Legendary guitarist and composer Jason Becker, who has been living with ALS for over 30 years, will soon go home after undergoing treatment for a bacterial infection at a hospital in Northern California.
Becker was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday (April 7) after experiencing “shortness of breath and a rapid heart rate,” according to his mother.
Earlier today (Saturday, April 10), Jason‘s sister-in-law Amy issued the following update on his condition: “Just spoke with [Jason‘s mother] Pat.
“Jason‘s infection is beginning to clear up. He will need time to heal, but he should be going home tomorrow!
“Our family is so thankful for your thoughts and prayers.”
Pat Becker first revealed that Jason had been experiencing shortness of breath and a rapid heart rate on Monday. At the time, she said that she and the rest of Jason‘s immediate family were “in constant contact with his doctors.”
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.
Becker‘s latest album, “Triumphant Hearts”, was released in December 2018 via Music Theories Recordings/Mascot Label Group. The disc features guest appearances by a who’s who of six-string gods, including Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Neal Schon, Steve Morse, Paul Gilbert and Joe Bonamassa.
Throughout March and April, some of the world’s greatest guitarists are coming together to raise money and celebrate Jason‘s music.
Update from Amy Becker:
“Just spoke with Pat.
Jason’s infection is beginning to clear up. He will need time to heal, but he should be going home tomorrow!
— Jason Becker (@jasonelibecker) April 10, 2021