The 2010 VMA Countdown: Rage Against The Machine Bassist Gets A Better Look At The Action

The 2010 MTV Video Music Awards are only a few weeks away. The biggest party of the year features nominated clips by Lady Gaga, Eminem, Jay-Z, Ke$ha and Katy Perry and will feature performances by Kanye West, Eminem, Drake, Justin Bieber, Paramore, Usher, B.o.B, Florence and the Machine and Linkin Park. In order to properly prepare yourself for what’s to come, every day the MTV Newsroom Blog will deliver a classic moment in the history of the MTV Video Music Awards. Today’s installment: Rage Against the Machine bassist Tim Commerford crashes the stage.

At the end of the last century, it was apparently very dangerous for MTV to construct anything that even vaguely resembled scaffolding. Revelers scaled the MTV tower at Woodstock ’99, and when it came time to present Limp Bizkit with the Moonman for Best Rock Video (for their aggro anthem “Break Stuff”) at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards, the set was not safe from the superhuman agility of Rage Against the Machine bassist Tim Commerford.

While Bizkit frontman Fred Durst was giving his acceptance speech, Commerford climbed on top of the stage dressing just behind the podium. He swung around up there for a while, trying to yell things at Durst and with Durst interacting with him. “Stage dive, dude,” Durst said to Commerford. When Limp Bizkit wrapped up, the Rage bassist was removed from the stage and arrested (along with his bodyguard). Morello later said that Commerford actually told his bandmates about his plan before he actually did it. Morello and frontman Zack de la Rocha both discouraged Commerford from doing it, but Michael Moore — who had directed the video for Rage’s “Sleep Now in the Fire,” which was also nominated for Best Rock Video — told him, “Timmy, follow your heart.” So we can thank the director of “Bowling for Columbine” and “Farenheit 9/11″ for one of the strangest and best VMA moments of all time.

The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on September 12 at 9 p.m. ET.