Chester Bennington R.I.P.

Sometimes, taste in music is irrelevant.

I saw this update on my Facebook feed just now: “Lots of closet Linkin Park fans. Awful band.” I blocked the offender immediately. As Chris Estey rightfully commented, “This is messed up. This has nothing to do with what someone thinks of a band, and more-so, people need to have some freaking etiquette.”

Even if Chester Bennington hadn’t killed himself, I still would have the same reaction. The fact the dude killed himself – and left behind six children – simply amplifies my reaction. Gut instinct. You don’t go bagging on somebody when tragedy strikes.

Sometimes, you need to take a step backward and look at the bigger picture. It’s not about being generous, not even social etiquette. Not really. Rock’n’roll ain’t genocide. It ain’t rampant deforestation. It’s entertainment, escapism, release – a way of expressing emotions that you yourself might have trouble articulating or want to feel that someone else understands, or perhaps you just want the fuck to scream out or dance. Linkin Park’s music reached millions of people, made them feel better about themselves and their lives, gave them the strength to carry on through the next hour, the next minute; gave them plenty of reasons to be cheerful as well, gave them something to look forward to, dance to, fuck to, argue to, breathe through. I didn’t personally like Linkin Park but that is so totally irrelevant I’ve actually struck through that sentence eight, no nine times before allowing it to stand because I’m trying to make a point here. I know all of this whether I like Linkin Park or not because that is what the fuck rock’n’roll does, and if we have even one less practitioner, one less star in the burning firmament not adding to its brilliance, not radiating hope and enjoyment and emotion and pulling shit-kicking mic stand moves then we are all the worse off for it. All of us. Whether you like their music or not.

I’ll leave it to a mate for the eulogy. “[Chester Bennington] contributed to 13 year-olds in 2001 what NiN did in 1991 and Pink Floyd did in 1981: the sense that however lonely and misunderstood you feel, someone else has been through it and understands exactly what it’s like. Also, he had a lovely voice and their early songs were great pop tunes.”

However lonely and misunderstood you feel, someone else has been through it and understands exactly what it’s like.

Rest in peace, mate. And thank you.

7 Responses to Chester Bennington R.I.P.

  1. bradscorner1 says:

    All of which is true, and then there are the closet Linkin Park fans that just started downloading the back catalogue when they heard the news. That’s the status. That happens. Get over it. And ffs, get over Pink Floyd. They never made my loneliness understood, they just lined their pockets and all who had eyes could see that.

  2. themesradio says:

    Linkin Park was not a Nirvana. I cannot imagine a credible connection between them and their audience, the band might as well have been created by Simon Cowell. Here was a young man that had no worries about paying the mortgage but now leaves behind six kids without a dad. Onwards and upwards.

    • everetttrue says:

      You do not understand the first thing about rock’n’roll.

      • themesradio says:

        They changed their band name to accommodate a web domain. But it is very sad for the kids. I own seven inches by The Legend! Sure I understand rock’n’roll, you wrote a column for my fanzine years ago

        • Chris Wilson says:

          “Here was a young man that had no worries about paying the mortgage but now leaves behind six kids without a dad.” The dude had a pretty rough upbringing (a simple Google search would tell you that). To think money alone can quell physical and emotional trauma like that is quite an idealistic take on capitalism.

  3. Lauren says:

    I’ve been really impacted by this despite not being a fan because so many people I grew up with were and really connected with the music. Some who are no longer here and went the same way as Chester. It is all very heartbreaking. Thank you for writing this.

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