9.08.00 Rage Bassist Pleads Guilty To Disorderly Conduct

Sonicnet.com

Timmy C scaled tall stage prop at MTV awards show during Limp Bizkit acceptance speech.
Senior Writer Teri vanHorn reports:

Rage Against the Machine bassist Timmy C pleaded guilty Friday (Sept. 8) to charges of disorderly conduct stemming from an incident at Thursday's MTV Video Music Awards, where he interrupted an acceptance speech by Limp Bizkit by perching on a stage prop.

Police originally charged Timmy C (born Timothy Commerford), 32, with second-degree assault and resisting arrest, claiming the bassist struck an officer as authorities attempted to escort him out of Radio City Music Hall. The district attorney did not have enough evidence to pursue the assault charge and lowered it to disorderly conduct, according to Gloria Montealegre, spokesperson for the Manhattan district attorney's office.

Timmy C, who spent the night in jail, was given credit for serving time and is not required to do anything more.

His bodyguard, Perrin Bentle, also was arrested and pleaded guilty to a charge of obstruction of justice. He was released on time served.

Limp Bizkit had just begun to accept the Best Rock Video award for "Break Stuff" (RealVideo excerpt) when the bassist scaled a 15-foot-tall stage prop behind the podium and began to shake the structure. Rage's clip for "Sleep Now in the Fire" (RealVideo excerpt) was up against Limp Bizkit in the category.
 
The members of Limp Bizkit apparently didn't recognize him. "Stage dive, dude," singer Fred Durst said, after calling him "a madman."

Police said Timmy C threatened to jump from his perch but that was not clear in the telecast. The bassist was coaxed down with ladders during a commercial break. A scuffle involving Timmy C, his bodyguard, security guards and police ensued shortly afterward.

"That was the craziest thing I've ever experienced in my life," a noticeably upset Durst said backstage. "It felt real uncomfortable. He was up there going, 'We played for you MTV. ...' I don't know what he was saying, but I know we're friends with [singer Zack de la Rocha and guitarist Tom Morello] and we love Rage Against the Machine. So we don't know why he would do that right then." (Sonicnet.com's parent company, Viacom, also owns MTV.)

Durst also said it appeared Timmy C was hurt during the fight with police and security guards. "It sucks he got hurt getting out of there because it looked like he was fighting," he said. "I hope he was OK. And I hope he gets his head checked soon."

Morello was lighthearted about his bandmate's behavior during a Friday morning interview on Los Angeles radio station KROQ-FM but accused police and security guards of being excessively violent. Morello claimed they took swings at Commerford, who responded like a "popcorn maker."

Morello joked that Commerford's behavior was a side effect from watching performances by Eminem and Britney Spears.

"I think he was whipped into a fervor by all the Slim Shadys and Britney Spears' version of 'Satisfaction,' " Morello said, jokingly. "That put him over the edge."

"Every bass player worth his salt has a little bit of Sid Vicious in him," Morello said, referring to the notoriously rebellious late bassist for the Sex Pistols. Rage Against the Machine's Epic records spokesperson could not be reached for comment

Timmy C and his bodyguard weren't the only arrests at the VMAs. Earlier in the evening, police arrested five men on charges of sexually abusing young women in three incidents outside the venue. The nature of the abuse in each incident was characterized in the police report as "rubbing."

(Contributing Editor Chris O'Connor contributed to this report.)