Rage Against The Machine returned money for their first-ever Coachella in 1999. The band gave back half their fee after the festival lost money in its first year. In an interview Tom Morello revealed the band was helping out the festivals "Punk-Rock promoters" after the first year left them in the red.
On a musical standpoint the first Coachella was a success with the bands and the fans. In that festival of 1999 alongside RATM other headliners were Tool and Beck. The festival representing a huge range of acts from underground to the mainstream. However, the festival lost around $850,000 with an attendance of 37,000 punters over a couple of days. This is a lot different to what Coachella gets now, with 200,000 plus attendance. The income of Coachella now is smashes in tens millions of dollars each year.
Morello said â€œCoachella was so unsuccessful, they asked for half the money backâ€. So being good supporters of the battler Rage Against The Machine assisted. He added â€œBecause they were friends,â€ He tells Tuna on Toast podcast â€œIt was Goldenvoice! They had booked [Morelloâ€™s pre-RATM band] Lock Up shows. They had booked every back-alley show from day one They were the punk-rock promoters, they were just like bros.â€ How can you not love Rage Against The Machine for doing this?
The right formula was figured out for making Coachella the success it is. They've had huge acts play such as Radiohead, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Nine Inch Nails, Paul McCartney, Roger Waters, Jack White and Prince. As the pandemic hit 2020, Coachella had to cancel the festival. It's set to return in 2022 with a reunion show for Rage Against The Machine to headline.
In in conclusion Tom Morello said he has no regrets and joked â€œWe should have asked for a piece of the festival". He added â€œThatâ€™s what we should have done. Iâ€™m not much of a businessman.â€
Someone in the audience would yell 'Play 'Foxy Lady'' or 'Play with your teeth'"
In other news Tom Morello speaks in an interview with NME about racial prejudice. He said "It's not always a malicious prejudice". He adds "but there is that ingrained prejudice in the DNA of rock. Despite the fact it was invented by Black people". He talks about what is often called out to him at gigs. "I don't know if things have got better over the last couple of years. There used to be a firewall. I used to publicly disavow Jimi Hendrix because every single gig I played as a young man. Someone in the audience would yell "Play 'Foxy Lady'" or "Play with your teeth.". That was the assumption because there was only one signpost for what a Black guitar player could be. I had to distance myself from that to be the guitarist I wanted to be. Thankfully, that's no longer the case."