I always listen to music when I sit down to write a blog post. Most of the time, it’s a variety of songs by multiple bands or artists. Right now though, Linkin Park is the only thing I want to hear.
For the second time this year, one of Jimmy Kimmel’s tweets broke the news to me that someone I was a fan of had passed away.
The first time, it was Don Rickles. This time, it’s Chester Bennington – the lead singer of Linkin Park, who died of an apparent suicide.
My heart sank when I found out, for reasons I don’t even know how to put into words.
Growing up, I never really talked to people about music out of fear that what I listened to wouldn’t be perceived as “cool”. It’s silly, I know.
Enter Linkin Park. I liked them; other people liked them. And that alone gave me a sense of belonging that I can’t really explain.
In university, I remember sitting in a friend’s dorm room listening to Linkin Park song after Linkin Park song, and being introduced me to song of theirs I had never heard before.
Again, a sense of belonging.
I never went to one of their concerts, I don’t know every little detail about their band, and you probably can’t refer to me as a super fan. But like millions of other people, I was a fan.
In many ways, they defined my generation and at the forefront was Chester Bennington.
Many years ago, I remember going through their music on YouTube and finding a live performance of their song “Breaking The Habit“. It blew me away because here was a lead singer (Chester) in front of a live crowd and he wasn’t just going through the motions.
He put his entire soul into the song and made you feel it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to YouTube to watch that video over the years.
I listened to the lyrics today – and I mean actually listened to them – and they mean something completely different now. I always heard them and equated them to Chester’s battle with addiction and how he was finally breaking that habit.
But the lyrics don’t mean that anymore.
A lot of their songs are like that. Or maybe this is what they meant all along and I was just naive.
I listened to one of their newest songs, “Heavy” when it first came out a few months ago, but hadn’t circled back to hear it again.
Today, I went back to listen to it again and could barely get through it.
The opening line, “I don’t like my mind right now” hits you like a brick wall.
It’s just sad. Yesterday was sad. I don’t know how else to put it.
A few days ago, Linkin Park was on my mind because I was thinking about posting news of my WordPress feature on Instagram (I never did) and was brainstorming possible captions that included a pun somewhere.
What I had settled on for a closing line was, “Link in bio, if you want to read it; Link in park, if you don’t.”
And then that sparked the thought in my head, “Hey, I should listen to their music again and go digging for songs I haven’t found yet.”
I hadn’t gotten around to it, until today.
Music brings people together and allows us to get through things by simply opening our ears and listening. Chester Bennington did that for me and for millions of people around the world. That cannot be understated.
I’m sorry for his family. I’m sorry for his friends. I’m sorry for his bandmates.
I’m sorry for Chester.
Let’s take care of each other. It’s the least we could do.
Who cares when someone’s time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
We’re quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do
Rest in Peace Chester Bennington.