The documentary film ‘Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet’ wil be released on December 18th. Watch the trailer below and check out the latest issue of Guitar Interactive online magazine for two exclusive scenes from the movie.
The world premiere of “Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet”, took place this past March 3rd at the Cinequest film festival in San Jose, California at the San Jose Repertory Theatre, with Not Dead Yet” winning two awards at at the Cinequest: Audience Award for Best Documentary and the Special Jury Prize for Documentary.
Jason Becker, a onetime guitar prodigy first known as part of the metal duo Cacophony, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease) at age 20, shortly after joining David Lee Roth’s band for the gold-selling 1991 album “A Little Ain’t Enough”. Although the disease robbed him of his ability to play guitar — and eventually left him both paralyzed and unable to speak — Becker continues to compose music with the help of computers, collaborators, and a system of communication using eye movements that was devised by his father Gary.
Even after his once prodigious axe skills left him, Jason’s music continued to earn the respect of his peers. Joe Satriani called 2001’s “Perspectives” — Jason’s first recorded work after losing his motor functions (originally self-released in 1996) — “a triumphantly powerful and beautiful album.” Fellow virtuosos joined the chorus of praise, including Steve Vai, who said, “Jason has discovered a brilliant source of inspiration within himself. His deep soul searching has resulted in a body of music that reveals courage and insight and is deeply moving.”
Jason’s original partner in Cacophony, Marty Friedman added, “To call Jason a genius is an understatement. He doesn’t cater to trend, target audiences, marketing gimmicks or anything like that. He plays out the emotions from his heart and makes real music that is a salute to the human spirit. Jason is a prodigy and on ‘Perspectives’ he realizes his miraculous potential.”
Jason’s amazing story is told through interviews, never-before-seen archive footage of his performances; as well as unreleased family photos and footage from the Becker archives. The soundtrack is comprised of Jason’s released and unreleased material including demos from his childhood and new material he has been working on. The film was shot using a combination of full 1080p HD cameras and 16mm film.
Jason’s most recent album, 2008’s “Collection”, is a mix of old recordings and new compositions, with guest guitar work from Satriani, Vai, Friedman, Michael Lee Firkins, and Greg Howe. Go to www.jasonbeckerguitar.com for more on Jason.
The latest issue of the great online magazine Guitar Interactive is out and it is completely free. Check out the complete issue #14 here: www.iguitar.com and scroll to the Jason Becker feature on pages 26-29. The latest issue also features great interviews with Richie Kotzen, Steve Hackett and Andy Fraser, as well as reviews and previews of all the latest and greatest in guitar technology.