See 15-Year-Old Jason Becker Play Yngwie's "Black Star" at High School

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Jason Becker was just 16 when he and the group Cacophony, featuring fellow guitar virtuoso Marty Friedman, signed to Shrapnel Records. The band released Speed Metal Symphony in 1987 and Go Off! in 1988 before splitting up in 1989. Becker had released his solo debut, Perpetual Burn, the year before.

By 1990, Becker had a new gig taking over lead guitar duties from Steve Vai in David Lee Roth’s band. But shortly after joining Roth, Becker was diagnosed with ALS and given three to five years to live—medical odds that he continues to defy to this day.

The two clips below offer a look at Becker’s phenomenal talent one year before Cacophony signed with Shrapnel. Both appear to have been shot for a high school talent show. In the first, Becker stuns the audience with some blazing licks, and in the second he covers Yngwie Malmsteen’s “Black Star.” Take a look at a virtuoso in some of his earliest known clips.

Jason Becker covering Yngwie Malmsteen's "Black Star" in High School

Posted by Thinking About Guitar on Wednesday, March 23, 2016