A favorite memory of mine was meeting Chester Bennington of Linkin Park…I had an accident at their concert and was knocked unconscious by a crowd surfer. One moment I was so happy to be at the the very front clinging to the barricade taking these photos and the next thing I remember was being carried out by a security guard to the emergency clinic.  After I had recovered a bit, I was upset to realize that I had missed most of their show.

Once I was released, I ran backstage to meet the band with the rest of the LPUers. I was so embarrassed because my face was a bloody mess (I had my nose broken and a busted face), but I also didn’t want to miss the opportunity to meet the band.  I told myself – what if I never get this chance again? I’m so glad I made that decision, because I never did. 

Chester was the band member who stopped to talk to me and sincerely asked me how I was doing and what had happened – he was just so sweet and caring. I had several photos I wanted the band to sign, and since the signing limit was one, I grabbed one and held it out to him.  He looked at me and whispered, “give them all to me – I’ll sign and pass it down – let’s see how far they get”.  His kindness instantly made me a Chester fan for life. I remember walking away thinking ‘what an awesome guy’. Now 17 years later and I still love him and the band as much as when I first heard them.

In May, I fell in love with their new “One More Light” album and was so excited to see them again in Texas and was looking forward to meeting them again…I was counting down the days. But, now, instead of being so happy, I am utterly heartbroken. It’s like a part of me has died. The music that once used to comfort me and drag me out from my darkness now causes pain…I can’t hear his voice without crying. I still can’t believe he’s gone…I don’t want to believe.

Sorry for the bad quality of the photos – they are from 2002.