So, it has been a little over three months now since the death of Chester Bennington and I wanted to write a piece in gratitude to him, for what he meant to me as a musician.
October 2000. The month and year that Hybrid Theory was released. The very time that I discovered Linkin Park and the unbelievable voice of Chester.
I remember getting this album and literally straight away I was mesmerised. The beats, the lyrics, the drums, everything just blew me away. I was 11 years old and I instantly fell in love. I would listen to it over and over in my room. From Crawling, to Runaway, every song felt perfect.
Even now when I listen to Hybrid Theory, it still blows my mind. How one album can still sound like I’m hearing it for the very first time again, is surreal. But that’s the beauty of Linkin Park. Of Mike. Of Chester. It has been and always will be my favourite album. The reason why I got into ‘heavy’ sounding music.
I always remember having a really difficult time in my life, around 22 years old, where I didn’t want to be here anymore. I would isolate myself from everyone. From the world. Shut myself in my room and just not come out. I wasn’t eating properly, I was self conscious about my weight, my appearance, my lack of friends, everything. I would lie in bed for hours with my headphones in and just straight up blast Linkin Park at full volume. And it was the best thing that I could have done at that time. Every word, every song, felt like they were written for me. I was angry at everything. At the world. And this one band, out of everyone, including family, were responsible for pulling me out of that slump.
But, the main reason why I loved them so much and why their songs hit me so hard, was Chester. That voice was incredible. Like nothing I have ever heard before and still haven’t. The raw power, the emotion, the heights his voice could reach, was something else. Something special.
It’s not even just his voice that made me love him. It was the meaning behind every single word. The songs where you knew he was hurting and he was struggling. For always being so open and honest about his battles with depression, with suicidal thoughts, child abuse and drug misuse.
Even through all of that, I still could never believe that he would be taken so early in life. I remember being in work the night the news broke of his death. I had to fully stop myself from breaking down in tears. I didn’t want to believe any of it was true. I was truly devastated. I still am, in all honesty. It’s weird, because you always think that your favourite musician or actor/actress etc are going to be around forever. Like they’re Godly immortal beings.
I guess I’m kind of just writing this as sort of a tribute to the effect that he/LP had on, not only me, but millions of people all over the world. How loved he was, how loved he still is. I wonder if he ever knew fully, just how much he meant to people. The effect that he had on so many lives through music alone.
You were an idol, an inspiration, and an undeniable raw talent with the most powerful voice in music. I hope that you have found peace with every battle you have ever faced and I wanted to thank you for the lives you have saved without even knowing, including mine. Thank you.
So, thank you very much for reading and I also just wanted to add, that I have included some contact numbers at the bottom of this post for anybody who feels they may need them.
Thanks for reading.
UK Samaritans – 116 123
US National Suicide Prevention – 1-800-273-8255
Blog – https://beautyandabeard.wordpress.com/