On July 18, 1993, Rage Against The Machine hit the stage in Philadelphia during Lollapalooza and instead of playing music, the four band members, vocalist Zack de la Rocha, guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk, stood on stage naked with duct tape over their mouths and the letters “PMRC” painted on their chests in a protest against censorship.
The PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center) worked with the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) to create this now-familiar Parental Advisory logo in black and white. It was known as the “Tipper Sticker” because of Tipper Gore’s visible role in the PMRC.
For 15 minutes, the only sounds heard during Rage’s demonstration were guitar feedback and jeers from pissed-off fans who actually wanted to see Rage Against The Machine play. What started off as a cool protest turned bad quickly as Commerford recalled,
“When we walked out onstage people loved it, they were cheering. But little did they know, we weren’t planning on playing a note. After 10 minutes of standing there naked, what started as cheers turned into bottle throwing, people were just bummed out. We were hauled off by the police… that was a special moment.”
In a bit of irony, the photos and press that followed the band after the incident were all CENSORED!!!