My Brush With Chester Bennington of Linkin Park

posted by Mike Steele -


When I began working at KLBJ in Austin, there were bands (especially local/regional) that I had to familiarize myself with. One of them was a metal band called The Union Underground. In May of 2000, two months after I moved from Pittsburgh to Austin, they played a gig at a venue called the Back Room. 

As I walked in, the opening band was playing the last couple songs of their set. It was Linkin Park, whose debut album "Hybrid Theory" wouldn't be released for another five months. I introduced myself after the show and chatted with Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda. They were both humble, soft-spoken guys, and gave me a cassette single with two songs on it. 


The next day, I approached the program director of the alternative rock station in the building (101X), handing her the songs and giving my high recommendation. However, she was one of those PDs who didn't think there was a good idea unless it was hers. 

In retrospect, I should have kept the memento. Who knew, at the time, that Linkin Park would become multi million-selling band. 

RIP, Chester.

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