Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee and Tom Morello have guest-starring spots as doctors in a new video by Future User, the group featuring bassist Tim Commerford.
Commerford, who is also Morello’s band mate in Rage Against the Machine, convinced the trio of guitarists to participate in the video for the song “VooDoo Juju,” which features graphic footage of Commerford’s own spine surgery for a ruptured disc.
The bassist came up with the idea after he was told he would need emergency surgery for the ruptured disc.
“As someone who often goes under the knife, I’ve always been a bit overwhelmed by the process, paperwork, approvals and costs,” Commerford says. “Luckily, I have insurance, but it got me thinking about all the people in this country who can’t afford medical treatment.”
Commerford thought the video of the operation would provide an opportunity to discuss the universal health care and the high cost of health care in America.
After convincing his doctor to let him shoot the surgery, Commerford enlisted Morello to play the role of a doctor in the video.
“And of course, you can’t talk about universal health care without bringing Canada into the conversation,” Commerford says, “so I called Geddy and Alex and asked if they’d be part of it and was blown away when they said yes. And all that footage of my back being opened up is real, no joke.”
In the video, Morello, playing the bottom line-conscious Dr. Van Drusel, explains to Commerford that his supplemental insurance has expired, because Rage Against the Machine haven’t played since 2011. As a result, Commerford has to cough up a $20,000 downpayment—in cash—to cover the initial costs plus give his credit care for additional fees.
Fortunately, the patient awakens in Canada, where Dr. Lee and Dr. Lifeson have been keeping a watchful eye. They explain the benefits of Canadian healthcare (“our hospitals are not for profit”) and set him straight.
The video also features a mask-wielding character named S.W.I.M., which stands for “Someone Who Isn’t Me,” an internet acronym often used in online forums. In “VooDoo Juju,” S.W.I.M. holds a gun to Dr. Van Drusel’s head, making sure the operation doesn’t extend past the paid time limit.
This isn’t the first Future User video to feature a notable cast. Commerford enlisted Lance Armstrong for the video for “Mountain Lion,” in which Commerford injected himself with steroids and set himself ablaze. Commerford water boarded tennis great John McEnroe in the video for “Clockwork,” a clip about police militarization, and he got comic book legend Stan Lee to appear in “Supernatural,” about the NSA mass surveillance.