Paying homage to Tom Morello

A lot can change in only two weeks! The current musical climate has taken a darker, more hostile turn as I return with another guitar cover that represents quite a stark contrast to my previous choice of song. In all honesty, I have just experienced a rather cold wake up call to the fact that I have a lot of work to do and a very long way to go indeed, if I am ever to do songs like this any justice. So, what song could possibly represent such a sobering wake up call so soon after my recent celebration of having reached three and a half years of guitar practice? Well, it’s a song that definitively returns my electric guitar to the harder rock and metal roots from which it was born, and one featuring a modern guitar legend who has an incredibly unique groove all of his own …and one that, it turns out, is no easy feat to cover!

The Song is Rage Against The Machine‘s infamous – ‘Killing In The Name’ …featuring the legendary guitarist Tom Morello.

The cool thing about Tom Morello is the unique way in which he has mastered his craft and truly moulded himself into someone with such a unique style of playing that he is instantly recognisable, always playing with a certain swagger thanks to his inimitably unique synthesis of hard rock, hip hop, metal and funk, accented by his own particularly unique use of sound effects devices ranging from wah-wah to whammy pedals. You only have to check out his playing with Rage Against The Machine and then take a look at his playing as member of the rock supergroup Audioslave, to see what I mean …quite different sounding bands but Tom Morello is always immediately recognisable by the signature vibe that he creates thanks to his unmistakable playing style.

So, don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely bloody great to be playing this song, a song that is an essential part of my music collection, and to be paying homage to Tom Morello is something that is quite possibly long over due, but this song has also provided me with a harsh glimpse of the reality that I’m not even out of the starting blocks and if I am to progress and do songs like this justice, let alone get to the stage where I am writing my own songs, then I really need to get my sh*t together!

I guess this is like the lump of clay analogy: I am indeed akin to an unrefined lump of clay desperately needing to be crafted into something with a more articulate and expressive form! How I achieve my ultimate form is a question I don’t necessarily have an answer to, but I have faith that as long as I keep going and constantly strive to improve, whilst continuing to be influenced by guitar legends such as Tom, then one way or another …I will find my way!

If paying homage to someone is truly about recognising and acknowledging a legendary talent, particularly one that inspires you to be better whilst perfectly illustrating what it means to find your own unique path in the mastery of your chosen discipline, then that is a good summary of the intent of this post and Tom Morello certainly represents the true meaning of finding your own way!

– Joel BB


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