(This article was first published on 11 August 2017 and has been reposted from The Quint’s archives to mark the birth anniversary of Chester Bennington.)
The Curse of the Rockstar
I used to be my own protection, but not now
Cause my path has lost direction, somehow
A black wind took you away from sight
And now the darkness over day, that night.
Chester Bennington has been the voice in my head since I was 13 years old, when I bought my cassette of Linkin Park’s first album Hybrid Theory way back then.
His melodious songs about anger, pain, love, loss and passion were guides, voices of familiarity and understanding for a young soul struggling to make sense of the world.
Fifteen years later, the ferocity and grace of his voice still echoes in my most private moments, dispelling doubt and inspiring, like a cerebral spectre, invisible yet omnipresent and powerful. He was full of fury, mistrust and rebellion when I first heard him and as I grew, so did he.
Also Read: Lead Singer of Linkin Park Chester Bennington Hangs Himself at 41
As my world and understanding of the human heart expanded, Chester’s lyrics dug deeper, became more nuanced and layered, as if the world unfurled before both of us.
With time, the songs evolved from angst and despair into expressions of virtue, beautiful tragedy, hope, and longing. Each album outdid the other in capturing the flair of human struggle. His voice is always a force of conviction aiding me along life’s tedious and tumultuous road
It broke my heart when I heard that Chester Bennington killed himself, excommunicating himself from the world that admired him, just at the age of 41. His lyrics did come from a dark place, namely a history of child abuse and drug addiction, but as fans, we seldom realise that they continue to battle with demons. It is the eternal curse of the comedian and the rockstar.
They dazzle the world with powerful expression and potent emotions, but the fans screaming their name and baying for more rarely see the pain behind the showmanship.
‘For My Generation, He’s Immortal’
When darkness snuffs out such bright souls, we lament, for as we comfort ourselves with their art and try to find true meaning in it — the artist was truly crying out for help. It’s uncanny how the transcendent nature of art can be such a source of awe and woe at the same time. I listen to Chester’s song ‘Nobody’s Listening’ very differently now.
I pray Chester Bennington finds peace on the other side.
It always warms my heart to find his songs being played on the phones of my younger friends.
No matter how music evolves, the messages of those with soul power are everlasting just like the human condition, and offer comfort to all those who yearn. Chester Bennington’s music stirred that storm inside me. It helped center me and pushed me to dig deeper to finding meaning in my choices and path in life. Thank you for the inspiration. Thank you for helping me, as you say, Break away and find myself.
(The writer is a senior news editor at CNN-News18. He can be reached @Jamwalthefirst. This is a personal blog and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)
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