This past week I flew home to Charlotte for Christmas time. I flew out of Burbank, which is smaller, closer, and more efficient than Los Angeles International. It is also quite a bit more expensive, but I scored some Frequent Flier miles, so that didn't matter...thanks Mom.
As I am walking toward my gate, I see a rather familiar looking person to my left. Not familiar as in "I have met you before," but familiar as in "I have seen you on CD covers, magazines, and on stage before."
I thought this guy was merely a look-alike, surely the guy I was thinking ok was not in Burbank Airport.
I get on the plane, find my seat, and proceed to read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. As the plane fills, I see the same guy sit one seat to the left and one seat ahead of me. We are on a very small plane, maybe 60 seats, and he is definitely in arm reaching distance from me.
For the next hour or so, I am battling in my brain with whether or not this guy is the frontman of one of my favorite bands, whose album sales have exceeded 50 million. My staring must have been intense because every once in a while he would break away from his iPhone to shoot a sideways glance at me. I would quickly gaze down at Harry Potter, only to resume my gaze a moment later.
Nope, it's not him. Can't be. He probably has his own jet. But then he reaches up and his sleeve drops slightly. I see his right wrist which is engulfed in flames of ink. It is him!
No, it's not him. Too small. But it could be...how can I know? I know he's married, that could be his wife...
For a brief moment, I think about asking him point blank: "Are you Chester?" But that would be awkward now that I have stared at him for an hour and he has caught me at least 4 times. I decide to memorize the blue tattoo on his right pinky finger and get a good look at his wife. Some simple Google image searching should show me whether or not this was actually Chester Bennington.
I get home, and find this, proof that I was sitting very near Chester Bennington, singer of Linkin Park.
I wish I could say I talked with him and gleaned valuable insight into the music industry, then let him hear some demos on the iPod and traded e-mails. Nope. I got nervous. What would I say? It's easier to be the weird kid with the mustache reading Harry Potter.
Chester, if you read this, my name is Chad. Nice to meet you. I don't always have mustaches. I want to go on tour and tune your guitars. Or just pre-open your water bottles so that the plastic perforations are broken before you go on. Anything. I think you're great.
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