Skip to main content

Watch Robert Fripp and Toyah Willcox cover Killing in the Name

Robert Fripp and Toyah Willcox have covered Rage Against The Machine’s Killing in the Name in their latest Sunday Lunch session.

In the footage, the couple perform in front of hand-painted sign quoting a phrase from poet/musician Gil Scott-Heron, “The first revolution is when you change your mind.”

Fripp and Willcox’s rendition is somewhat abridged, as ever, but manages to pack in the meatiest riffs from Rage’s original protest anthem and concludes with a single ‘Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me’, as opposed to Zack de la Rocha’s rousing 16 repetitions.

Throughout the performance Willcox daubs herself in red paint, in what is either a symbolic invocation of the bloodied hands of unnamed oppressors, or pure visual effect – or, er, both. 

Rage vocalist Zack de la Rocha originally wrote the lines that would become the band’s calling card in response to institutionalised racism and police brutality – in particular the beating of Rodney King by the LAPD in 1991, which sparked the 1992 LA riots. 

Tom Morello, meanwhile, came up with the iconic central riff while teaching a student how to play in drop-D tuning before he wisely stopped his session to get it on tape. 

However, the song is best known for its infamous closing refrain, which has since helped it become a soundtrack for rebellions of all scales – from issues of social injustice to disrupting Simon Cowell’s pop chart monopoly. 

It seems like Rage Against The Machine are a resurgent force at the moment. In addition, to the Fripp and Willcox endorsement, Limp Bizkit recently covered Killing In The Name onstage in Wilkes-Barre, PA, while RATM teased their live return last week by sharing a thunderous clip from their rehearsal sessions ahead of their summer tour.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk (opens in new tab), which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.