Credit: Raph PH

Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello once worked as a stripper

On the surface, rock stars like Tom Morello may appear to be a heroic figure born to play in front of thousands of screaming fans, to headline festivals with Rage Against The Machine and to entertain the masses. However, like the rest of us, even Morello has worked the standard minimum wage jobs to pass the time, make a quick pound note and pay the rent. Still, the Rage guitarist’s idea of a regular job is a little more extravagant than your average person, as it was revealed that the musician held down the role as one of the worst strippers in Los Angeles.

Morello was 27 when he formed Rage Against The Machine, and he lived a full-life for years in Hollywood without a dime to his name before success finally arrived. While Morello’s job as a stripper sounds rock ‘n’ roll, the true reason behind him taking the job was a demand for money and, with it, the desire to make one extravagantly wild purchase. All this suggests Morello lived and breathed rock ‘n’ roll and was doing everything his power to become a walking, talking cliche. However, the reality of having a hot tub in the middle of a shared bedsit is far less impressive than it sounds.

Pre-fame, Morello was like a large proportion of the dreamers and chancers who moved to Los Angeles with a view of hitting the big time. With the aspirations of making it as a ‘somebody’ in the fast-moving city, Rage Against The Machine ultimately arrived as his opportunity to finally become a full-time musician – and one could afford to buy a hot tub without working for months as a naked butler at bachelorette parties. 

Speaking to Howard Stern, Morello recalled his stint working as a stripper and explained his hot tub dreams. “My roommate and I at the time had aspirations to. We had like a one-room apartment in Hollywood, and to enhance our dating lives we thought that the thing that would help would be if we had a hot tub in our living room.”

Morello then continued with a smile: “Of course, we couldn’t afford a hot tub, so we figured out how much money it was going to take to buy this indoor kiddie pool and a water heater, and this and that, and the other. Just to simulate a hot tub. And then we worked towards that with this extracurricular activity. Having a three-and-a-half-foot tall, 10-foot diameter, 101-degree roommate is a horrible roommate.

“It was at bachelorette parties. So, you knock at the door, you’re wearing a suit, you knock at the door, ask for a cup of sugar, ‘Brick House’ comes on the stereo… It wasn’t awesome, I got to tell you – it wasn’t awesome, it really wasn’t. It was weird.”

The image of Morello and his roommate sitting in a claustrophobic sweat-filled dingy apartment with a hot tub lumped in the middle of the room is a sight for sore eyes. Of course, the reality isn’t as glamourous as it sounds, and the same goes for his work as a male stripper. Morello appears to be one of the last rock stars on the planet who would care for a hot tub, let alone be the entertainment at bachelorette parties. Maybe stripping was his calling, and music diverted him away from what he was put on this earth to do, but the chances of that seem pretty damn slim.