Joe Satriani to Headline Benefit for Jason Becker
Posted by Michael Mueller on February 4, 2011 at 11:34 AM
According to a report at Blabbermouth.net, Joe Satriani will headline the "Jason Becker's Not Dead Yet" benefit, which will also feature performances by Richie Kotzen, Steve Lukather, The Kehoe Nation, Flametal, and others. The event is scheduled for March 26 at Slim's in San Francisco. Tickets are $25 and go on sale today (2/4) at www.slimstickets.com, by phone at 1-888-233-0449, or in person at Slim's box office. Proceeds from the event will towards medical supplies for Jason as well as to a trust fund, to help provide for his future needs.
Jason Becker was one of the most promising guitar prodigies in the business, getting his first break at age 17 along with Marty Friedman in Cacophony. He the joined the David Lee Roth band for the stellar 1991 album A Little Ain't Enough. But shortly after joining DLR, Becker was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease), which robbed him of his motor skills and eventually his speech.
Twenty years later, Becker is still alive and composing music, with the help of special computer programs, collaborators, and a system of communication using eye movements that was developed by his father, Gary Becker.
Joe Satriani called Becker's 2001 album Perspectives—Jason's first recorded work after losing his motor functions (originally self-released in 1996)—"a triumphantly powerful and beautiful album."
Steve Vai has said, "Jason has discovered a brilliant source of inspiration within himself. His deep soul searching has resulted in a body of music that reveals courage and insight and is deeply moving."
And Marty Friedman adds, "To call Jason a genius is an understatement. 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. Jason is a prodigy and on 'Perspectives' he realizes his miraculous potential."
For those unable to attend the festival, donations can be made via PayPal at email@example.com.
For more on Jason Becker and his fight with ALS, go to www.jasonbeckerguitar.com. Check out the video below for a touching and inspiring ABC News story from late 2008, and the one below it to hear Becker in his prime.