Tom Morello celebrates his birthday today (May 30), but this actually is a perfect time to celebrate his mother, Mary.

If you follow Tom on Instagram, there’s a good chance you’ve caught a few of his posts honoring Mary’s incredible history of activism and general badassery. Frankly, reading random stories about Mary Morello is one of the best reasons to follow Tom on social media.

Want proof? On Mother’s Day 2018, Tom wrote an awe-inspiring tribute to Mary that highlighted all of her stellar accomplishments during every decade of her life.

Tom began, “In the 1930’s she helped feed hobos during the Great Depression and supported the coal miners struggle to organize. In the 1940’s she helped raise war bonds to defeat the fascists in WWII. In the 1950’s she taught international students and opposed racist Jim Crow laws and as a single woman traveled the world. In the 1960’s she aided anti-colonial movements while living in Africa.”

Tom continued, “In the 1970’s she was a radical teacher in a conservative high school inspiring students to challenge the system and aided the United Farm Workers and the Urban League. In the 1980’s she went on nine peace missions to the Soviet Union and Cuba and spoke out against Apartheid South Africa and Central American death squads. In the 1990’s she opposed the first Iraq War and founded an international organization to fight music censorship (Parents For Rock & Rap).”

Tom wrapped up his tribute with, “In the 2000’s she helped homeless people and recovering addicts get their highschool diplomas at the Salvation Army and opposed wars for oil. In the 2010’s she volunteered at local soup kitchen and currently works with Doctors Without Borders and Mideast peace and justice organizations. All the while being a loving, supportive single mom Mother Bear & grandmother who at 94 is still the most radical member of the Morello family and still lets me rock in her basement.”

Mary Morello doesn’t rest even when it’s her birthday. On her 96th birthday this past October 1, Tom shared, “Happy 96th birthday to my mom, Mary Morello! Still the most radical AND most popular member of the Morello family. Of course, she spent her birthday morning making sandwiches for the hungry.”

What’s the point of all of this? Tom Morello’s entire aesthetic that has led to him being so beloved for nearly 30 years can be traced back to his mom. So, if you plan on celebrating Tom today, take a moment to celebrate his extraordinary mom, too. The rock landscape would look quite different without her.

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Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.