In honor of Thursday's (May 1st) celebrations around the world of the international workers' holiday known as May Day, Rage Against The Machine and E Street Band guitarist Tom Morello reissued his 2011 Union Town EP as a free download at morellomayday.com. The EP includes original acoustic tunes as well as covers of Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land," Merle Travis' "16 Tons," and a live version of Morello's "Union Song."
- The live take of "Union Song" was recorded in Madison, Wisconsin when Morello joined thousands to protest an anti-union bill proposed by Republican governor Scott Walker.
- Morello wrote about the EP reissue, "This record is dedicated to working people of every nationality, age, color, and religion who have the courage to stand up for justice and dignity in the workplace . . . and beyond. Enjoy the tunes and fight the power!"
- Morello told us a while back that he's never been afraid to use his platform as a musician to speak out on the issues that concern him: "People ask the most asinine question, like, well, why -- 'I don't want to hear from you -- shut up and rock,' you know. But when you pick up a guitar, you don't put down your First Amendment rights. What I would say is 'You should be speaking out as well.' Like, why should we just leave it to a bunch of billionaires and crooks to run our country?"
- The guitarist has been a semi-permanent member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band since early 2013, and contributed to eight tracks on Springsteen's latest album, High Hopes.
- Morello also inducted Kiss into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last month.
- Rage Against The Machine has not played live since 2011, when it staged what may have been its last concert in Los Angeles.
CHECK IT OUT: Download the EP here and watch the "Union Town" video below:
Union Town by Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman from Jon Romero on Vimeo.
LISTENERS' POLL: Do you agree or disagree with Tom that rock musicians should speak out on political issues?
INTERNET COMMENTS at Rolling Stone -- agree or not?
KirkBoi41277 wrote: "About time the pinko Morello started to live by his values, after he violated them by being in the major corporate cash grab known as 'Audioslave.'"
Guest wrote: "When is this Leftist hypocrite going to redistribute his wealth?"
John Saleeby wrote: "Free? That's still too much."
HP McLovincraft wrote: "Rage Against the Ryan! Right on, Tom!"
Tom Morello On Using His Status To Speak Out