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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Rage Against the Machine Guitarist Pulls a ‘Don’t You Know Who I Am?’ on Cafe

Then went on a rampage about workers' rights after being denied.

By Shannon Connellan
October 01, 2014
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By Shannon Connellan
October 01, 2014
  shares

We all joke about pulling a 'don't you know who I am' card on a joint, but when Big Time rockers pull it on a tiny, tiny Seattle cafe there's some dramatic head-shaking to attend to. After finishing a gig this weekend in Seattle, Rage Against the Machine's guitarist Tom Morello attempted to skip the queue at Seattle's 5 Point Cafe — to no avail. According to Grub Street, 5 Point was at capacity when the Rage legend waltzed up to the front of the line and demanded entrance, after the cafe team "who's told bigger rock stars than him no," gave him the ol' hell no.

Like any self-respecting, hospitality-burned celeb, Morello decided to get on his 4am Twitter soapbox. Having long supported worker's rights and wage raises, Morello thought now was the perfect, out-of-context time to drop this rant:

After his early-morning "so, ner" went rampaging online for a spell, restaurant owner David Meinert didn't let the guitarist have the last say, taking to Facebook with a response to the "tweet from our pal":

"For the record Tom Morello — The 5 Point is totally pro-worker. We try to pay more than any other small restaurant, and on top of the higher pay, we offer health insurance, paid sick days, paid time off, retirement and profit share. Sorry if you had an issue with our staff, but typically our staff is awesome, and when they are not, it's usually a reflection of the customer. Act like a prick = get treated like a prick.

"I have to say, your attacking a small business without knowing anything about it, or addressing your problem with them directly before you go on a public rant, pretty much sucks. Just lost a ton of respect for you, and I've been a fan for years, both of your work in Rage and your work for workers rights since.

"PS — rock stars don't get special treatment at The 5 Point. We couldn't give less of a shit. Sorry.

"And PSS — I'm the owner of the 5 Point and have worked to raise the minimum wage in Seattle and support the same nationally, worked to get paid sick days law in Seattle, and am supporting a City sponsored retirement plan for employees of small businesses. I hope you do the same for your employees on the road..."

"PSSS — turns out he and his crew didn't get let in as the place was at capacity and there was a line. No one was being let in. According to our doorman who I totally trust, Tom and his crew were all totally rude. Quote from the door guys "I knew who he was, we had no room, his whole party was being rude. He wanted a special room in the back. Clearly had no ideas what it is like inside. I've told bigger rock stars than him no."

Since his kneejerk reaction, Morello had time to come up with some kind of 'forgiveness' — with conditions.

Meinert has somewhat relented and offered this on Facebook an hour ago:

"Hey all, about this Tom Morello thing... I think Tom was in the wrong, and his tweet was offensive and pissed us off, BUT, Tom stands up for workers and uses his fame for some very good causes, almost always for those most in need. Yes he's very rich, yes he was on a big corporate record label. But every other interaction I've had with him has been cool. I would far rather people be enraged about the issues Tom is trying to bring up than wish Tom ill. So if you want to get pissed, be pissed that companies like iHop or Darden are spending millions to fight raising the minimum wage, and are supporting politicians who want to oppress women, minorities and workers, in order to get higher corporate profits. If everyone spent as much time posting about these issues as they have about Tom, we'd all be better off."

So Morello's put his manners back in and Meinert's smoothed things over. And we can absolutely get behind Morello's famously Damn The Man activism, any day of the week. Perhaps next time ranting about workers' rights and equality is best done when you're not rock-starring your way past a queue?

Via Grub Street and Stereogum.

Published on October 01, 2014 by Shannon Connellan

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