Monday, May 14, 2007

Rage Against the Machine - Story behind their debut albums cover art

Thích Quảng Ðức photographed during his self-immolation. According to David Halberstam, "As he burned he never moved a muscle, never uttered a sound".

Rage Against the Machine is the debut album by rock band Rage Against the Machine, released November 3, 1992. The cover art of this album is the photograph of Thích Quảng Ðức's self immolation.
Thích Quảng Ðức (born Lâm Văn Tức in 1897 – June 11, 1963), was a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who burned himself to death at a busy Saigon intersection on June 11, 1963.

His act of self-immolation, which was repeated by others, was witnessed by David Halberstam, a New York Times reporter, who wrote:

“ I was to see that sight again, but once was enough. Flames were coming from a human being; his body was slowly withering and shriveling up, his head blackening and charring. In the air was the smell of burning human flesh; human beings burn surprisingly quickly. Behind me I could hear the sobbing of the Vietnamese who were now gathering. I was too shocked to cry, too confused to take notes or ask questions, too bewildered to even think.... As he burned he never moved a muscle, never uttered a sound, his outward composure in sharp contrast to the wailing people around him."

Thích Quảng Ðức was protesting against the way the administration of South Vietnamese President Ngô Đình Diệm was oppressing the Buddhist religion.

After his death, his body was recremated. During the cremation, his shrunken heart still remained intact. It was thenceforth considered holy and placed in the care of the Reserve Bank of Vietnam.

The iconic photograph of Thích Quảng Ðức's immolation was used as the cover art to American rock band Rage Against the Machine's self-titled debut album.

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