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Photo tribute to Linkin Park's late Chester Bennington opens in downtown Phoenix

Chester Bennington Linkin Park
Posted at 6:11 PM, Jun 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-19 21:17:53-04

PHOENIX — Jim Louvau, a photographer and musician in the Valley, remembers his friend, Chester Bennington, the late frontman of Linkin Park who died by suicide in 2017, as just that, the friend who he would jam with, party with, and photograph while helping him raise funds for different charities.

The two were friends before Chester's and the band's fame, award show performances, and millions of records sold.

And now, he has curated the years of pictures he has taken into a photographic tribute to Bennington, called "Celebrating the Life of Chester Bennington," to give people a glimpse perhaps into a side of the singing frontman they hadn't seen before, both on and off the stage.

"This is a tribute to him," he said during an interview on ABC15's 11 a.m. newscast last week. "For all the stuff that we did together, putting it out there so people can enjoy the way we enjoyed working on it together."

The show will feature 25 photographs of varying sizes and will be on display at the monOrchid gallery, 214 E Roosevelt St., in downtown Phoenix.

It was initially going to be a one-day show on Friday, June 21, but ABC15 learned Wednesday evening that the show had been extended through July 12, 2019.

Admission to the opening reception on Friday, June 21, is $35 and tickets can be purchased, here. A portion of the proceeds will benefit 320 Change Direction, an organization co-founded by Talinda Bennington, Chester's wife, and is focused on mental health awareness. The reception runs from 6:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.

In a direct message via Twitter on Wednesday, Louvau said there would be no cover charge to see the gallery beyond the opening night reception.

In his interview on ABC15 last week, Louvau said he played a show with Bennington in 2000, three months before Linkin Park's debut album, Hybrid Theory, was released.

"We were more like peers that turned into friends, ya know? His music career took off. It was fantastic."

In a piece for the Phoenix New Times, published Wednesday morning, Louvau said Chester showed his kindness at that show.

"His interest in helping others was apparent that night. During our set, we broke our snare drum, and I was forced to make small talk with the crowd to buy time. Chester, a skinny kid with bleached-blond hair, came to our rescue, loaning us Linkin Park’s snare, which allowed us to finish the show. I didn’t watch much of their set that night because I was outside talking to people. What I didn’t realize was that Chester had watched our performance and was really excited about what we were doing," Louvau wrote.

The two maintained their friendship over the years, he wrote in the New Times piece, sharing music and taking pictures.

"You would have never thought when you took these pictures that they would kind of turn into what they have. This is just me working with my friend. It was actually really easy to do," he said on ABC15 Mornings last week.

You can watch more of the interview in the player above.