“Jason Becker – Not Dead Yet”

Who is this man? Why is he not dead yet? And why did Carvin just issue a Jason Becker Signature model guitar???

The Carvin Jason Becker Model guitar.

I have waited a long time – relatively speaking – to write this post. I guess things just had to “ferment” in my brain. It’s been about a month since I saw the movie: “Jason Becker – Not Dead Yet”. I highly recommend it! It was life changing for me! So let me fill you in. But before I do, I’d like to dedicate this post to S.L. – she reads this dang blog, and doesn’t play guitar, or know about all this techie rubbish that we get SO into here (not your average “gear-head” profile – which we sometimes joke as being a 40+ year old male who still lives at home with Mom and Dad)! This woman has courage!

So let’s back up a bit… in the 80s there was a young man who really didn’t want anything else in life except to play the guitar. He was a shredder, but the scope of his knowledge and technique went WAY beyond that. Call him a genius, a savant, … something like that. He’s probably best known as the guy who replaced Steve Vai in David Lee Roth’s band (big shoes to fill!). It was around this time that Jason began to experience the early symptoms of ALS – or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Unbeknownst to the band during the recording of that album, Jason Becker went from a “one take” player to needing a couple of cracks at it. It’s heart-wrenching that Becker – on the verge of reaching his goal, his dream, had to abdicate from the David Lee Roth Band, due to the advancing disease. Fast forward… Jason Becker became virtually immobile – unable even to breathe on his own. But the story doesn’t end there. Given only 3-5 years to live, Jason Becker has gone way over 20. He communicates, composes music, teaches, releases albums, is very involved in the Yogananda spiritual community… he’s a FORCE!

Let me stop the narrative here to just say that you really have to see the movie (it’s out and for sale on December 18th – and I’ve pre-ordered 3 copies!). The movie wasn’t depressing for me, and it, and it’s star Jason Becker, are a total inspiration! How so? For one thing, personally, it embarrassed me that I invest so little time in becoming a better guitar player. Even the modest gift that I have, should be nourished – the universe knows when we squander these talents. So now, I practice a lot more! Also, I love Becker’s sense of spirituality and the unseen world. I’ve done a lot of reading and some spiritual “practice” – so I “get it”. The people I chatted with, as I left the cinema after our screening, all seemed energized by the movie! That’s a good sign. So rather than more blah, blah, blah from me, just watch the dang movie when you can…

Next time, we’ll talk about gear… oh, hang on, I think I hear my Mom yelling at me to clean up my room… gotta run…