Today was a standard Thursday for me really. Work during the day, cycled home and swapped my bag out in order to go to the gym. Truth be told, I wasn't overly feeling going to the gym as I'd much rather have sat on the couch and watched the Para Athletics coverage from London 2017. However, I did go, but made a deal with myself that I'd not mess around with weights today and just do a cardio session. When leaving the gym, I checked my phone before getting on my bike and there was nothing. By the time I had got home, I had two messages waiting from my brother. In recent times, we've shared articles, tweets and various other things on the internet that form two messages. I didn't think much of it so didn't read them immediately. Instead, I decided to shower and then I would read them. When I eventually did, I was dismissive of what he had written. He had told me Chester Bennington had died.
My immediate thought was "this must be a hoax" because how could it not be? I thought the same thing when I started seeing news break about Chris Cornell. "What sick fuck does this?" I remember that was my immediate thought when I started seeing stuff about Cornell. But, this couldn't be real...could it? It turns out that whilst I was initially in a state of disbelief, the facts were confirmed - at the age of 41, Chester Bennington had committed suicide - on what would have been Chris Cornell's 53rd birthday.
I won't go into my feelings of the band that Linkin Park became, because this isn't the time nor the place. But I credit Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit with introducing me to heavier music. Without them, I honestly don't know how my life would have played out. I'm not asking you to read previous posts now, but look at the archive on the side - and see how many rock gigs and festivals I've written about. Without Linkin Park, none of this would be possible. They helped shape my music taste into what it is today, and for that I thank them. I also thank them for the two albums of theirs I adore. Hybrid Theory and Meteora are both fantastic albums, but Hybrid Theory is something special.
I only saw Linkin Park perform once. I missed them at Download 2007 in favour of seeing Motley Crue in a tent. I saw half their headline set at Download 2014 - when they played Hybrid Theory in full. I remember standing before they came on stage thinking this would be no big deal. At this stage, I'd basically given up on Linkin Park. This set would be a nice little nostalgia boost and nothing more. Granted, it was a nostalgia boost but it was so much more. It was special. It was a reminder of just how good Hybrid Theory is. I walked away when they finished the album - knowing that nothing else they could do would top that for me. I only saw Linkin Park once, and it truly was a special night for me.
I feel daft even writing this next sentence, because I know how it will sound. I find myself writing this and not feeling gutted, but more numb. I promise that word wasn't chosen because it is a song title, but because it is the most appropriate word to use. I can't think of another way to describe my feelings. I'm shocked and I do feel sad. But numb is the best way to describe how I currently am feeling about this.
RIP Chester. You had a profound impact on my life, and I will be forever grateful for that.
Campaign Against Living Miserably