Remembering the Time Chester Bennington Was My Drinking Partner
It is another tragic day for the rock world. Another legendary vocalist has passed. Chester Bennington, of Linkin Park, was found DEAD at his home in California.
With all the tragedy in the world everyday, it has gotten to the point where we are almost callused. After learning of Chester's death, we've also come to find he was a close friend to Chris Cornell. Today would have been Cornell's 53rd birthday. Two amazing vocalists gone in a matter of months.
My best tip for dealing with loss is to share a fun story about that person. It makes you feel like even though they are gone, the memories are still there.
So here we go...
Back in 2003, Linkin Park's "Project Revolution Tour" made a stop in Billings, MT. I made the roadtrip, and somehow managed to weasel my way backstage. I was sitting on a couch back by all the gear boxes when I first met Chester Bennington. He invited me to make a sandwich and chill. As he and I chewed the turkey, Chester told me stories about his dog and his kids. It was like we had been friends for years and were just catching up.
Soon after their opening set, the band Blindside came into the couch area and reached into a cooler full of Heineken keg cans. They tossed both me and Chester a cold beer, and then challenged us to a good ol' fashioned chug. Chester was just about to go on stage, and was reluctant at first. But after Blindside, a Swedish band, called out our skills as Americans to drink beer, Chester had to take one. Not just for the team, but for our country. As members of Blindside counted to "three" in broken English, we took a deep breath and showed them how AMERICANS DRINK BEER. He gave me a fist bump and went back to his dressing room.
It will always be one of my fondest backstage memories of any concert, ever.
R.I.P. CHESTER BENNINGTON