Jason Becker is the guitarist/composer who has had ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) for over 27 years. He is making a new album. In addition to his new music, Jason hopes to demonstrate through this project how support to meet one’s physical needs can mean that even massive physical limitations don’t necessarily equal creative limitation.
Jason Becker started making albums when he was 17 years old; Cacophony, his band with Marty Friedman (Megadeth), and his solo albums have been extremely influential in the guitar, metal and rock music world. He joined David Lee Roth’s band when he was 20 and they put out A Little Ain’t Enough, Dave’s fourth solo album, which went Gold.
Jason was diagnosed with ALS at the same time he joined Dave’s band. He was able to finish recording A Little Ain’t Enough, even though the disease was making his body weak. He was limping and his hands were falling off the guitar.
Jason had to leave Dave’s band before the tour. He moved back home to Richmond, CA and started composing music on the computer, thanks to his producer friends, Mike Bemesderfer and Dan Alvarez. Despite his paralysis and inability to play guitar anymore, he released his album Perspective on Warner Bros. Records.
Jason had to get a tracheostomy in 1997. Thanks to his family and friends, he is doing pretty well, and he continues to write and put out music, using a communication system invented by his father. Some people with ALS use this system now.
In 2012, his life story was the subject of an award-winning documentary called “Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet.” He was also on the cover of that year’s July issue of Guitar Player magazine, being called “the greatest shredder ever.” He also works with Kiesel/Carvin Guitars on a line of Jason Becker guitars, and with Seymour Duncan on his “Perpetual Burn” pickup.
Jason has new pieces of music and unreleased guitar recordings to put out. He has many guest guitar players sitting in as well. He will be working again with his dear friend and brilliant, Emmy winning producer Dan Alvarez (Perspective and Collection). Jason says Dan “gets” his music, and always knows what he is going for, while adding his own great ideas.
There are some cool perks available to contributors, such as signed CDs, exclusive shirts and posters, one-of-a-kind guitars, and more. Jason hopes to release this album in Summer 2017. Of course, that depends on his health and energy level, which have been good (knock on wood), and the availability of other guest musicians. He would also like to make videos for a couple of the tunes, if possible.
He thinks this album is some of his best and most emotional music. He wants people to feel and experience it very soon. Jason also hopes to demonstrate through this project how support to meet one’s physical needs can mean that even massive physical limitations don’t necessarily equal creative limitation.
Guest performers on the project include Joe Satriani, Steve Lukather, Eric Johnson, Neal Schon and Richie Kotzen — just to name a small handful of the many who’ve lent their talents to Becker’s new compositions.