“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”
― Frank Zappa
'Can I get a show of hands of people that don't really know Linkin Park? You don't have any Linkin Park music. Don't be shy, I know there's a bunch of you. Okay, so after we play tonight, just for you guys, we have an album coming out in the summer this year […]. All of you guys who raised your hands, who are about to hear what we're gonna do right now.. DO NOT buy our album based on this performance, because our album that comes out this year is really loud it’s gonna give you a heart attack! It’s not acoustic, it’s not piano and vocal. Tonight is really tune down performance just for you guys ‘cause it’s dinner and we thought that, you know, hard rock/heavy metal is not gonna be so cool for you tonight.’
"It’s partially because, you know, what do you say about one of your best friends in the world when you’re talking about a decision he made which is one of the most important decisions he’s ever made, you know? I met Chester around 1997 and I just started the band a few years earlier and we had a handful of songs that I recorded, we recorded on a cassette for a track in my bedroom… - it was a task yeah, and we were trying to find a singer, we were in LA and he was in Arizona and we mailed him this cassette of the stuff and we gave him a regular version and an instrumental version and we asked him to sing over it and to send it back to us and I don’t think any of us expected what he was about to do.
He literally walked out on his own birthday party to record to our demo [laughs] and… - I mean just think about it, like who has the nerve to do that? Who does that? This guy, you know, he just, we were nobodies and the songs he heard on the tape they weren’t hits it wasn’t like…- you know, In The End wasn’t on the demo, it was just some demos. He just had the sense of what he needed to do and he dropped everything else to go do it and I think that shows, that highlights one of the most striking qualities about Chester and that’s his level of commitment to something that he believes in.
Ten years later I got another reminder of that quality when we were on stage in Australia at the beginning of our set, like three or four songs in, he jumped off one of the risers, he fell and he broke his arm, like in very the beginning of set. It was at the end of the song, we took him backstage, he’s icing it and we were asking like, what do we do? Is it broken? It’s definitely broken. And we asked him what he wanted to do, you know, because we obviously thought we should get to the hospital and we just have to cut the show short and he says: „Well, it’s gonna be just as broken at the end of the night, I might as well just play the whole show“ [laughs]. I mean the guy, when he believes in something he commits and tonight we’re honoring that, we’re giving thanks to Chester for his commitment not only commiting to things, you know, to the band and all that but also his commitment to other people.
As you know with Chester my bandmates and I share in an effort helping victims of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, Japan’s tsunami in 2011, most recently, the hurricane in Moore, Oklahoma, via our non-profit Music For Relief […]. He just cares about people in a way that is so profound and so special and tonight we and MusiCares honor and give thanks to his commitment to help recovering addicts and we celebrate Chester’s commitment to his own health and sobriety and just for the record: getting sober is the single most powerful thing that he has ever done for the longevity of Linkin Park and I’m intensely grateful for that. So you know, we simply wanna say “Congratulations” and thank you to a one of a kind talent, a passionate and giving friend, a consummate professional with a huge heart and a legendary voice. This year’s recipient of the Stevie Ray Vaughan’s award, Mr. Chester Bennington!”
- Mike’s speech to Chester at MusiCares on May 30, 2013 [x]