Jun. 4th, 2009

dslartoo: (Default)
For my prog music / guitar music friends who have been wondering what Jason Becker is up to, I found this news story on Youtube which was released back in November 2008 (the first update I've seen or heard since about five years ago).

Jason, for the unitiated, was the wunderkind guitarist who released (at the age of 16) two albums with Marty Friedman as Cacophony and joined David Lee Roth's band for the album "A Little Ain't Enough" at the age of 20. During that tour, he started feeling progressive weakness in his hands, arms and legs. He was soon diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease, and given three years to live. Over the next several years Jason lost his ability to play guitar, walk, speak and even breathe properly. When he couldn't play guitar anymore, he composed on a keyboard. When he couldn't do that, he used a computer with eye-guided mouse pointer which he could "click" with his chin. He released the album "Perspective" in 1995 with help from musician friends, but updates since then have been sporadic without much detail.

The news story tells us what Jason is up to. Still alive and still healthy (relatively speaking) after 18 years of living with a disease that kills most people in under five years, Jason is STILL composing and creating. Asked if he still hears music in his head, he responded "So much it drives me crazy". He remains relentlessly cheerful and upbeat, still smiling and still keeping everyone around him going.

A new compilation album called "Collection" was released in November 2008. It features several of his musician friends including Marty Friedman, Greg Howe, Joe Satriani, Michael Lee Firkins, Steve Vai and Steve Hunter, and has three new songs plus some older recordings.

Now THAT's an inspiration story.

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[[The Oracle would like to know who inspires you.]]
dslartoo: (Default)
David Eddings died yesterday, and we lost David Carradine today. What David are we going to lose tomorrow?

(Please, not Peter David, David Mack or David Lloyd. Would be really upset to lose any of those. They're all too damn talented and too damn young.)

The last time I met Carradine was at Dragon*Con a few years ago, in the elevator at the Hyatt. He was so drunk he could barely stand up, but weirdly was able to carry on a perfectly lucid conversation (although a bit slurred). Seems a bit of a shame to have that be my final meeting with the guy (I'd talked to him several times at the Con in previous years). Nice guy, very soft-spoken, although I always got a bit of an impression of barely contained violence about him which was rather unsettling.

(More weird synchronicity: the tune I happened to be listening to when I read about this.)

-- END OF LINE --

[[The Oracle would like to know who your pick for the next celebrity David death is.]]

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Phil C.

April 2011

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