It was the summer of my 9th standard, 2009, not even a year after the revolutionary album Rock On was released. It was one of those sunny days, after playing for around two hours on the terrace of my friend's house, we both sat down and I asked him to play rock on, he took out his Walkman saying his classmate gave him some new songs, which were awesome too. Even though he didn't know the song's name, he shoved one earphone in my ear and played it and that moment my journey began with rock music. That song was "In the End" by Linkin Park. Although, I must say that wasn't my first English song either, I've had heard quite a few English songs by then but not of any rock bands and I definitely don't know why I remember that particular moment so much. Maybe because that moment right there, somehow carved the music I listened to in the next 8 years.
When I say the internet was taken by storm, I meant majority of FB and Twitter were devastated over both these guy's deaths in India and the majority here on any social media platform are the people who were born in the 80's and 90's and many people of that era. Many of us were introduced to Linkin Park and Soundgarden when we were in 7th, 8th or 9th standards. For many us, linkin park was the first band, who introduced us to "rock music". Until that point, believe me I really felt all the party songs are Rock songs. So these songs bridged our way to Beatles or led Zeppelin or Metallica. Eventually somewhere down the line, if we wouldn't have listened to Linkin Park or Soundgarden, we might not have discovered a whole genre of music, not that early atleast.
Another thing that "In the End" and "Numb" taught me was that I'm not alone, there are many others like me who are suffering and it's okay to scream out loud when you're bombarded from all directions. Till that point on, all the English songs we would hear were all peppy or party numbers. Even in Bollywood, there would be either love tracks or break up tracks or party tracks, what if you were not in that mood, what if you're just feeling low without going through a break up. It was also that " teenager phase" in life, when you'd think all elders are for some strange reason against you. In came Linkin park and I felt those lyrics were just written for me to scream. There's no one time that I've listened to "Castle of Glass" and I haven't got goosebumps all over and believe me no other song ever does that to me .
Another reason why I am personally connected to Chester Bennington is because he helped me woo girls in my school days. Linkin park's were the only English songs, whole lyrics I knew by heart with beats because MJ's used to be dance music, Akon's music needed an accent and for shakira's you don't have a female voice and if you could sing an English song in my school then it used to be the "dude" ladkiya mile na mile wo alag baat. "In the end" also taught me that saying fuck isn't that a big deal either.
So obviously if a whole generation or as I would like to say if two whole generations were introduced to the world of rock music through these two legends then the Indian social media, which constitutes of these two generations is sure to breakdown because they were the cause of so many memories we had of our younger life. Like I said, I remember the whole situation when I was introduced to Linkin park moment to moment, like it happened only yesterday and also knowingly or unknowingly, I chose to be friends with my current friends because back in those days we all had a common interest called Linkin park, so if you are this emotionally attached to few bands and their lead vocalists and both died in a month's gap, the internet is definitely gonna be flooded.
PS :: I purposefully didn't discuss Chester committing suicide because it was his personal choice and I don't think we should have a say in his personal choices without knowing what he was going through. although you might differ with me over this point and it's totally fine. I also don't think all his songs were indicating that he's suicidal either, my question to those saying that would be "where were you when he released those albums?".
February 14, 2018