What’s the status with the Jason Becker documentary?
Man, I’m so excited. It’s in the very beginning stages. The filmmaker really gets my scene and he and I feel that it’s finally a chance to tell my real story. It will be a feature-length film including lots of unreleased archival music and video, and interviews with many musicians I’ve worked with over the years. The website is JasonBeckerMovie.com and the working title is Perpetual Burn: The Story of Jason Becker. The film is an independent production being funded the 21st century, independent way, which makes use of social media and gives the audience the power to make sure the film they want to see gets made.
It will definitely not be a depressing film. There were hard and sad times, but I am not a sad person. We hope to focus in-depth on music, humor, and strength. I hope the film will, among other things, show people from all walks of life that even when their lives don’t work out the way they plan, they can still create something positive, no matter what the situation.
The upcoming benefit show in San Francisco will have a lot of great players. You’ve received support from many guitarists over the years. Who are some of the players who have been instrumental in keeping your name out there and your music alive?
I am so grateful to so many people, from players who have inspired me to players who have been influenced by me. Of course there are the people who played on my recordings when I could no longer play, such as Michael Lee Firkins, Steve Hunter, Marty Friedman, Greg Howe, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Steve Perry, members of Voicestra, and Dave Lopez. Not to mention the two people who make it possible for me to keep making new music, Dan Alvarez and Mike Bemesderfer, and Mike Varney who keeps putting out my new music. Eddie Van Halen put my Perspective album on Warner Bros. Records. David Lee Roth talked about me in his book. Now new players like Jeff Loomis, Chris Broderick, and Mark Tremonti often talk about me in interviews. I can’t wait to work in the future with my good friends Richie Kotzen, Uli Jon Roth, and Steve Lukather. I have so much love for all these people.
The David Lee Roth job was one of the biggest rock gigs on the planet at the time. You nailed the audition and got the gig. What did you learn from that and what advice do you have for guitarists who are going on a big audition?
First of all, I would advise people to be happy and grateful to be there. Bring some contagious energy, and be open to learning. Make them miss you when you leave.