100 Days Project

Ben: 100 Writings / 100 Opening Guitar Hooks

various, random creative expressions / writings, inspired partially by 100 popular songs (songs that somewhat begin with a leading hook of a guitar.)

Day 47:

“Killing in the Name” (1992) by Rage Against the Machine

“Killing in the Name” (1992) by Rage Against the Machine


There’s some fucking idiots out there, who complain, after the show, that the music act they just witnessed was not what they expected. For goodness sake, do they not know who these musicians are?! What the hell did they expect?! Do these muppets have any idea what these musicians represent? Check out some examples of pure numbskulls who didn’t know what they were in for:

5 – The Doors get kicked off the Ed Sullivan Show.

This could be the very first example.

In 1967, the Doors were to play The Ed Sullivan Show, one of the most influential programmes of all time. We all know how the Beatles appeared on it, and from that one performance, basically conquered the entire United States. Hence, the programme was the ultimate platform for emerging artists.

Enter The Doors. The CBS executives said the line, “Girl, we couldn’t get much higher” was controversially too ‘hippie’ for them and liked them to amend it. But when it came to the live-on-air performance, the line went unchanged.

Of course, the line fucking went unchanged!

The Doors were a serious enough band and a dark enough band, not to bend their artistry for some commercial accountability. They didn’t care if they weren’t invited back to the show. They didn’t care if they’d become the target of anger from Sullivan. They were the Doors. Who else did CBS expect they were? The Beatles?!

4 – No one likes miming on “Top of the Pops”

The longest-running British music show finished its record 42 year run a few years ago. And though it’s kinda sad to see such an established icon pass on, it was for the best. Because, simply put, no one likes miming their own songs. Any musicians reading this would agree – it’s a pretty humiliating experience. Thus, musicians have unfurled the veil of the so-called ‘live performance’, not towing the BBC line and acting the fool, for the foolish act it is.

Morrissey refused to even hold the microphone. What would be the point? Ian Brown lassoed his in the air. Why bother lip synching? Liam Gallagher swapped instruments with his brother. Would anyone really notice? And the most glaringly obvious performance of all was Nirvana, who absolutely couldn’t be fucked recording a pre-recording of a recording. How embarrasing. What else did they expect from Kurt? The fucking lyrics of the song are “Here we are now / Entertain us / I feel stupid …” For god sake!

But soon the BBC agreed how stupid it was. They ended the programme not only because the Industry was changing, but because musicians were changing too: Why degrade themselves with plastic versions of themselves?

3 – M.I.A. flips the Bird

When I heard she was gonna perform with Madonna at the Super Bowl, I’ll be honest, I knew something was up. M.I.A. is the type of artist who wouldn’t let up the opportunity of an audience of 114 million, not to do what we’ve known her to do, as for what she do best: To provoke.

And, as sure as day, while watching it live with the boys, she extended that middle finger, whilst clapping out “I don’t give a shit.” It happened so fast, we didn’t even notice; We had to MySky it back just to make sure. I, for one, wasn’t too surprised at all, because this is why we love her. But what I was more surprised at, were the Apologies that came after. Really? Did you need to say sorry for something you assisted in, that had already been scheduled? Idiots.

First of all, she was only performing what the lyric was. It’s called a performance. Secondly, it’s just a finger. It’s not 1959, anymore. Thirdly, Super Bowl ads have far more outrageous, and at times misogynist, antics going on. And lastly, for Pete’s sake, it’s M.I.A. What did you expect? Seriously.

Bad girls do it well.

2 – C.S.N.Y. still manage to piss off the establishment.

‘Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’ will go down as one of the most important acts of the Hippie generation. Their songs encapsulated that zeitgeist so well: exoticism, girls, Woodstock, hope, love, sex, and of course, protest. So when they reunited for a tour in 2006, they performed new songs – songs that were critical of President Bush. And droves of thousands of douchebags (especially in the South) were so offended, they walked out on their concerts.

Are you fucking kidding me? The name on your ticket said, “Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.” What did you expect? For fuck’s sake, the name of the tour was “Freedom of Speech.” What did you expect? President Bush and hippie reunions do not go together. What did you expect?

Absolute braindead fuckwits, out there. I mean, really!

1 – Rage Against The Machine ruin Simon Cowell’s party.

This clear stupidity was so authentic, I was laughing for ages when it happened.

Lemme give you some background first. Each year’s ‘X Factor’ winner had taken the British Christmas Number One spot for four years in a row. Some people were so fed up with this commercial Pop crap, they created a Facebook campaign to get this above song instead, as the new Number One – probably the most unlikely Christmas hit ever. But by mid-December, it was steadying up to be a hell of a showdown.

The band themselves were nice enough to promo their 17 year old hit, again, for a BBC Radio 5Live performance. And it’s right here, straight off the bat, that the BBC had no clue what this band was or what they represented; they had no idea what the lyrics were or what they meant. Because those morons asked Rage Against the Machine to censor their own performance. I’m giggling just writing that last sentence. It didn’t even feel right writing it, or having such opposing actions juxtaposed in a line of words. Bad mistake. Huge mistake on the BBC’s behalf.

And as the well-known refrain of the song came in, Zach muttered, “I won’t do what you tell me” – he repeated it a few more times, just to make sure that the idiot DJ’s were given fair warning. And then as certain as the sun: “FUCK YOU, I WON’T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME!” x 3, before they quickly cut them off.


The idiot DJ’s were so shocked, they not only apologized for the expletives, they rather endorsed the X Factor single! I was in fits of laughter for a week. Their own fault. Did it dampen their efforts to top the chart? Of course not! They knocked Simon Cowell off his perch to become the UK Christmas Number One for 2009.

Not only is it part of the song’s refrain, not only is it the band’s signature lyric, it’s pretty much the band’s motto. Never, ever, ever tell Zach and the boys what to do.