Jason Becker – Biography
‘Such an amazing young prodigy’s career cut so short” – words described by the Shredaholic team on this naturally gifted guitarist, who has suffered a tragedy none of us should ever have to experience…
Jason’s father played classical guitar, and his Uncle Ron played blues guitar, this got Jason interested in guitar music and he would eventually take up the guitar at a young age. His early influences were: Bob Dylan, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jeff Beck, and Eddie Van Halen amongst other greats.
Jason was not a shy performer, he continuously practised (as all of us should) from the age of 5 and performed at school and coffee greenhouses from sixth grade and on, absorbing a lot of different style of music as he went along. Jason was so advanced at an early age that he was even giving his music teacher lessons! Then at 16 already an accomplished virtuoso player, came Jason’s big break, he met his close friend Marty Friedman. Marty had already made a few records already, when Marty saw Jason’s playing he was blown away, so Marty had the idea of the two to do a record together, so Marty set Jason some tasks on guitar. When Marty Returned, Jason had learnt them note-for-note-perfect! So, They got together and released an Album entitled ”Speed Metal Symphony” in 1987.
This album is highly recommended by Shredaholic.com, it contains playing of breakneck speed and intense melodic energy, tracks like ”Concerto” and ”Speed Metal Symphony” are virtuosic masterpieces at the highest level, combining both amazing technique and sense of melody. They never got ”mega-famous” but were known now around the world for there innovative style, the Japanese loved them, as Japanese are massive shred-heads themselves! Jason also made instructional videos for fellow shred-heads who were interested. In 1989 they produced there follow up album entitled ”Go Off” this didn’t do half as well in sales as their debut, but still, shred fans will love it. The main highlight was ”Images”, an immaculate piece of intense melody.
Later that year, Becker went and joined David Lee Roth’s band, which he delightfully accepted. It was at this time that Jason had a lazy limp in his leg and went to check it out, he was tragically diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease), and given 5 years to live. Despite this, Jason, being the amazingly committed musician that he is, carried on, and recorded the album with Roth. It all starts getting quite upsetting at this point, Shredaholic recommends for fans to read ”In Jason’s Own Words” on his official website jasonbecker.com for an in depth description of his illness. In the end, he was unable to play guitar properly and started recording on a keyboard and computer with one hand because the other hand would fall. Eventually this resulted in him confined to a wheel chair, but despite this, even to this day, he manages to compose his own music from his head onto a computer, and has other respectful artists to record for him (such as Eddie Van Halen). The Shredaholic team truly respects this amazing individual for what he has accomplished and strived for in his career, and great influence to us and many more.
Jason Becker – We Salute You.