Saturday, November 1, 2008

Exclusive Jason Becker Interview

February 12, 2001 - To Van Halen and David Lee Roth fans, Jason Becker is best known as the guitar whiz behind Roth's 1991 solo album, A Little Ain't Enough. To me personally, Jason is an inspiration as a guitar player, but more importantly, he is an inspiration as a person.

Jason was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease) 12 years ago. If you haven't already, I strongly recommend you visit Jason's web site and read his story.

Last year I contacted Jason's sister-in-law, Amy about the possibility of interviewing Jason for the Van Halen News Desk. To my delight, Jason agreed to the interview. Thanks to Pat and Amy Becker for helping arranging it. Special thanks also to Jason for agreeing to the interview.

VHND: What have you been up to recently?

Jason Becker: "Perspective" is being released by Warner Bros. on May 22nd. Hotlicks is going to release my instructional video called "The Legendary Guitar of Jason Becker" around the same time, so I have been working on that stuff.

VHND: Are you still composing new songs?

Jason Becker: No. There isn't a computer system that I can use.

VHND: How did you get the David Lee Roth gig?

Jason Becker: Gregg Bissonette called Mike Varney, looking for a good player. Varney and I sent tapes and Boom! Actually, then Dave wanted to hear me play five of his and Van Halen's songs, so I spent one night learning and recording drums, bass and guitar for five songs to send, then Boom!

VHND: What do you remember most about the first time you met David Lee Roth?

Jason Becker: I remember his big smile, telling a joke and him really trying to make me feel welcome and comfortable.

VHND: In August 1999 I ran a story about the re-release of your album "Perspective" by Warner Bros. Records. The re-release was to feature a brand new song written by yourself and performed by Eddie Van Halen. How did this collaboration with Eddie come about?

Jason Becker: Well this isn't going to happen now. It isn't Eddie's fault. He will help promote it.

VHND: Has Eddie recorded the song yet, and if not, is this the reason for the album delay?

Jason Becker: It was the reason for the delay, but no one should think Eddie is anything other than a sweetheart. He does what he can.

the rest of interview here .... thanks