Between vacation and just trying to figure out what to write, I’m finally getting to this post. The short of it is that without our at-the-time neighbor Kelly giving me Hybrid Theory when I was 12 or 13, I wouldn’t be the man I am today.
The only music I was allowed to listen to was Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, stuff like that. My palette was rather limited, clearly. When my hands grasped HT, my mind went wild with how this would sound and what kind of doors it would open for me. Heck, one guy had red hair, another guy bleach blonde. Half sleeved flame tattoos? Oh man, what was I in for? I couldn’t wait to listen!
I took it back home to put their music in my ear holes. My dad and stepmom were home so I showed them, figuring they might get a kick out of it. My stepmom’s reaction? Snatched it outta my hands, grabbed my dad, and went into their bedroom to talk about it.
Her: “Look at their hair! They have tattoos! Just look at their appearance! What if he changes after listening to this?”
Him: “Well, I guess we’ll just take the CD away.”
So much is wrong with the above, but that’s not my focus here. Once they reluctantly returned the CD, I went to my room to listen. I felt like William in
Almost Famous, a movie I still had yet to see, when he listens to the rock records his sister left for him. Something changed inside me, not necessarily better or worse, but it happened. I felt like I finally had someone to relate to. I wasn’t having the best of times with things, mainly living with my super strict stepmother who made me feel like I couldn’t do anything.
She had to know every single detail about where I was, who I was with, and what we were doing. I couldn’t just say “hanging out with friends”, she wanted to know specifically what we were doing while “hanging out”, who I was with, and ALL THE PHONE NUMBERS AND PARENT’S NAMES! Playing MtG, video games, or guitar, or taking walks around the neighborhood or downtown were my usual activites. I wasn’t a bad kid and I never gave anyone a reason to think otherwise. So why was I being targeted? Home 60 seconds late? Verbal lashing.
That lasted til I graduated highschool and finally left their house. Linkin Park helped me through that rough patch, what with all the screaming, loud instruments, and raging lyrics. Letting loose and taking my mind away from this is what the music did for me. I did find other music along the way to help, but they were the beginning. I can honestly say that without being given that CD from Kelly, I wouldn’t be the same guy you know today. I’m much more laid back, open minded, and have a better outlook on life.
Thank you Kelly.
Thank you Linkin Park.
Thank you Chester.