It was 21st July 2017, another routine Friday at work. I was going through the usual rigmarole of meetings and e-mails at work. Close to 11 AM, one of my friends messaged me that Chester Bennigton, the voice of Linkin Park and one of my favorite singers, had died. He had committed suicide by hanging himself. I went numb (!) for a few minutes. I checked a few news websites hoping against hope that it was one of those rumors doing the rounds on social media. Hell no, it was written everywhere that Chester Bennington had indeed committed suicide on 20th July, 2017. Reading the rest of the gory details was pointless.
I first heard about Linkin Park in early 2008 when I was working in New York. One of my friend and colleague had watched them play at the famous Madison Square Garden the previous evening. From his description of the evening, it was very clear that the concert was a super hit. And so I started checking out what Linkin Park was all about. Linkin Park had one more fan after I listened to Hybrid Theory & Meteora. It was difficult to place their genre of music… rock, metal, punk, rap, alternative… it was all of it and at times none of it! Their sound was distinct; the lyrics were profound and the voice of Chester Bennington was mesmerizing!
Listening to Linkin Park and Chester Bennington, it was not hard to miss the dark lyrics; the pain; the anguish; the betrayal; the sorrow; the suffering and much more in the voice and the lines. Chester was able to traverse these emotions with his screaming and soulful modulations. With all of this, he was easily the voice, the mind and the conscious for thousands of fans. For me, great music is all about the lines we always search for accompanied by the voice which perfectly emote them. Chester was a class act in this… being the voice you always wished you had and singing the lines you always wanted to say. I can’t help wonder why such talent is snuffed out all too soon… Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Hanneman… just why…???
These are but just a few of those memorable lines from Chester and Linkin Park:
“… I used to be my own protection, but not now … Cause my path has lost direction, somehow…” — Valentine’s Day, Minutes To Midnight 
“… I don’t know what’s worth fighting for Or why I have to scream. I don’t know why I instigate and say what I don’t mean…” — Breaking The Habit, Meteora 
“… When my time comes … Forget the wrong that I’ve done … Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed … ” — Leave Out All the Rest, Minutes To Midnight 
“… Shut up when I’m talking to you … Shut up, shut up, shut up … Shut up when I’m talking to you … Shut up, shut up, shut up…” — One Step Closer, Hybrind Theory 
“… You promise me the sky … Then toss me like a stone … You wrap me in your arms … And chill me to the bone…” — In Pieces, Minutes To Midnight 
“… Everyone’s shut off their minds … So I’ll turn on mine … ” — Walking In Circles, Out Of Ashes 
“ … Crawling in my skin … These wounds, they will not heal … Fear is how I fall … Confusing what is real … ” — Breaking The Habit, Meteora 
“… By becoming this all I want to do … Is be more like me and be less like you … ” — Numb, Meteora 
“… And don’t resent me … And when you’re feeling empty … Keep me in your memory … Leave out all the rest … Leave out all the rest … ” — Leave Out All the Rest, Minutes To Midnight 
“… And when I close my eyes tonight … To symphonies of blinding light … God bless us everyone … We’re a broken people living under loaded gun… ” — The Catalyst, A Thousand Suns 
“… I tried so hard … And got so far … But in the end … It doesn’t even matter … I had to fall … To lose it all … But in the end … It doesn’t even matter … ” — In The End, Hybrind Theory 
Crawling… Numb… Walking In Circles… Scream In Silence… In the end, it doesn’t even matter
R.I.P Chester Bennington… Thank You for the music. For many like me, in the end… you did matter!