Jason Becker isn’t a household name, ALS stopped such possibilities. That’s the same condition Stephen Hawking had. The same condition that just killed the Spongebob SquarePant’s creator Stephen Hillenburg. Yet after 29 years, Becker is still rolling. He’s still brilliant, charismatic, and just released a new album as well! So, we thought we’d catch up with the wise cracking guitar god.
Right, so this hit the digital world (and store shelves) on the 7th December. It’s a heavy metal album and, admittedly, that’s not usually our cup of tea. But if it is your thing, then some of the reviews for this collaboration such are glowing:
"It’s an album full of stunning music composed by a genius musician who has to score the opus note by note."
Over on Metal Wani, it got a 9/10 in a glowing, wonderful review that really highlights what Becker has produced here. A prodiguous guitar genius in his youth, his illness has blocked him from touring the world playing major stadiums. But his mind still has the capacity to create things like this.
And here we have an album that mixes your more standard guitar squealing elements with some magnificent classical leanings. If you’re a metal head, then this is no doubt a mighty find for you. The album isn’t always for us, but then that’s subjective – certainly, its more introspective moments offer up some sweeping atmospherics.
You can visit Jason Becker‘s site (about to have a new launch) if you’d like to pick up a copy.
Not Dead Yet
And a bit about Jason Becker. In 2012, the documentary film Not Dead Yet hit cinemas and made an appearance on the Kermode and Mayo film review show. Intrigued, we went and saw the film.
What comes out of the documentary is not only was Becker a staggering guitar playing talent, but he’s an awesome bloke. His great sense of humour throughout the film is often depraved. But that’s what impressed us most about the man, really, above his musical talents. The ability to drop a ridiculously crass joke at inappropriate times? Yep. Brilliant.
It’s a bit condescending for us to say Becker is inspirational. He’s just gone about adapting to his illness – his creative parents adapting a communication sheet for him to use. But almost 30 years after his diagnosis, that creative drive has kept him busy, with some excellent results – we’re hoping he keeps this output coming.
You can watch the full feature film of Not Dead Yet below. Highly recommended.