At one time Jason Becker was destined for fame. As one-half of the metal duo Cacophony, Becker was considered one of the new up-and-coming guitar gods, receiving raves, not only from fans but from other axemen as well.
However, shortly after joining David Lee Roth’s band for Diamond Dave’s A Little Ain’t Enough album, Becker learned he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the motor-neuron disease often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease in honor of the famous pro baseball player who died from the affliction in 1941.
Although most of his guitar skills have since slipped way, Becker, who is paralyzed and unable to speak, continues to make music, utilizing computers and collaborators plus a communications method using eye movements that was devised by his father.
A few of Becker’s musical peers are appearing in a benefit concert for the guitarist. The March 26 show at Slim’s in San Francisco also includes appearances by Richie Kotzen, Steve Lukather, Kehoe Nation and Flametal with more acts to be announced.
“To call Jason a genius is an understatement,” Becker’s partner in Cacophony, Marty Friedman, said. “He doesn’t cater to trend, target audiences, marketing gimmicks or anything like that. He plays out the emotions from his heart and makes real music that is a salute to the human spirit.”
Proceeds from the “Jason Becker’s Not Dead Yet Festival” go towards medical supplies for Becker and a trust fund for his future security. Tickets are $25 and are available via Slim’s ticketing website. For more information on Becker, click here for his official homepage.