It’s sad that the incredible talent given to many musicians is burdened by demons such as addiction, anxiety, and depression. It’s sad that so much of the music that they give us is inspired by struggles that fuel those demons and can feel so unsurmountable. It’s sad to think of all of the people those musicians have helped with their music, only to succumb to the darkness themselves in the end.
We have lost another great musician with the passing of Chester Bennington. Bennington’s band Linkin Park realized the climax of the so-called nu-metal movement with their album Hybrid Theory, which successfully brought to the mainstream a combination of metal and pop (hence the “Hybrid”). The style that Linkin Park created resulted in accolades for the band and their albums as they continued to explore combining musical styles. Ultimately, though, it was the intensity, emotional depth, and point blank honesty in Bennington’s lyrics and delivery which resonated with so many.
A particularly gorgeous rendition of one of Linkin Park’s songs is Scott D. Davis‘s piano take on “In the End”. The melody is highly effective even without the support of a band.
Bennington and Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell were close friends, with Bennington even singing “Hallelujah” at Cornell’s recent funeral. Whether it is coincidence or not that Bennington passed away on Cornell’s birthday, their bond was undeniable. Bennington’s open letter to his friend upon his passing:
“Thoughts of you flooded my mind and I wept. I’m still weeping, with sadness, as well as gratitude for having shared some very special moments with you and your beautiful family. You have inspired me in many ways you could never have known. Your talent was pure and unrivaled. Your voice was joy and pain, anger and forgiveness, love and heartache all wrapped up into one. I suppose that’s what we all are. You helped me understand that….I can’t imagine a world without you in it”.
Much of the praise Bennington bestowed on his dear friend was also showered on him by so many of the people he inspired. So we leave you with “Hunger Strike”, a cover of Temple of the Dog (with Bennington singing Eddie Veder’s part) recorded during the 2007/2008 tour of Linkin Park and Chris Cornell. R.I.P. Chester.