Remembering Chester Bennington’s Recovery Advocacy
The music world suffered a devastating loss this week with the news of Chester Bennington’s passing. The Linkin Park frontman was found dead in his Palos Verdes home, apparently a victim of suicide. And while addiction did not seem to play a role in this tragedy, it is something Chester battled and advocated against throughout his entire professional career.
Interestingly enough, the band’s breakthrough hit, “Crawling,” chronicled Chester’s addiction history. Speaking about its massive success at the time, Bennington explained, ““[The song] is about feeling like I had no control over myself in terms of drugs and alcohol. That feeling, being able to write about it, sing about it, that song, those words sold millions of records.”
Though he was only 24 at that time, Chester had already lived through a lifetime of addiction issues. He openly admitted to first using at the age of 13, taking everything from LSD, to alcohol, to hardcore hallucinogens.
“I was a lot more confident when I was high,” he told reporters back then. “I felt like I had more control over my environment when I was on hallucinogens or drinking.”
He eventually praised the treatment process and touted continued sobriety from the mid-1990’s. By the time Linkin Park’s first few albums were released, Chester had channeled his addiction pain into powerful lyrics.
And there is no denying that Chester’s honest words were part of the band’s appeal. In total, LinkedIn Park has sold over 70 million albums; thanks very much to the presence of Bennington.
And, continuing his honest connection with fans, Chester also came clean about several instances when he fell off the wagon. In the early 2000’s following a difficult divorce, he began using again and ultimately went through an intervention organized by his fellow bandmates.
Songs like “Breaking The Habit” chronicled Chester’s relapse episodes and, again, won over the hearts of listeners. We, ourselves, our big fans of his and even used the “Breaking” lyrics as part of our social media mantra.
A particular quote Bennington gave to Noisecreep helps sum up his philosophy nicely.
“I’m not one of those guys who thinks being anonymous is all that great,” he said. “I don’t have a problem with people knowing that I had a drinking problem. That’s who I am and I’m kind of lucky in a lot of ways cause I get to do something about it. I get to grow as a person through it. It’s kind of a cool thing. It’s not cool to be an alcoholic, meaning it’s not cool to go drink and be a dumbass. It’s cool to be a part of recovery. This is just who I am, this is what I write about, what I do, and most of my work has been a reflection of what I’ve been going through in one way or another.”
Rest in Peace Chester.
Here, in his honor, are the powerful recovery lyrics that started it all.