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Disturbed’s David Draiman Remembers Meeting Chester Bennington + Watching Linkin Park for the First Time in Touching Note

Kathy Flynn, WickedGoddessPhotography.com / Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Kathy Flynn, WickedGoddessPhotography.com / Kevin Winter, Getty Images

The news of Chester Bennington‘s tragic suicide has shocked the world of rock fans and musicians alike. As the loss of the Linkin Park singer sinks in, artists have been reflecting on the life and career of their friend and Disturbed‘s David Draiman has written a lengthy, heartfelt note (seen in full below), in remembrance of when he first met Chester and the band while Linkin Park opened for Disturbed around the time Hybrid Theory was released.

Recalling how the bands were on tour when “One Step Closer” was dominating the radio, Draiman described, “I remember sitting in our dressing room and hearing that song start during their set. It drew me out of the dressing room and I stood side stage and watched, in awe of his ferocity, precision and power. I walked back to the dressing room and said to the guys, ‘Uh oh…we’d better step up our game tonight, these guys are GOOD!'”

Offering a humorous anecdote, the Disturbed frontman remembered a red-faced moment where he changed the opening lyrics to “Crawling,” singing, “I don’t know why I have to sing like such a p–sy…it hurts me…my p–sy,” to himself as a joke, unaware that Bennington was standing directly behind him. “I turned around and noticed he was there and turned white,” stated Draiman. “Um…sorry brother! I didn’t mean anything by it! I have mad respect for you! Just playing around!!”, he said. Bennington dished out a quick-witted response, saying, “Well at least I actually sing, not just make noises like ‘Oooh wah ah ah ah’ and ‘Ugh, ugh!!! [laughing].” Admitting defeat, Draimain told him, “You got me brother… [laughs] much love.”

Having met Bennington’s family, Draiman also added that the singer was a “loving father” and adored his children.

Turning to more recent memories, Draiman recalled beung humbled by Bennington’s high praise of Disturbed’s “The Sound of Silence” performance on Conan, exclaiming, “Dude! That was f–king amazing!!! I had no idea you could sing like that!!! Why don’t you sing that way more often???!!” Returning the favor, Draiman spoke to Bennington about Linkin Park’s divisive new album, One More Light, telling the singer, “It took great courage to break new ground stylistically for the band and that the song (‘Heavy’) was a HUGE HOOK and to pay no mind to the idiots out there who didn’t get it.”

Draiman learned of Bennington’s apparent suicide while his wife and son were swimming outside. “I remember feeling the hot stinging tears streaming down my face as I watched my wife and son playing, with a greater appreciation for them, and my life, than ever…SHOCKED and in disbelief of what I had just been told,” he detailed.

In closing, the Disturbed singer said, “I remember Chester Charles Bennington …I cherished and admired him… and for all the reasons I listed above, and many more… I will never forget him.”

Yesterday (July 20), Bennington was reportedly found dead at a private residence in Los Angeles around 9AM, which was also the same time Linkin Park released a new music video for “Talking to Myself.” The band was slated to launch a North American tour in support of One More Light on July 27. Since the news broke, dozens of members of the rock community have taken to social media in reaction to this tragedy.

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