Chuck D, supergroup perform outside Norco prison

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Friday, August 12, 2016
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The supergroup Prophets of Rage, featuring Chuck D and Tom Morello, was supposed to play a charity concert inside the state prison in Norco, but was forced to perform outside when the show was inexplicably canceled.

NORCO, Calif. (KABC) -- The new supergroup Prophets of Rage was supposed to perform for prisoners at the state prison in Norco on Wednesday, but the concert didn't go off quite as planned.

The band is comprised of Chuck D, Tom Morello and other members of Public Enemy, Rage Against the Machine and Cypress Hill.

They were scheduled to play Wednesday at the California Rehabilitation Center, but the prison inexplicably canceled the performance.

That didn't stop them.

The band set up a stage across the street from the prison and held an impromptu public performance.

Their performance had been scheduled to support a charity, Jail Guitar Doors, that provides musical instruments and support programs to prisoners. Even though they couldn't perform, they did get their music inside, donating 50 guitars to the program.

"Our music has been supportive of the underclass and I think that the criminal justice system in this country is absolutely broken," Morello said. "But we're here today to support a charity that helps get people inside music that's going to help them be better people on the outside world."

But the unpermitted, impromptu concert also ran into some problems.

Also across from the prison is a sports field packed with young people, and the city was forced to step in.

"I have 500 kids playing junior all-American football here and about another 200 cheerleaders," deputy city manager Brian Petree. "My concern was kids moving in and out of this parking lot and families trying to get in here who didn't know anything that this was happening."

Chuck D noted the irony of the two facilities sitting so close to each other.

"You go figure, right? There's a park full of dreams and there's the nightmare that is 100 feet away. So you want to reduce the nightmare."