I am having a real hard time with this whole Chester Bennington situation. I can’t say I was ever much of a fan, but I know a whole lot of people in the generation immediately after me who strongly identified with Linkin Park’s music the way I did with say Nirvana.
I took a bit of a shot at the band the other day, although it was only really because Linkin Park are one of the few acts from the nu metal area that are still productive. One More Light just came out (the day after Chris Cornell’s death, by the way), and the corresponding summer tour with rapper Machine Gun Kelly was due to hit Toronto’s Budweiser Stage August 8th.
Like the Soundgarden singer, Bennington seemingly had everything going for him again after years of battling demons. I can’t imagine the emotional state(s) of those closest to him, as they probably felt the same. On what would have been Cornell’s 53rd birthday, I was contemplating how to best express that you can never, ever really know what someone is truly going through mentally, how a world they no longer envision themselves being a part of would somehow be a better place. That doesn’t mean we don’t stop trying to understand.
I’ll never forget listening to Dean Blundell on the Edge ten years ago where he gave big-time props to Bennington for grinding out a full set in Australia with a broken arm. We have to all get over this stigma that you’re somehow tougher if you hold in what you may be feeling, no matter how dark the thoughts. Absolutely no one is ever alone, even if it’s a voice on the other end of a help line. Speaking of which, there is no better local resource for mental health than CAMH.
As depressing as the last year and a half or so has been – starting with Scott Weiland, who Bennington ironically replaced in STP – I haven’t completely given up my rock faith that hope can be found in music, and by the people who make it.