at least somewhat charming, if not futile, as I possess neither dimples nor D cups.

Pete, his manager, was rather tall, British and unresponsive to my feminine wiles. I’m sure he figured I was just a lady trying to lay the proverbial “mack” down on his client or, perhaps it was that lack of cleavage. Regardless, this man was a tough egg to crack. So, naturally, I wimped out and stood near the elevator quietly waiting for Harper to take the stage. After ten excruciating minutes Morello and the Brit moseyed past and out of sheer luck he looked my way and kindly uttered, “Miss Jones, I’ll take that interview now.” I was unprepared to say the least, this actually worked! He no sooner said my name than we were in the elevator together gliding upward toward the backstage area of this Myrtle Beach shanty. I had been here before but never on impulse alone.

Stay tuned for part two of this amazing interview. You know, the portion of the article that actually includes Tom Morello and skips the ever present need for a lengthy introduction. That’ll be up on Monday. Other articles await you…at your leisure.