A fundraiser for Jason Becker is set to take place on July 15th with the proceeds to provide for Becker’s ongoing battle with ALS.
Becker was David Lee Roth’s guitarist on the 1991 album A Little Ain’t Enough and became a close friend of Eddie Van Halen in the years following his ALS diagnoses.
Below is the press release:
Legendary guitarist/composer Jason Becker will offer three of his most important and rare guitars through Guernsey’s Auctions, the prestigious New York auction house renowned for offering unique memorabilia and artifacts. These guitars are being sold as part of a fundraiser, co-organized by DragonForce guitarist Herman Li, to provide funds for Jason’s ongoing battle with ALS. Guernsey’s Auctions will offer the following in its ‘A Century of Music’ auction:
- Jason’s white, 22-fret Hurricane guitar, pictured on the cover of Cacophony’s genre-defining Speed Metal Symphony and used to record his groundbreaking solo album Perpetual Burn. One of the few guitars Jason owned, and perhaps his most-played, this guitar shows wear and has been recently reconditioned and thumb-printed by Jason.
- Jason’s blue, 24-fret Hurricane guitar, pictured on the cover of Perpetual Burn and used in the recording of Boy Meets Guitar. This guitar has been thumb-printed by Jason and showing wear and tear from hours of playing, in studio and live.
- Jason’s one-of-a-kind Peavy ‘Numbers’ prototype guitar, pictured on the cover of Guitar for the Practicing Musician. A similar model was later put into production, but this was the first ‘numbers’ model ever made. During a visit with Jason, Eddie Van Halen played this guitar, and during the months-long virtual fundraiser for Jason, this guitar has been played by Steve Vai, Tosin Abasi (Animals as Leaders), Herman Li (DragonForce), Chris Broderick (ex-Megadeth), Tim Henson (Polyphia), and Jason Richardson (All that Remains). This guitar has been thumb-printed by Jason.
- Jason’s red leather jacket, worn on the Perpetual Burn album cover, along with the proof of the original album art. The album art is signed by Jason, one of his last autographs while he could still write.
Chris Broderick (Jag Panzer, Megadeth, Nevermore, Act Of Defiance) Plays “Perpetual Burn” on Jason Becker’s Original Hurricane Guitar:
Documentary introducing Jason and his guitars to the buying public. Featuring Eddie Van Halen, Paul Stanley, Steve Vai, Marty Friedman, Tosin Abasi, Herman Li, Nita Strauss, and Tim Henson.
In addition to Jason’s guitars available through Guernsey’s Auctions, rare and signed guitars from Paul Gilbert, Bumblefoot, Tosin Abasi, Warren DeMartini, Gus G and others will be available soon through the Jason Becker Reverb store.
The fundraiser for Jason Becker, which has taken place virtually on twitch and Reverb, has raised over $200,000 so far for Jason’s ongoing care.
Fundraiser co-organizer Herman Li says, “In America, having a chronic condition such as ALS can be unbelievably expensive. Our goal from the beginning has been to make sure Jason never has to worry about money again, so he can put his energy toward music and his health. It has been great to see the guitar community rally around Jason. He has given us so much inspiration, I’m glad we have the opportunity to give back.”
About Guernsey’s Action, Li says, “Working with Guernsey’s Auctions has been wonderful – they understand how unique these guitars are and how inspirational and important Jason is. Jason played so few guitars in his life, so these instruments are incredibly special. Whoever buys these guitars will not only own a piece of history, they will be directly helping Jason battle ALS.”
Jason Becker says, “I am so grateful for all the love and support everyone has given to me and my family. As far as selling my guitars being sad, and that I shouldn’t have to do it, I just want you to know that isn’t how I feel. It makes me happy to see others playing my music. I feel good about passing on my guitars, thinking they mean something to others. I can’t play them now, but other folks can. That’s a good thing. And, I want myself and my family not to have to worry about money, if possible. Thank you for all the love, I send it right back to you.”
ABOUT JASON BECKER:
Jason Becker’s story is one of brilliance, talent, determination, adversity, and, ultimately, triumph.
Jason Becker was a child prodigy on guitar and rose to prominence at age 16, when he became one half of the legendary rock guitar duo Cacophony with his great friend Marty Friedman. Produced by Shrapnel Records, Cacophony released albums Speed Metal Symphony in 1987 and Go Off in 1988. In 1988, Jason released his first solo album Perpetual Burn. The album cemented Jason’s status as one of the greatest technical guitar players of all time; the album’s most difficult passages remain almost unplayable for even today’s most virtuosic guitarists. Following in the huge footsteps of Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai, Jason took over as the guitarist and writer for David Lee Roth, playing and performing on the album A Little Ain’t Enough.
Poised to take over rock music, it was during the recording of that album that Becker was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The disease — which doctors said would likely end his life in three to five years – has robbed Jason of his abilities to play, walk, speak, and even breathe on his own. But has he never lost his will to live or his desire to create music. Despite being paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair, Jason continues to compose via a computer program that read movements of his eyes. It is through this amazing process that Jason continues to compose his profoundly beautiful music, rich in melody and counterpoint, brimming with emotion. In 2018, 29 years after his ALS diagnosis, Jason released an aptly named album of all-new original material, Triumphant Hearts.
For press, interview and additional information please contact: email@example.com
To bid through Guernsey’s Auctions call 212.794.2280 or visit Guernseys.com
Jason Becker Online
Jason Becker and Eddie Van Halen met for the first time on August 31st, 1996 when Eddie spent the day with Jason at his home. Jason released the video of that day to fans in December adding: “Eddie was such a beautiful person. He was incredibly kind to me and my family. Not only was he my biggest influence, he had such a huge heart. He honestly saved my life.”
The Van Halen News Desk would like to thank Stephen Correa, one of the fundraisers organizers, and co-organizer Herman Li for their contributions.