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Honoring the fallen: Chester Bennington (Part 1 of 2)

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MUSIC MATTERS

Honoring the fallen: Chester Bennington (Part 1 of 2)

12:00 AM July 25, 2017

Chester Bennington photo by Mariana Hu

Writing this article is very tough for me because I feel it may be too soon to share my thoughts on the passing of Chester Bennington as I still am in a state of disbelief and trying to accept that he is no longer with us. It is beyond heartbreaking for me that Chester Bennington took his life. I am still trying to comprehend why someone whose voice has been heard and enjoyed by so many from the world over since the year 2000 and who was a celebrated artist in the music industry would end up committing suicide.

I am finding myself in a state of limbo as of late with so many rock heroes, rock icons, and rock legends leaving us permanently, one after another. It feels like a nightmare I have yet to wake up from. There is no other way to say this but what the f*** is happening ?! It does make you want to scream already! After giving it much thought and contemplating if I should write this article or not, I realized that writing this would be therapeutic for me and will be a way of releasing the pain, sadness, and frustration I feel inside me since waking up to this tragic and shocking news Friday morning here in the Philippines.

When Scott Weiland died, I was hoping that there would be no other rock hero who would follow him in the years to come whether it be from natural causes or not because the sheer number of them who are now gone has been staggering and overwhelming as it is already. First, it was Scott Weiland, then Chris Cornell. And now, Chester Bennington!!! All three of them within a span of less than two years.

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Scott Weiland died due to his many years of substance abuse. He ended up overdosing on prescription medicine. Both Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington had had their bouts with depression over the years and were trying valiantly to defeat this disease practically their entire lives. It seems clearer now as to the reasons which led Chester Bennington to take his own life.

Most people do not know that Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington struggled with depression throughout the majority of their personal life and professional career and it is perfectly understandable why they rarely ever talked about it openly and why their respective managements tried to keep it under wraps as much as they could do so. I believe Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington did not want their fans to worry about them. They really did care for their fans and that is an admirable trait they had that has to be known.

Both Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell established a strong and genuine connection with their fans and it is that rare quality about them that made them so beloved to so many. That artist-fan bond was real and unshakable. The same can be said also of Scott Weiland but in his case it was public knowledge that he had a severe problem related to heroin addiction and, of course, people wanted him to get better.

The top two killers of our rock heroes are illegal drugs and depression.

Now, on to a brighter note.

It never escapes my mind that music is such a powerful tool. It literally can pull you up from your darkest and lowest moments in life and provide you with more than a glimmer of hope that there will be a better tomorrow to wake up to. I believe that through the songs of Chester Bennington as the lead vocalist of Linkin Park he has given all of us those inspirational times and uplifting moments covering the different years in our lives.

Since I was in first year high school when I first got to watch for the very first time the music video for “One Step Closer” from their major label debut ‘Hybrid Theory’ I became a fan of Linkin Park… and that was seventeen years ago. Literally, I grew up with the music of Linkin Park during my early teens moving forward.

Until I became an adult, and then a columnist, I never would forget to write about Linkin Park every now and then. Proof of this is that since 2013 I have written about Linkin Park a total of five times already and this will be the sixth time. In fact, the fifth time I had written about them was only about two months ago in my article entitled “Is the backlash against Linkin Park Justified?” which was posted (exclusively) here on Inquirer.net on May 16, 2017.

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Another thing is that there are so many songs of Linkin Park that I can think of that had themes and specific lines that still stick out in my mind to this very day. The songs of Linkin Park are truly memorable which is why I keep listening to them to this very day.

Linkin Park was always a great alternative to all the pop that was still invading the airwaves in the early 2000’s. This was one rock band, meaning a real band, that I am so thankful that their music videos got put into regular rotation in local music channels and their songs got a lot of radio airplay also. Sure, they were popular but they were popular in a good way, meaning all the following they had was because their music was that great and you could not get enough of it. Linkin Park is such an awesome band to begin with that there is no other band like them.

There was never a time wherein I felt like listening to the songs of Linkin Park seemed “corny” or cheesy to me. Even with some white hair I have now on my head, I still listen to the songs of Linkin Park especially the ones I first got to hear during my high school years. Listening to those songs takes me back to a different time and that is proof of how superior the quality of their songs are that they do not feel “old” to me.

The songs of Linkin Park still sound as fresh and powerful to me as they were all those years ago. There is such a potent energy behind those songs that make them seem so alive, perpetually revved up, and singularly theirs.

The music of Linkin Park was and still is so enjoyable to listen to. Proof of the songs being timeless is that no matter how old we already are we still keep listening to them. This is especially true here in the Philippines where Linkin Park has always had a huge and loyal following.

(End of Part 1)

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TAGS: Chester Bennington, Entertainment, Joseph Atilano, Linkin Park, Music Matters, news
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