It was ten years ago, almost to the day, when I heard the news on the radio that my two favourite bands in the world were planning to go on tour together and they were making a stop in Toronto. I was at work listening to the radio (cause that’s what people did back in 1999) and George Stroumboulopoulos (who was still with CFNY 102.1 back then) announced that The Beastie Boys were planning a tour with Rage Against The Machine in the summer of 2000. The first stop was going to be Toronto on August 2nd 2000 and I’d never been more excited about a show my whole life. Then in July of 2000 it all came crashing down (literally) when Mike D of The Beastie Boys got into a bike accident in New York and broke his collar bone which required surgery and the tour was postponed indefinitely. Rage was busy working on their cover album “Renegades” and The Beastie Boys were still waiting for Mike D’s recovery. Then in October of 2000 Rage frontman, Zack de la Rocha, announced he was leaving the band. The rest of the band members felt that without Zack, there was no Rage Against The Machine. They released the album “Renegades” and a live video and album and, other than a few guest spots on tracks by DJ Shadow, Trent Reznor, Roni Size, and KRS One, that was the last I heard of my favourite rapper of all time Zack de la Rocha.
Then, in July 2008, Zack came back in true militant form teaming up with former Mars Volta drummer Jon Theodore with a band called “One Day As A Lion”. The name came from a famous black and white graffiti photograph taken by Chicano photographer George Rodriguez in 1970 of a tag on wall in an unidentified section of Boyle Heights L.A. reading “It’s better to live one day as a lion, than a thousand years as a lamb”. The record was as simple and stripped down as the photograph. With Zack playing keyboards and rhyming and Theodore hammering the skins. Then.. nothing. This article is a plea to Zack de la Rocha to release at least one more full length album and to please go on tour and come to Toronto one more time. I don’t know what it is about this man’s rhymes and vocal style, but he’s definitely my favorite rapper of all time. All I want before my body is laid down to rest for eternity is to see Zack de la Rocha rock the mic live one last time. I know I’m not alone. So, for all of the hardcore Rage fans out there and all militant minded left wing political activists, Zack, please come back. We miss you comrade.
Splattermonkey[audio:Roni Size and Zack De La Rocha – Center Of The Storm.mp3,Zack De La Rocha and DJ Shadow – March Of Death.mp3]