Guitar battle vs. Tom Morello by Tom Morello 2007

Tom Morello Guitar Battle

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Updated Aug 27, 2020 at 01:59AM EDT by Y F.

Added Aug 18, 2020 at 08:20AM EDT by Philipp.

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Tom Morello Guitar Battle refers to a boss battle in the 2007 video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock in which the player faces Rage Against the Machine's guitarist Tom Morello. Online, the guitar duel has inspired memes, with video edits often featuring two characters dancing to the guitar solo, or edits in which the solos replace their voices during a dialogue.


On October 28th, 2007, music rhythm video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock was released in the United States.[1] The campaign mode of the game featured three boss battles, in the first of which, titled simply "Guitar Battle vs. Tom Morello," the player faces Rage Against the Machine's guitarist Tom Morello. The track, a three-minute guitar solo battle, heavily features wah pedal favored by the guitarist.

The song did not use in memes until late July 2019, when an unknown user posted a Love Him or Hate Him, He Spittin Facts meme in which the solo replaced the words said by two people (shown below). On July 28th, 2019, Instagram[2] user evssssok.memes made the earliest discorded repost of the video, gaining over 700 views and 120 likes in one year, with popular Instagram[3] meme account analtoaster making another repost on July 30th. A July 29th, 2019, repost by iFunny[4] user Slapps received over 90 smiles in one year.


On July 31st, 2019, iFunny[5] user DaddyShark posted the earliest known derivative meme, with a clip of rapper 6ix9ine dancing set to the song, with the post gaining 22 smiles in one year. On August 6th, Redditor[6] Willie_Baw posted a What If You Wanted to Go to Heaven meme based on the song that received over 200 upvotes in /r/GuitarHero in six months.

The format did not see viral spread until on August 21st and 23rd, 2019, content creator Cyranek posted a They're Groovin meme that received over 310,400 views and 50,600 likes on Instagram[7] and over 2.5 million views on YouTube[8] in one year (shown below).

The meme inspired the further use of the song in the following weeks. For example, on August 31st, 2019, YouTuber[9] NickBenFanning posted a dance-off that received over 525,900 views in one year (shown below, left). On September 7th, 2019, YouTuber[10] NunoVH posted a video of himself playing the song in Clone Hero, with Cyranek's video used as a custom background. The video received over 424,500 views in one year (shown below, right).

The use of the video in memes subsided in the period between November 2019 and February 2020, when the novelty Facebook[11] group Chibi Naoto bailando canciones diferentes todos los dias posted a Vibin Naoto meme that received over 2,800 reactions, 4,900 shares and 115,000 views in six months (shown below, left). On March 17th, iFunny[12] user LAfrog posted a clip of children dancing set to the song that received over 7,800 smiles in five months (shown below, right).

Starting in March 2020, the song maintained moderate popularity in memes on Instagram, Twitter, iFunny and other online platforms.

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