Tom Morello, guitarist of Rage Against the Machine and former guitarist of Audioslave, is now engaged in a bitter Facebook war of words with Seattle restaurant The 5 Point Cafe over why he and his party were denied service last Friday night.
In town for a benefit concert for 15 Now, the organization behind the successful push for a $15 minimum wage in Seattle, Morello and his party of six just wanted to grab some food. When they arrived at The 5 Point, though, something happened that resulted in Morello's group leaving and Morello leveling the following tweets:
So what actually went down? Well, that depends on who you believe. According to restaurant owner David Meinert's Facebook post, Morello was bitchy and asked for a private room in the back (something The 5 Point doesn't even have). He pointed out that rock stars and other celebrities get no special treatment at The 5 Point, which is admirable. He also shot down Morello's "anti-worker" claim, pointing out the following:
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.
This was almost certainly a variant of a psychological phenomenon known as the trust gap — Morello saw a thing he didn't like and assumed the person responsible was a puppy-murdering, Ayn Rand-worshipping Nickelback fan. To Morello's credit, he backpedaled on that one 12 hours later once he realized he was at fault:
Morello responded the next day with a Facebook post of his own, the gist of which was that he didn't ask for special treatment, but that people kept leaving the restaurant and they kept asking if they could go inside, and the doorman was a dick to them. I have no problem believing that particular aspect of the story, as doormen who aren't drunk on their own petty perceived power are like Pallas Cats: we know they're out there, but it's really hard to find a human who's seen one in person. He also made somewhat of an ill-advised joke about why the doorman was so anti-his group (one of whom was Kenyan):
To be clear: at no point did myself or anyone in our party 'demand special treatment,' a 'private room' or any other ridiculousness. I was, however, pissed at the rudeness of the doorman to my friends and my younger brother — of whom I'm quite protective. I question what underlying motives the doorman may have had. Bad day? Anti-Kenyan? Preferred the Spin Doctors?
The "Anti-Kenyan" thing probably comes across differently than Morello intended, because he was setting up a Rule of Three centered on that Spin Doctors joke (which isn't a half-bad joke, at least in concept), and he didn't have anything good to bridge the gap from "bad day." So I get it. Still dumb, though, and Meinert shredded it as part of his own follow-up response barely an hour later:
"Maybe he was 'Anti-Kenyan'?? Ok, enough, Tom. That's fucked up. Stop trying to portray the doorperson as a racist. That really sucks and is crazy abusive.
Meinert also tried to mock Morello for eating at IHOP instead of The 5 Point, claiming that "iHop is glad to take your money and donate it to right wing politicians so keep going there and supporting the very thing you claim to rage against," but that's actually inaccurate: IHOP donates roughly equally to both political parties.
Whichever version of the story is true, everyone is just lucky Zack de la Rocha wasn't with them, because I'm pretty sure that guy either would've set fire to the restaurant or run into the kitchen and told them he was joining their fight against oppression while ranting about the capitalo-fascist mayo conspiracy and how he was a "renegade" because one time he stood up to the oppressive tactics of an assistant manager at a Denny's.*
What do you guys think? Is Morello in the right here, or is his side of the story Bullshit on Parade?**
* Zack de la Rocha is one of those people you're constantly embarrassed to agree with.
** Christ, I'm horrible.
Image via Getty.