With the entire internet dumping ice water over their heads to raise awareness for ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or, as it is commonly known, Lou Gehrig’s Disease), I thought that I would put a heavy metal spin and a very human face on the story.
Guitar virtuoso Jason Becker was 19 years old and on top of the world. He had already released two critically acclaimed albums with fellow shredder and future Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman under the moniker of Cacophony as well as a blistering solo debut album. He had just been hand picked to be David Lee Roth’s guitarist following in the giant footsteps of Edward Van Halen and Steve Vai. But just one week after getting the Roth gig, his meteoric rise came to a screeching halt when he was diagnosed with ALS and told that he had 3-5 years to live. His first question to the doctor was, “Will I be able to tour?”
Today, 25 years later, Becker continues to not only live but compose music… with facial gestures! His father also invented a system for him to communicate using eye gestures. The trailer below is for the documentary Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet, which tells the story of a man who absolutely refuses to quit and the parents who have made it possible for him to continue being an inspiration who surpasses words.
If you can make it through this with dry eyes, you may not be human. Your fans around the world love you, Jason… never, ever give up!