Guitarist Tom Morello with Marseilles ties to be inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Morello played show in April 2022 in Marseilles

Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, performing his solo project as The Nightwatchman, sings to the crowd assembled for the ceremony Thursday, April 28, 2022, dedicating a plaque to honor Steve Sutton who was shot and killed during a 1932 labor rally in Marseilles.

Guitarist Tom Morello, who has Marseilles ties, will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with his band Rage Against the Machine.

The Cleveland-based institution announced Wednesday the artists and groups entering the hall as the Class of 2023, a list that includes Missy Elliott, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Chaka Khan, “Soul Train” creator Don Cornelius, Kate Bush, the late George Michael, The Spinners, DJ Kool Herc, Link Wray, Al Kooper and Elton John’s longtime co-songwriter Bernie Taupin.

A little more than a year ago, Morello performed in Marseilles for the first time as The Nightwatchman, which is his solo project. His mother was born in Marseilles and he spent summers visiting, playing Little League baseball there. The acoustic set commemorated the dedication of a memorial to a 1932 labor riot that cost Joliet’s Steve Sutton, a Croatian immigrant and father of four children, his life.

The performance drew the attendance of Gov. JB Pritzker, Comptroller Susana Mendoza and several labor union leaders, among other officials.

Morello played “Night Falls,” which is written about “Big Steve” Sutton, specifically, and how he was killed on July 19, 1932, while protesting with other laborers in search of work and a better wage. He also wrote and performed the song “Interstate 80″ about Marseilles.

Rage Against the Machine formed in 1991, consisting of vocalist Zach de la Rocha, bassist and backing vocalist Tim Commerford, drummer Brad Wilk and Morello. The band is known for mixing elements of heavy metal, rap and punk music, carrying revolutionary socialist political views.

Along with playing with Rage Against the Machine and his solo project The Nightwatchman, Morello has played with Audioslave, super group Prophets of Rage, the Street Sweeper Social Club with Boots Riley and as a touring musician with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

Although Morello attended and graduated Libertyville High School, Morello’s mother was a school teacher in Marseilles, and he spent periods of his childhood there. His performance April 28, 2022, was a homecoming of sorts; he told the crowd that day, “My mom’s back home in L.A. and when I told her where I was going, she said, ‘You’re playing in Marseilles?’ Finally, after 35 years they invited me to play in Marseilles and I wouldn’t miss it for anything.”

Marseilles Mayor Jim Hollenbeck presented Morello with a key to the city.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place Nov. 3 at the Barclays Center in New York City. Nominees were voted on by more than 1,000 artists, historians and music industry professionals. Fans could vote online or in person at the museum, with the top five artists picked by the public making up a “fans’ ballot” that was tallied with the other professional ballots.

Artists must have released their first commercial recording at least 25 years before they’re eligible for induction.