An ensemble of guitar heroes are coming together to join a massive livestream fundraiser in support of ALS-stricken guitar icon Jason Becker.
#ShredForJasonBecker unfolds over the months of March and April 2021, from Monday to Friday every week. The event is hosted by DragonForce guitarist Herman Li – via his own Twitch channel – and on Becker’s website.
Li, who has been a fan of Becker since his youth, said in a statement, “It’s one of the biggest honours of my life to be able to help organise this tribute and raise money for him.”
“It’s been very inspiring to see everyone coming together to celebrate Jason,” he added.
The event taps an impressive roster of guitar heroes, with more said to be announced in the near future. The line-up includes Becker’s former Cacophony bandmate Marty Friedman; shred virtuosos Steve Vai and Joe Satriani; fusion master Guthrie Govan, progressive metal luminary Tosin Abasi, and many others. See the full schedule here.
The fundraiser also involves the launch of a special Reverb storefront, where artists will list autographed guitars, merch and “other rare items” in support of Becker.
Becker himself will be auctioning off three of his “most important guitars” later this year, including the ones seen on the covers of his 1988 solo album Perpetual Burn and Cacophony’s Speed Metal Symphony from 1987. The iconic Numbers guitar – which was once played by Eddie Van Halen – will also be going under the hammer.
In a statement, Becker shared that, rather than feeling blue about parting with his guitars, he in fact felt “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,” he said. “And, I want myself and my family not to have to worry about money, if possible.”
Becker was diagnosed with ALS in 1991, and despite being unable to walk, speak or play guitar anymore, continues to compose music through the help of a computer. In 2018, he released Triumphant Hearts, a collection of 14 tracks performed by guest guitarists.
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