I think if I hadn’t of been sitting when the news first broke that Chester Bennington had died I think I would have had to sit down. I always think of myself as someone who isn’t musical. It’s always just been something that I never thought I got, and I didn’t realise till the last few days how wrong I have been on this. It’s all thanks to Linkin Park, in particular their song, In The End.
I’d been listening to Meat Loaf, Alice Cooper, and Bon Jovi mainly. I went through a period of listening to Eminem and Dr.Dre but I never really understood where Eminem and Dre were coming from. With the rock stuff I kind of thought I got it. Bon Jovi’s album, Crush, had somewhat of an effect on me, particularly the song, It’s My Life, but I still didn’t get what people meant by music having an emotional effect on them, then I heard In The End and that was it. I’m a sucker for powerful vocals, and Chester Bennington had an amazing voice. When you combine that with the lyrics to In The End it got me, it embedded itself into my DNA. I flicked through the music channels hoping to catch more of In The End and other music by this band. I remember the day I brought the album and popping it into my portable CD player and listening to it. I hadn’t looked at the CD jacket to see where In The End was listed so I hoped each song was that one that had hooked me but also being blown away by how each song spoke to me, making me realise things about myself that I hadn’t ever thought about.
Hybrid Theory was unlike anything I’d ever heard before. Then Meteora came out, and they did it again! those first two albums opened my sheltered mind up to a world I never knew existed.
I’d heard people saying that songs spoke to them, that music expressed their emotions but I’d never felt that, until Hybrid Theory and Meteroa. These two albums felt like they were written for me, and for me alone. What the songs were about was how I felt and I didn’t really understand that others felt that way as well.
Around the time when Minutes to Midnight came out I was drifting out of music for reasons I can’t remember or even know to be honest. It’s taken Chester Bennington dying to make me realise how importing Linkin Park have been to me, I wished i’d realised it without his loss.
A lot of loved and influential people have died over the last couple of years. People I had a lot of respect for, a lot of affection, but Chester was an Icon for me. His voice is that of a whole generation of people, and that has been reflected in the love I’ve seen for him over the last few days. I’ve been listening to Linkin Park every time I’ve sat at a computer to write since the news broke. I’ve loaded my cars CD changer with Linkin Park. I can’t listen to In The End without choking up a little. I don’t know If I’ve mentioned in blog posts about how out of date with music that I am, but Chester’s death has come at a time when I’m rediscovering my taste for music. I’ve been listening to a lot of Lacuna Coil, Lesbian Bed Death, and In This Moment. I’ve started buying music again, and it’s been in the back of my mind that I’d needed to go back to Linkin Park and listen to their albums in my collection again and start buying the ones I haven’t got. I’d drifted away from them a little when I drifted from music. I’m going to correct that and get their albums I haven’t got. If it wasn’t for Linkin Park I wouldn’t listen to three quarters of the music that I do.
There are five other members of Linkin Park, and I don’t want to take away from them how important they are as well. It always felt like Linkin Park are a band where everything came together and it’s just worked. I am out of date, and I don’t tend to follow gossip pages etc. but as far as I know there’s not been a lineup change since Hybrid Theory came out, or massive problems within the band. If there has been they’ve done well keeping it in house. Chester’s voice though, that brought the words that I, and millions of people across the world, understood. Those five men, Mike Shinoda, Joe Hahn, Rob Bourdon, Brad Delson, and Dave ‘Phoenix’ Farrell have lost a brother. My thoughts go out to them, and Chester’s family and friends. I can’t imagine what they are going through at the moment but I hope all the messages of love and support they must be receiving can help them, even if it just a little.
We don’t know what people are going through behind the closed doors of their mind. If someone is reading this post and struggling with life, please talk to someone. Find the helplines in your country, speak to a doctor, talk to friends, family. Write it all in a blog post if you want, but talk. It’s amazing how much just talking can help.
I’m going to end this post by saying thank you, Chester. Linkin Park are one of the biggest influences in my life, and you were such a huge part of that.
Rest In Peace Chester Charles Bennington (March 20th, 1976 – July 20th, 2017).