Mike Shinoda And Chester Bennington's First Picture Together

Yesterday Linkin Park put out a statement after Chester Bennington's death and their devastating loss.  It really was a heartfelt statement which you can see below...

Today Mike Shinoda gave us an early TBT to the late 90's when the band was just getting organized.  These are the kind of pictures that tighten the vice on my heart.  They are so young and unaware of their future, which from the outside looking in is so very bright.

-Amy

Here's Mike's Instagram post:

1997 or 1998...I think this was the first photo we ever took together. We had just told Chester that we wanted him to join the band. He said he was ready to move out from Arizona to L.A. We went to a pizza place near UCLA to hang out and talk about what to do next. The band was called Xero at the time, and we probably had less than a half a dozen songs. No flame tattoos yet, no red hair yet, most of us were still in college.

14.1k Likes, 1,226 Comments - Mike Shinoda (@m_shinoda) on Instagram: "1997 or 1998...I think this was the first photo we ever took together. We had just told Chester..."

Open letter from Linkin Park to their beloved band mate:

Dear Chester,
Our hearts are broken. The shockwaves of grief and denial are still sweeping through our family as we come to grips with what has happened.
You touched so many lives, maybe even more than you realized. In the past few days, we’ve seen an outpouring of love and support, both public and private, from around the world. Talinda and the family appreciate it, and want the world to know that you were the best husband, son, and father; the family will never be whole without you.
Talking with you about the years ahead together, your excitement was infectious. Your absence leaves a void that can never be filled—a boisterous, funny, ambitious, creative, kind, generous voice in the room is missing. We’re trying to remind ourselves that the demons who took you away from us were always part of the deal. After all, it was the way you sang about those demons that made everyone fall in love with you in the first place. You fearlessly put them on display, and in doing so, brought us together and taught us to be more human. You had the biggest heart, and managed to wear it on your sleeve.
Our love for making and performing music is inextinguishable. While we don’t know what path our future may take, we know that each of our lives was made better by you. Thank you for that gift. We love you, and miss you so much.
Until we see you again,
LP