Tom Morello’s Second Life as An Exotic Dancer

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Every musician is going to have to make ends meet before hitting it big.

No one gets to the top overnight, and even legends like James Hetfield and Slash have had to hold down jobs before spreading their wings. Tom Morello was no exception, but his side hustle was a bit more adult than what his fellow rockers were used to.

After graduating college, Tom was living in California and worked on the side as an exotic dancer, telling Loudwire (5:14) that.

“It was a tandem duo. We would do bachelorette parties and we had a particular financial goal. We wanted to buy a hot tub for our apartment, which is very exotic-dancer-like. We retired from the sex trade after we got the hot tub.”

Not long into the gig, Tom grew out of his stripper phase fairly quickly, going on the Howard Stern Show saying

“You’re wearing a suit. Knock on the door. Ask for a cup of sugar. ‘Brick House’ comes on the stereo. It wasn’t awesome. It was very weird.”

Looking back, Tom also admits that his hot tub plan wasn’t the greatest goal in the world, saying

“We figured out how much money it would take to buy this indoor kitty pool and a water heater to simulate a hot tub. It didn’t work out. Having a 3.5 foot tall 10-foot diameter 101-degree roommate is a horrible roommate.”

Granted, the experience of being comfortable in your skin probably helped Tom when it came time to bare it all onstage, famously walking onstage nude with Rage Against the Machine as a protest of the PMRC guidelines.

Now that he’s one of the biggest guitarists in the world though, it’s probably a lot more difficult to get someone like Tom for your next ladies’ night or bachelorette party. If you ask him these days, he has said that “rates have gone up considerably.”

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