For over two decades now, Deadmau5 (real name Joel Zimmerman) has been a leading figure in electronic music. The core of his visual identity is of course the signature helmet he wears, a simple sphere with a smiling face and two big circular ears on top. Now it turns out that after all these years of sporting the iconic headwear, Zimmerman’s spine has seen better days.
Yesterday (December 12), Zimmerman shared an x-ray of his (presumably) chest, which shows a spine that has a scoliosis-like sideways curve to it. He captioned the Instagram post, “‘Wear a mouse head’ they said. ‘It’ll be fun!’ They said.”
Indeed, Zimmerman has put a heavy load on his head, neck, and shoulders over the years. A 2011 Engadget feature notes that at the time, Zimmerman wore two different helmets during live performances: a neon-lined version and an LED version. The neon one weighed about 11 pounds while the LED model weighed “almost three times as much.” At the 2012 Grammys, though, Zimmerman debuted a carbon fiber head, which, given the material’s relatively light weight, was presumably not as heavy as previous iterations.
Meanwhile, in 2020, Deadmau5 came through with a memorable collaboration, linking up with The Neptunes (Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo) for the single “Pomegranate.”