Guitar Player heartily endorses this guitar-heavy bill that includes Joe Satriani, Richie Kotzen, Steve Lukather, the Kehoe Nation, Flametal, and many more, reminding the world that Jason Becker's Not Dead Yet.
Jason Becker is a GP Lifetime Achievement Award winner, and the Jason Becker Award for Courage & Creativity is now an annual tradition at GP Live.
Becker first gained recognition part of the metal duo Cacophony with Marty Friedman in the late ’80s. Both shredders were premier players on prestigious Shrapnel label along with other virtuosos such as Paul Gilbert, Vinnie Moore, and Yngwie Malmsteen. Becker succeeded Steve Vai in David Lee Roth’s band. Becker was featured on Roth’s 1991 release, A Little Ain’t Enough, but he was unable to participate in the tour due to being diagnosed with ALS—aka Lou Gehrig's Disease. He was just 20 years old. He was given three to five years to live. Although the disease eventually left him both paralyzed and unable to speak, it’s now more than 20 years later and Jason Becker is Not Dead Yet!
“To survive the disease that long, you have to have a real life mission,” Jason’s father Gary Becker told GP for its August 2009 feature celebrating Shrapnel’s Becker release, Collection. “You still have to feel like you have something left to do, which Jason always has.”
Amazingly, Becker continues to compose music with the help of computers, collaborators, and a system of communication using eye movements devised by his father. A documentary about Becker’s extraordinary saga is currently in production. To view the trailer for Perpetual Burn: The Story of Jason Becker, go to jasonbeckermovie.com.
The Jason Becker's Not Dead Festival is presented by Jason Becker with assistance from Guitar Player and the Tao Music Group, and support from the ALS Therapy Development Institute, Mesa/Boogie, Dunlop, and Triple Crown Clothing.
Proceeds from the evening go towards medical supplies for Jason as well as a trust fund to provide for his future security. For those unable to attend the festival, donations can be made via PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your support is greatly appreciated!
Jason Becker, Guitar Player, and the Tao Music Group Present:
Jason Becker's Not Dead Yet Festival
Michael Lee Firkins
Greg Howe, Jeff Watson, Hot for Teacher
Saturday, March 26th at Slim’s
333 11th Street in San Francisco
8pm doors, 9pm show, $25
All Ages 6 and Over
Free Guitar Player magazines, D’Addario strings & More
GP editors will be present