Chester Bennington Was Upbeat a Week Before He Died, Friend Says

Late Linkin Park and Grey Daze vocalist Chester Bennington did nothing to indicate to his longtime friend, Sean Dowdell, also Grey Daze’s drummer, that he was ready to take his life a week before he died.

That’s what Dowdell shared in a new interview with Audio Ink Radio that emerged on Monday. Looking back on the days leading up to July 20, 2017, that date that Bennington died by suicide, the Grey Daze bandmate said the Linkin Park singer came off as upbeat in conversation with him. However, Dowdell’s wife did notice a change in Bennington’s behavior sometime before.

Dowdell recalled that “over the years, [Bennington] did struggle in several different areas. … But in the weeks and months leading up to his life-ending choice, I guess is the best way I can put that, I did not sense anything. I talked to him two nights before he passed, and he was on top of the world. He was excited about starting rehearsals. He was excited about a lot of things. … I didn’t sense anything.”

The Grey Daze drummer continued, “Now, eight or nine months before that, my wife sensed something in him and said, ‘Chester’s not right. Something’s off.'” And I said, ‘No, no, he’s just trying to go for a new look for whatever.’ And she said, ‘No, I can see something in his eyes.’ And she literally said that to me. And I just blew it off like, no, I don’t think so. And then, of course, what happened, happened. It’s easy to look back and go, Oh, yeah, she saw it. But you never truly know what’s happening in someone’s mind.”

Dowdell’s recollection of Bennington’s demeanor only 48 hours before the singer’s death goes to show that someone in the throes of depression, even contemplating suicide, can still act jovially for others.

“Had Chester been rationally thinking,” Dowdell reflected, “I don’t think he would have done what he did at all. I just think that’s what depression does. It removes the rational thought processes from the moment that you take that choice, and sometimes there’s somebody there to help talk you out of it … or to distract you away from it, but the way this happened, it didn’t.”

Asked what he remembers most about Bennington, Dowdell pointed to the late singer’s sense of humor.

“We had a really stupid sense of humor together,” he said. “We’d joke about the dumbest things and call each other and just talk about music and life and surfing or working out. Just, everyday stuff. He was just a normal guy, and he was a good friend, and I miss that part of him, just his sense of humor. I had some of the most fun and funniest moments of my life were hanging out with that guy.”

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website. Resource information is provided for free as well as a chat message service. To speak directly to a professional, call 1-800-273-8255. You are not alone and help is available. Every life is important.

Rockers We Lost in 2020

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15 Rock Releases That Sold For Over $3,500 in 2020

Is there a limit to how much money you would spend on a cherished recording from your favorite band? Discogs, a music database and marketplace for collectors and sellers alike, recently published its list of the 50 most expensive releases sold on their site in 2020, and a number of rock artists such as Nirvana and the pre-Linkin Park band Xero, all made the cut, selling for $3,500 or more.

The list is littered with box sets, rare pressing, 7″ singles, demo cassettes and more, proving that a variety of formats all have their own unique worth. And then there’s that 48 LP set from Led Zeppelin that somehow doesn’t come with its own set of wheels, so enjoy lugging that around, whoever laid out over $6,000 for it.

One Nirvana 7″ single, “Love Buzz” / “Big Cheese” even made an appearance three times on the 2020 chart, having sold for $3,573.88, $3,799.99 and $3,998.99.

The only cassette tape to crack the Top 50 is by Xero, the pre-Linkin Park band that featured singer Mark Wakefield. The rare 1997 recording went for a flat $4,500.

Also of note, Discogs’ appears to have erroneously listed the same release, a 1982 EP, twice, first at No. 50 and again at No. 12. The No. 50 ranking displays the price seen again later on, and does not match the the ranking in which each price listed is greater than the one that preceded it.

See the 15 most expensive rock releases sold on Discogs last year directly below. Also, we’ve listed the top-selling release, which went for an eye-popping $41,095.89.

Discogs’ 50 Most Expensive Recordings Sold in 2020 — Rock Releases

49. $3,500 — David Bowie, Five Years (1969 – 1973) Box Set (2015)

47. $3,573.88 — Nirvana, “Love Buzz” / “Big Cheese” 7″ Single (1988)

38. $3,750 — Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II 4LP set (2008)

37. $3,799 — The Queers, “Love Me” 7″ single (1982)

36. $3,799.99 — Nirvana, “Love Buzz” / “Big Cheese” 7″ Single (1988)

34. $3,846.15 — Sex Pistols, Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols pre main press + single-sided 7″ single (1977)

31. $3,998.99 — Nirvana, “Love Buzz” / “Big Cheese” 7″ Single (1988)

28. $4,000 — The Queers, “Love Me” 7″ single (1982)

23. $4,494.38 — Sex Pistols, “Did You Know Wrong” acetate 10″ single (1977)

22. $4,500 — Xero (pre-Linkin Park), Xero demo cassette (1997)

19. $4,729.73 — Joy Division, “An Ideal for Living” 7″ single (1978)

14. $5,484.15 — David Bowie, The Next Day limited-edition numbered blue double vinyl (2019)

12. $5499.99 — Negative Approach, Negative Approach 7″ EP (1982)

7. $6,341.46 — Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin 48 LP box set (2006)

4. $6,500 — Pink Floyd, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn LP (1967)

For Fun – The Most Expensive Recording Sold on Discogs in 2020

1. $41,095.89 Scaramanga Silk, “Choose Your Weapon” 12″ single + promo CDr (2008)

20 Best Selling Hard Rock + Metal Albums in the United States

16 Most Expensive Guitars of All Time

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Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda Gets in on Crypto ‘NFT Art’ Craze

Linkin Park‘s Mike Shinoda has sold his first piece of crypto art using the NFT (non-fungible token) cryptocurrency, the musician joining the booming trend where creators trade one-of-a-kind works for the special type of cryptographic token while retaining the art’s copyright.

Shinoda put the digital artwork, called “One Hundredth Stream,” up for sale on the crypto-driven online marketplace Zora last week. Midway through Sunday (Feb. 7), as Decrypt reported, the composition’s highest bid came in at 18,000 DAI, a stablecoin cryptocurrency that closely parallels the U.S. dollar — meaning users valued it at around $18,000. Later that same day, Zora announced that Shinoda had accepted a bid equaling $30,000 (200 WETH), and the musician plans to donate that to charity.

For those unfamiliar with the various NFT types and their exchange rates, investing platform Coindesk explains that NFTs are independently unique and “cannot be directly exchanged with one another. … Even those that exist on the same platform, game or in the same collection. Think of them as festival tickets. Each ticket contains specific information including the purchaser’s name, the date of the event and the venue. This data makes it impossible for festival tickets to be traded with one another.”

In a Feb. 6 Twitter thread, Shinoda explained the basics of NFT art’s terms and the ownership of the work.

“The [NFT] I posted will be (must be, by design) 1 of 1,” the musician said. “What you own: the file (art?) I uploaded on the http://zora.co platform. I can’t upload that file again. You don’t own the ‘song’ or ‘master’ or ‘copyright,’ but you own the file. For example, if I write an original lyric on a piece of paper, I own that lyric. If you buy that piece of paper, you own that paper. And it is one-of-a-kind. In this case, you get a certificate of authenticity via blockchain that you are the sole owner.”

He further asserted that creators have been “commodified by platforms forever. Here, the value of your work/art/idea is defined by the market. This NFT started at $0. Apparently, people think this creation is worth a lot more. For those wondering what we’re talking about. More to come…”

Another tweet saw Shinoda dedicating the $30,000 “to the ‘Michael K Shinoda Endowed Scholarship’ at [ArtCenter College of Design] to benefit students based on artistic merit and financial need.”

Following the successful process of crypto-exchanging “One Hundredth Stream,” Shinoda has uploaded additional pieces of NFT art, including the compositions “Distractions” and “Nutrition.”

15 Things Musicians Did to Help Us Survive 2020 Without Concerts

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Matt Heafy + Mike Shinoda to Collaborate on Song on Twitch

Twitch really took off as a social media platform in 2020 with rockers Matt Heafy of Trivium and Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park really exploring the capabilities of connecting with their fans in unique ways. Now fans of the two musicians are about to get a cool collaboration between the pair.

Shinoda and Heafy have both posted that Shinoda will be using his production skills to finish a new Heafy. This collaboration will happen via Shinoda’s Twitch channel on Friday (Feb. 5) from 1PM-3PM ET.

Speaking recently on Twitch, Shinoda offered, “I got Matt’s blessing to get weird with the track too. We’re not gonna just make a metal track. We’re not gonna make a Trivium track. If you wanted a Trivium track you could just get a Trivium track. You could go to Matt’s channel and get that. So I’m gonna take his vocal, and even his guitar, and chop them into little tiny bits and run them through a meat grinder and then we’re gonna make a track out of it. I don’t even know what we’re gonna make.”

He concluded, “The track he sent is so… it’s, like, EPIC! It’s very, like, Matt standing on a mountaintop with a falcon on his wrist who flies away and collects the bones of enemy clans, enemy warriors.”

That description definitely agreed with Heafy who tweeted back, “PS: @mikeshinoda – the way you described the song… I MUST HAVE THAT PAINTED!!! Hahaha. I loved that description so much. I can’t wait to hear what you conjure! GO FRICKIN NUTS!”

During his time on Twitch, Heafy has rocked out a wide array of cover songs and performed proposed sets of Trivium shows they had planned before the pandemic altered their 2020 tour plans. Shinoda, meanwhile, released a series of Dropped Frames records last year that were comprised of collaborations with fans who would give him a theme to work with. This year he’s offered to produce tracks for aspiring musicians brought to his attention by his Twitch community.

How will the Heafy/Shinoda collaboration turn out? Tune in to Shinoda’s Twitch channel this Friday at 1PM ET to find out.

15 Things Musicians Did to Help Us Survive 2020 Without Concerts

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