On LP & Chester
I’ve listened to Linkin Park since I was 17 years old. I’m 34. That’s half my life.
Truth be told, I wasn’t always the most dedicated of fans. I only saw you in concert once in 2006/7. I owned one shirt from the band in 17 years that I outgrew and lost. Never bought any other merch. New albums would come out and I’d wait a month or two to buy it. Once I waited a year. Some of the albums took several listens before I got into them. But I always got into them because at the end of the day what got me was the lyrics not just the music itself. I followed the band on social media at a minimum level. Only band I ever followed. But even though I wasn’t an ultra fan I was still a fan.
At first, I didn’t understand why your sound changed. But I was always willing to hear your new music because I understood that we all had to grow up eventually even musically.
I grew up along with LP. And I looked forward to your newest sound. Your next concert and tour in October. I had plans to go see you because I found myself looking forward to listening to old songs from Hybrid Theory mixed in with new songs from One More Light. I could almost put together a story with all of your songs from seven studio albums in my head. A story of pain, overcoming that pain, and glory. I really was looking forward to seeing you a decade after that first concert. All of you. Chester, Mike, Rob, Brad, Phoenix, and Joe.
I’m not going to analyze every single way a song of yours spoke to me. Bottom line: Your pain was my pain. We fought similar battles. Your music gave me hope.
It didn’t mean your pain left you. It just mellowed. It tired you. It changed along with your age. I actually understand this only too well. I wish you could see how much love you left behind.
I never met you in person. You’re a literal stranger. I have no reason to grieve and mourn. Yet. I am so heartbroken. You gave us your words and pain and shared it with us. And we just took it greedily and felt accepted. Your words were a healing balm to our broken souls.
And now you’re gone. Your voice and talent is gone forever. Your story is over. I have no words about the way you chose to go. You’re not a coward. You’re not brave. You’re not selfish. I just wish you hadn’t. But I also understand why. I really understand why. Depression is a bitch. I still wish it wasn’t true.
I am going to be sad for a really long time. I won’t be able to listen to LP songs the same way again.
Either way, regardless of how I feel now or in the future, thank you.
Thank you, Chester. For being brave enough to share your story openly. To share your grief musically on a stage. To be real about substance/sexual abuse and depression in interviews. I hope you found the peace you needed.
And to your bandmates: Guys. You not only lost a coworker but a dear friend. Take all the time you need to grieve and mourn. You don’t owe us anything.