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10. Tom Morello

| March 31, 2008

The 20 All-Time Greatest Chicago Guitarists

10. Tom Morello

Tom Morello endured 18 years in Libertyville and graduated with honors from Harvard in 1986. Neither, though, had much to do with his greatest achievement: Rage Against The Machine (sorry Audioslave, your name fit your confined music). Rage ignited Molotov cocktails of post-“Bring The Noize” rap-metal, burning up the Billboard charts and dreaming of larger targets to torch. “I eagerly await the day the United States government goes down in flames,” Morello told the Chicago Tribune in 1993. Evil Empire remains alt-rock’s most volatile success – down with tradition, up with invention. Morello’s molten guitar techniques evoked turntable scratches and Public Enemy’s noise-effect cacophony. No DJ or PE required.

— Mike Meyer

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