#1 Prophets of Rage
#2 Rage Against the Machine
#3 Green Day
#4 Bruce Springsteen
#5 Pearl Jam
#6 Henry Rollins
#7 Foo Fighters
#8 Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
#9 Jack White
#10 Neil Young
While we don’t have an election in Canada this month, our neighbors to the south do, and the outcome can greatly effect our country.
What better way to endorse someone, or tear them apart than the rock and roll stage? Here are 10 rock & roll acts using their stage for some politics on the mic.
#1 Prophets of Rage - Prophets of Rage
The ABC News article referenced below, on the political legacy of Rage Against the Machine, ends on this note:
Both De La Rocha and his former bandmates have vowed to continue the Rage legacy in their future work. But it remains to be seen wether separately they’ll succeed in bringing the message to their audience as successfully as they did as one band.
Although it’s not the original line-up, Prophets of Rage is a band that set out to continue what the original band began…
#2 Rage Against the Machine - Sleep Now in the Fire
Here’s my favourite quote about Rage Against the Machine, from ABC News back in 2000:
Perhaps the most obvious difference between Rage and the rest of the rock ’n’ roll world took place during the Democratic National Convention. While dozens of rock stars descended on Los Angeles clamoring for a chance to play a Gore fund-raiser and have their pictures taken with politicians dedicated to censoring their art, only Rage stood outside of the Staple Center with the protesters.
RATM used THEIR stage to bring so many controversial problems into the spotlight, raising money towards legal support for a convicted cop-killer they believed received an unfair trial, advocating for native American rights, and trying to prove George W. Bush was no different than Al Gore.
Even better, they somehow predicted Trump would run for President 17 years ago with this video directed by Michael Moore. About a minute into this music video, you’ll remember a man is seen proudly hoisting a “Donald Trump for President” sign.
#3 Green Day - American Idiot
Green Day has always been a politically-charged band, and they continue that quest often on stage, and with their new record Revolution Radio.
Hear frontman Billie Joe Armstrong speak about the politics behind the new record in this interview with 22 Minutes on CBS.
#4 Bruce Springsteen - Born in the USA
Bruce Springsteen has been loud and proud about politics on stage for decades. Over the last year, he’s used his spotlight to denounce the controversial bathroom bill, even cancelling shows in places like North Carolina, saying, “Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them.”
He was staying abnormally quiet about the election itself until September, when he unleashed these words about Trump in an interview with Rolling Stone:
“Well, , the republic is under siege by a moron, basically. The whole thing is tragic… a tragedy for our democracy…The ideas he’s moving to the mainstream are all very dangerous ideas – white nationalism and the alt-right movement.”
Want to look a little more closely at his music? Here are 8 songs from the boss that SCREAM don’t endorse Trump, click HERE.
#5 Guns 'N Roses - Welcome to the Jungle
Eddie Vedder has been VERY vocal about “Feeling the Bern” while tearing Trump apart as often as possible.
In May 2016, while Pearl Jam performed at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, he turned the end of the song Wishlist into a Trump bash:
“Even I’d be better than some of these men.”
“F—k Donald Trump.”
“It’s like his penis gets smaller every time he says ‘huge’.”
“I like Hillary but I can feel the Bern.”
“All you young voters it’s time you were heard.”
“Please don’t stop don’t ever give up.”
Here, Eddie’s blunt thoughts on Trump’s Wall.
#6 Rollins Band - Liar
Henry Rollins shares his thoughts on the upcoming election often both in print, writing for LA Weekly, and on stage. Hear his specific thoughts on Trump and Clinton below, and check out a column HERE.
#7 Foo Fighters - My Hero
Here’s what Dave Grohl, an Obama supporter, had to say about John McCain using that song during his run for president in 2008:
It’s frustrating and infuriating that someone who claims to speak for the American people would repeatedly show such little respect for creativity and intellectual property…The saddest thing about this is that ‘My Hero’ was written as a celebration of the common man…”
#8 Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats - S.O.B.
I spoke to Nathaniel Rateliff and Joseph Pope of the Nightsweats at Osheaga in Montreal, and I overheard them say something about Prime Minister Truduea…when I asked them to elaborate, they mentioned they want to move to Canada if Trump gets elected:
#9 The White Stripes - Icky Thump
The first week of October, The White Stripes were suddenely in action again, with the following statement on their Facebook Page:
And now, one step further. Jack White is selling “Icky Trump” T-shirts at Third Man Records – complete with some clever new lyrics.
#10 Neil Young - Rockin' in the Free World
Neil Young can’t actually vote because he still has his Canadian citizenship, and he’s made it clear he’s not interested in getting his American citizenship.
Regardless, he’s used his music and name to support Bernie Sanders over the last year:
“He’s the only one talking about the issues, about issues that matter to me, the issues on my mind..Problems of corporate control of democracy and everything slipping away and not being able to have six major companies owning all the media in the United States.”
While in theory, he didn’t have an issue with Trump using one of his songs as entrance music when he first announced he’d be running for president, he wasn’t pleased that Trump didn’t get a license, especially after he’d been clear about supporting Bernie sanders.
He may not have a ballot this month, but to quote Neil Young:
“I vote in my own way, by making a lot of noise