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

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

Chester Bennington photo by Ethan Miller

As we had looked up to Chester Bennington, he also had his own share of rock heroes he admired growing up.

I know for a fact through watching a documentary about Linkin Park years ago that two of Chester Bennington’s rock heroes were Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots and Chris Cornell of Soundgarden.

Can you imagine the overwhelming sadness he must have felt after knowing that they died practically one after the other? And when you are already suffering from depression as he was, that condition was surely compounded multiple times which must have become too much to bear for him.

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Do people remember when Chester Bennington became the new lead vocalist of Stone Tempe Pilots a few years ago? In fact, I wrote an article about Chester Bennington becoming the new lead vocalist of Stone Temple Pilots in my article entitled: Chester Bennington conquering a ‘new divide’ dated June 8, 2013. At that point, Scott Weiland, the original lead vocalist of Stone Temple Pilots, was already battling his own inner demons with substance abuse which was a serious problem that would plague and hound Scott Weiland practically his entire life until it would ultimately take his life.

Chester Bennington took up the offer from the DeLeon brothers of Stone Tempe Pilots to fill in the vacant position that Scott Weiland had left behind because that is how much he admired the songs of Scott Weiland and how much he respected the band that he would not want the band to continue without having a suitable replacement for Scott Weiland. Who better replacement was there left for Scott Weiland than he, Chester Bennington, himself?

I have watched interviews wherein Chester Bennington stated that he was not there to replace Scott Weiland but to help continue the legacy of Stone Temple Pilots, a band that he idolized growing up and whose music helped him get through hard times in his young life. He stated that Stone Temple Pilots will always be Scott Weiland’s band, not his. That is how much respect and admiration Chester Bennington had for Scott Weiland who sadly passed away a few years ago.

For approximately 2 years, Chester Bennington had two bands, one was Linkin Park and the other, Stone Temple Pilots, until he had to eventually give up being the frontman of Stone Temple Pilots because Linkin Park was his first love. He was able to live out one of his lifelong dreams of being able to front for Stone Temple Pilots for the time that he did. He knew, though, that he had to return full-time to Linkin Park, which he did eventually.

I wish they could have kept an eye on Chester Bennington especially after the death of Scott Weiland because it was at that point where his depression went into a downward spiral. And when Chris Cornell of Soundgarden took his life, too, I think that pushed Chester Bennington over the edge. Again, I wish they had never left Chester Bennington alone knowing that he suffered from depression since his childhood years. But there is nothing we can do now since what has happened has happened. There is nothing anymore that can change that.

Rightfully so, there has been a recent uproar to look after the remaining rock heroes such as Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam to help prevent another act of suicide. I am just one of so many hoping that some kind of treatment program or intervention would take place for the rock heroes we still have around to ensure that they are not secretly suffering from depression or are having any suicidal thoughts. Another case of suicide can be averted if the right people come into the picture and raise this as a serious matter that must be addressed immediately within the music industry before it becomes too late again for the other rock heroes remaining.

Indeed, life is so short. It passes us by all too quickly when we are not looking. Each time a rock hero, a rock icon, or rock legend dies whether of natural causes or not, we are reminded to be kinder to the people around us, to give importance to the people who truly care for us, and to maximize our time on earth doing what we can to help improve the lives of others in any way we can no matter what our profession may be.

Chester Bennington did not die in vain. He had a positive and resounding impact on all the followers and fans of his band Linkin Park through his songs. He was a gentle soul and he had a good heart.

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Chester Bennington’s death should serve as a last wake-up call for all of us to never take for granted our rock heroes. I never do. In fact, I have written about Chester Bennington here on my column MusicMatters in Inquirer.net, and his band Linkin Park a total of six times already since 2013. And this will be the seventh time.

That is how much the music of Chester Bennington meant to me. I was never all talk and no action. I put into words my thoughts in my articles that are exclusive to Inquirer.net. I was never the type who would talk openly nor post anywhere in social media my thoughts about my own rock heroes like Chester Bennington. Whatever I had to say and wanted to say, I put them all in those articles of mine.

I am so happy now that in my own way, I had given tribute and homage many times to one of my rock heroes, Chester Bennington, while he was still alive!

Upon deeper reflection, I can say that the music industry has lost one of the strongest, distinctive, and most beloved voices to have ever come along in Rock and Roll and in the music industry as a whole. Chester Bennington did not sound like anyone else. Truly, he had a signature singing style that was his own. He will always be remembered for that.

God bless you, Chester Bennington! May our paths cross one day in the afterlife so that I can tell you how much your music meant to me. As was on earth, I am sure there is already a very long line of fans now there who want to talk to you and tell you how much your music spoke to them.

Till then, we are all “One Step Closer”, “In The End.”

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