R.I.P. Chester Bennington

by Micheal Mullenix

So one time when I lived in LA, I had spent the day moving some boxes around, clearing out a storage unit.  I was sweating, uncomfortable and miserable, and ready for a relaxing night at home, when a friend called (a Mr. Alex Kluft).  I picked up the phone and he asked “Do you want to go to a movie with Linkin Park?”  I needed a literal second to process what I was being asked, and of course my answer was “YES!”  I had 2 hours to get ready and be presentable.

The DJ from the band, Mr Hahn, had directed an independent film called “Mall” and the rest of the band provided the score.  Great movie, worth seeing, Vincent D’Onofrio is in it-what are you waiting for?  My friend invited me to the last private screening at Red Bull Studios in LA.  The next showing would be to public audiences.  How cool was that? I met Mike Shinoda, met Joe, showed them the best photos I had of them.  Then we made our way into the theater. I was seated directly ahead of the band’s reserved seats.  I took in the surreal nature of it.  “Hybrid Theory” was the first album I bought after coming back to the states for High School.  After the movie I finally got to meet Chester, and we talked, like legit conversation.  A bit about his bands (STP too), but mostly about the themes of the movie and the things we related to our protagonist.  It was one of the most memorable conversations I have ever had.  Not because of what was said, but because for a few minutes we were no longer fan and idol, but two dudes who enjoyed a movie and were discussing it.

I have met a lot of famous people before, been shoulder to shoulder with some of the biggest names in entertainment, but that was the only time someone as well-known as him was practically oblivious to his own fame.  I have memorized his songs since high school, but in that moment it wasn’t about me being a fan, simply someone else who also enjoyed a good movie.

Chester, man I’m sad to hear the news. I hope you have found whatever peace lies before us all.  If I may comment, I feel sorry that you may never know how awesome or meaningful that moment was for me.

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