In recent months, the guitar universe has stepped forward in a major way to help Jason Becker – the guitar virtuoso whose 30-year struggle with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease) has robbed him of the ability to play guitar, walk, talk, and breathe on his own.
In May, Reverb.com announced an official Jason Becker gear shop, featuring six- and seven-string guitars autographed by an all-star lineup of guitar greats. All proceeds from the sale of these instruments went to the The Jason Becker Special Needs Trust, which helps Becker's family with the guitarist's significant medical costs.
More recently, Becker himself chose to auction off three of his most prized guitars – a prototype Peavey "Numbers" guitar and two Moridira Hurricane models – seen on the covers of Becker's solo album, Perpetual Burn, and Cacophony's Speed Metal Symphony, respectively.
Put up for sale by Guernsey's, the three guitars fetched a total of $230,000.
Featuring a bolt-on maple neck, 24-fret maple fretboard, HSH pickup set and Schaller double locking bridge system, the "Numbers" guitar is the first prototype Peavey made for Becker, and was used to record the songs "River of Longing" and "End of the Beginning."
The guitar – which was also played by the late Eddie Van Halen when Eddie visited Becker at home in 1996 – was ultimately sold for $65,000.
The white Moridira Hurricane model Becker held on the cover of Speed Metal Symphony – his first album with Cacophony, his duo with Marty Friedman – was sold for $85,000.
Featuring a bolt-on maple neck, rosewood fretboard with 22 frets, HSH pickup set, and Floyd Rose double locking bridge system, the guitar was used to record almost all of Becker's seminal debut solo album, Perpetual Burn, and was also used extensively on his demo album, The Blackberry Jams.
Finally, the blue Moridira Hurricane Becker held on the cover of Perpetual Burn sold for $80,000.
Featuring a bolt-on maple neck, maple fretboard with 24 frets, HSH pickup set, and Floyd Rose double locking bridge system, the guitar was used on the classic Becker piece, "Betcha Can't Play This."
For more info on the auction, which also included the red jacket Becker wore on the Perpetual Burn cover, stop by liveauctioneers.com.
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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.