Is ROCK really dead or are the ROCKSTARS just dying. That might sound rough, but we lost another one today.
Chester Bennington from Linkin Park committed suicide.
This one is hitting me differently. When we lost Chris Cornell that was losing a hero and an influence. With Chester…it feels like I lost a peer.
I’ve met and worked with a lot of artist over the years and Chester wasn’t one of them, but when Linkin Park first broke out, I was working for BMG and even though they weren’t on the label, I remember getting the CD from an excited Warner rep who told me these guys were going to big.
From there I watched them grow from ‘just another Nu-Metal band’ to musical trendsetters and global dominators. Hit after hit was released, heck my band even covered “One Step Closer”. They had songs on some of my favorite movie soundtracks and Chester went on to do more outside of Linkin Park, singing and releasing songs with Motley Crue, Stone Temple Pilots and even partnering with Santana and Chris Cornell.
He wasn’t a peer in the traditional sense, but his time in the music industry started around the same time mine did, and even though a lot of what he accomplished was stuff I only dreamed of doing, we did have other similarities. He was 41. He was a father. He was battling depression and he was a member of my generation, Generation X. Maybe peer was the wrong word…but I don’t know how else to explain it. It’s like hearing someone you went to high school with, but never talked to or interacted with died. You didn’t know them…but you did. You went to high school together. You wonder “What if I would’ve talked to him in high school, maybe we’d be friends now”. Then you feel a sense of lose, a sense of mortality, a sense of vulnerability and an extreme sense of unfairness.
I didn’t know Chester Bennington, but we were both from the same generation. I knew his music. I knew his story and it sucks that both had to end.