When Tom Morello Became a Stripper to Buy a Hot Tub
Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello recalled the time he became a stripper in his student years so he could buy a hot tub.
He and his roommate believed that fitting out the living room of their apartment would improve their dating lives, even though they knew they could never offer a luxury edition of the experience.
“We of course couldn’t afford a hot tub,” Morello told Howard Stern on SiriusXM. “We figured out how much money it was going to take to buy an indoor kiddie pool, a water heater and this, that and the other to simulate a hot tub. And then we worked toward that with extracurricular activity.”
He wound up working at bachelorette parties. “You’re wearing a suit, and you knock at the door, ask for a cup of sugar, [the Commodores'] ‘Brick House’ comes on the stereo … it wasn’t awesome, I can tell you,” he said. “It was weird; it didn’t last long. We were just trying to make a certain amount of money to get that horrible hot tub in our place. And then we retired.”
Morello outlined just how horrible the resulting construction was. “Having a three-and-a-half foot tall, 10-foot diameter, 101-degree roommate is a horrible roommate,” he said. When Stern suggested he could go back into the stripper business when he isn't touring, Morello replied: “The rates have gone up considerably!”
You can hear the interview below.
The conversation led to a discussion of RATM’s famous nude protest against the PMRC at Lollapalooza in 1993. Instead of playing their 15-minute expected set, the band stood onstage for the allotted time without clothing, with tape over their mouths, each with one letter of the PMRC title scrawled across his chest.
“Ironically, this is the day the record company sent everybody down to the show,” Morello said. “’The hottest new band on Lollapalooza! You’re gonna see them in all their glory!’ And we didn’t even play! It was like a 15-minute feedback protest of nudity … and then we left the stage. I remember talking to one of the record execs afterwards, and he was like, ‘Thanks a lot for that.’ I’m like, ‘Hey, man, you sign a band named Rage Against the Machine, you get rage against the machine!’”