Paul McCartney Backs Rage Against the Machine in U.K. Battle - Rolling Stone
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Paul McCartney Backs Rage Against the Machine in U.K. Battle

The Facebook campaign to make Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name” the U.K.’s Number One Christmas single has gotten so much attention Rage are carrying a slim edge heading into the December 20th deadline, and now even Paul McCartney is commenting on the race. As Rolling Stone previously reported, U.K. music fans started up a Facebook group to help Rage’s song beat The X Factor winner Joe McElderry’s “The Climb” to protest the fact that the Simon Cowell-produced reality competition show has scored the previous four Christmas Number Ones.

Rage guitarist Tom Morello has already lent his support to the cause, and now McCartney, who was a guest performer on this season of X Factor, is lobbying for Rage as the rockers hold a mere 9,000 sales lead over McElderry, the BBC reports. “Everyone expects Joe to do it. If he goes to Number One then good luck to him. He’s just some kid with a career ahead,” McCartney said. “I’ve got nothing against that, but it would be kind of funny if Rage Against The Machine got it because it would prove a point.”

Cowell has already criticized the campaign, adding that he’s never even heard “Killing in the Name.” In a strange twist, Rage Against the Machine appeared on BBC Radio 5 to support the campaign for “Killing,” and frontman Zack De La Rocha said, “I think it would be a wonderful statement. The kids all over the U.K. have responded to this incredible Internet campaign, and I think it says something about the real tensions that people are experiencing all over the U.K. and the United States as well.” Rage have also promised to donate all the royalties they’re receiving from this campaign to charity.

“The people in the U.K. are tired of being spoon-fed one schmaltzy ballad after another and they want to back their own charts, and we are honored that they have chosen our song to be the rebel anthem to try to topple The X Factor label,” Morello added. The band then performed “Killing in the Name” live on air, and in true controversial Rage fashion, de la Rocha sang the closing lyric “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me” four times despite previous promises not to drop the eff bomb. You can actually hear the hosts panicking toward the end of the performance as they abruptly cut Rage off. Hear it here:

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