On Saturday, August 30, a special benefit concert to combat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS; Lou Gehrig's Disease) will take place at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, California. The Jason Becker Not Dead Yet 3 Music Festival will feature performances by Richie Kotzen (Winery Dogs, Poison, Mr. Big), Steve Hunter (Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, David Lee Roth), Michael Lee Frikins, Spiral Arms and Ben Woods, plus special guests. Proceeds will support the Jason Becker Special Needs Trust.
In 1990, 20-year old guitarist extraordinaire Jason Becker, after already recording three full-length albums of his own and producing Richie Kotzen’s debut solo album, was selected to play guitar for David Lee Roth.
Becker went on to record DLR’s third solo album, A Little Ain’t Enough, released in April 1991, was voted Best New Talent by Guitar Magazine that same year, and was about to begin a world tour. When the guitarist began to feel what he called a "lazy limp" in his left leg, doctors diagnosed him with ALS. He was
not only told that he would never make music again, he was also informed he wouldn’t live to see his 25th birthday.
Over two decades later, Becker, now confined to a wheelchair without the ability to move or speak, is very much alive and making music. He is considered by many to be the ‘Stephen Hawking of music’. Thanks to an eye-movement spelling system his father, Gary Becker, invented called Vocal Eyes, Becker is able to communicate with his family, loved ones and friends.
With ALS Ice Water challenges be issued all over the Internet, Becker has posted his own ALS Ice Water challenge to his YouTube channel, calling out Edward Van Halen, David Lee Roth and John Mayer. The video, which was posted late Saturday afternoon on August 23, was viewed almost 44,000 times in under 24 hours. Watch the video below: