We weren’t best friends, we weren’t even close friends, but we were acquaintances who would hug whenever we ran into each other outside of concert venues and music festivals. I was a High School junior the first time we met and he was the front man of a band who would become revolutionary in their music scene. Linkin Park’s “Hybrid Theory” was slowly crawling up the music charts and Chester and his band mates couldn’t be more excited.
At the time Sinister Girlz was in its infancy and wasn’t fully defined. The idea of a zine had been tossed around but I was riddled with self-doubt, would bands actually talk to us? Would they take us seriously? All I knew was that landing a band like Linkin Park would make a world of difference. Rather than going through management or their publicist we went straight to the boys and ultimately befriended them.
My conversations with Chester were always music related and shallow at best but he would always engage and greet me with a giant smile and hug. He’d thank me every single time for listening to the music and expressed it meant a lot to him to know it had brighten my high school days.
I was fortunate to attend many Linkin Park shows especially during the beginning of their career. I always kept a close eye on the band and celebrated each achievement as if they were my own. I eventually lost touch with them but would get updates from others within the scene about the boys, my boys, my Linkin Park boys, as I would call them.
But sadly the latest update from my boys is the saddest news I could ever receive. Chester Bennington committed suicide at the age of 41. The Chester I knew was always smiling. He was thoughtful, compassionate and cared for his fans. He was humble and didn’t take compliments well; he’d blush when a fan would say, “I love you” or “your music saved my life” he’d respond with a heartfelt thank you and insist on thanking the fans for making his dreams come true. Well, Chester you were instrumental in realizing my biggest dream. Had you or your band mates been dicks to me I wouldn’t have pursued this path. Your music was the soundtrack to my high school experience and it alleviated some of that pain and angst. I hope you are finally at peace.
Rest in Rock my friend.
Your friend at Sinister Girlz