When Johnny Cash played for the inmates at San Quentin and Folsom Prison, it was for pure entertainment. There was nothing about his songs that was going to cause a riot. But imagine for a moment if Rage Against the Machine had played such a gig? The result would have made Oz look like vacation bible school.
Prophets of Rage–three-quarters of Rage Against the Machine plus Chuck D of Public Enemy, B-Real of Cypress Hill and DJ Lord–thought they had a chance of pulling off a Johnny Cash-style benefit inside a prison in Norco, California. The idea was to support Jail Guitar Doors, which looks to supply prisoners with musical instruments as part of their rehabilitation. But authorities, obviously worried what might result when they band broke into “Killing in the Name” decided to shut down the gig.
Prophets was miffed but unbowed. Instead, they set up outside and blasted the music over the walls.
Here’s a local TV report about the gig.