Nearly a quarter-million dollars has been raised so far as part of the as part of the #ShredforJasonBecker fundraising initiative.
In recent weeks, artists from across the world of rock and metal — including METALLICA, Steve Vai, Paul Stanley and Joe Satriani — donated instruments and autographed guitars to help Jason Becker.
Becker — the composer, virtuoso musician, and former child guitar prodigy — has been suffering from ALS for more than 30 years, but that hasn’t stopped him from creating music. His latest album, “Triumphant Hearts”, was released in 2018, after Becker composed the music via computer using his eyes and enlisted heavy hitters like Marty Friedman, Joe Bonamassa, Joe Satriani, Uli Jon Roth, Neal Schon, Jeff Loomis and Paul Gilbert to play the parts.
Earlier this year, during a severe health scare, Becker‘s family, friends, and fans rallied together again to aid Becker, launching the #ShredForJasonBecker livestream fundraisers on Herman Li of DRAGONFORCE‘s Twitch channel and getting together all of the guitars you can now find in Becker‘s Reverb shop.
According to Li, more than $238,000 has been raised so far between the #ShredForJasonBecker livestream fundraisers and Becker‘s Reverb shop.
Three listings are currently online — a Charvel GG signature guitar owned by Guthrie Govan, a signed Ibanez L.A. Custom Shop ATZ signature guitar owned by Andy Timmons, and a Nili Brosh signed Ibanez premium seven-string guitar stage-played from Nili‘s personal collection — with more to follow, including those from Warren DeMartini, Tosin Abasi, Gus G. and Satchel.
Becker‘s story is one of brilliance, talent, determination, adversity, and, ultimately, triumph. A child prodigy on guitar, Jason rose to prominence as a teenager when he was one half of the technical guitar duo CACOPHONY, with his great friend Marty Friedman. In 1989, at only 19 years old and after wowing audiences all over the world, the young virtuoso became the guitarist for David Lee Roth, following in the huge footsteps of Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai. He wrote and recorded on Roth‘s third solo album, “A Little Ain’t Enough”, and was poised for superstardom when a nagging pain in his leg was diagnosed as Motor Neurone Disease (MND), also known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, the same condition Stephen Hawking lived with for over five decades. It is a fatal condition with a life expectancy of maybe five years. Maybe.
That was more than 30 years ago. He lost the ability to play guitar, walk, talk, and breathe on his own. But never lost his will to live or his desire to create music. Communicating through a series of eye movements with a system developed by his father, Jason spells out words as well as musical notes and chords. He imparts his musical vision to his team who then can input the notes into a computer, edit the parts to his exacting standards, and then generate charts for session musicians. His inspiring music and life story have been the subject of countless news articles and magazine cover stories.