Mike Shinoda shares first photograph of Chester Bennington with his Linkin Park bandmates

Shinoda shared the archive image on his Instagram earlier today - "No flame tattoos yet, no red hair yet, most of us were still in college."

Mike Shinoda has shared the first photograph ever taken of the late Chester Bennington with his Linkin Park bandmates.

Bennington passed away last week after taking his own life. He was 41.

Shinoda, who shared vocal duties with Bennington in Linkin Park, said that he was “shocked and heartbroken” after the news broke last Thursday (July 20). The musician, who also plays guitar and keyboards in the band, has now shared a new tribute to Bennington through a post on Instagram.


Uploading a picture of himself, Bennington and members of Linkin Park, Shinoda revealed that the photograph – which would’ve been taken in either 1997 or 1998 – 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.”

See the image below.

Linkin Park shared a touching open letter to Bennington earlier today (July 24), saying that “his absence leaves a void that can never be filled”.