Jason Becker: "My heroes understand how devastating it would feel to not be able to play their guitar anymore"

Jason Becker
(Image credit: Ross Pelton)

Jason Becker’s story is one that cannot fail to move you. At age 20, he was on top of the world, playing on David Lee Roth’s 1991 album, A Little Ain’t Enough, as Steve Vai’s replacement. He’d already become one of the hottest names in shred, thanks to his work in Cacophony with Marty Friedman, releasing Speed Metal Symphony in 1987 and Go Off! in 1988.

But disaster was about to strike. Not long after he felt some pain in his leg, Becker’s health rapidly declined. He had to switch to super-light-gauge strings to complete the Roth album, and his condition deteriorated so quickly that he was soon confined to a wheelchair.

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Mark McStea

Mark is a freelance writer with particular expertise in the fields of ‘70s glam, punk, rockabilly and classic ‘50s rock and roll. He sings and plays guitar in his own musical project, Star Studded Sham, which has been described as sounding like the hits of T. Rex and Slade as played by Johnny Thunders. He had several indie hits with his band, Private Sector and has worked with a host of UK punk luminaries. Mark also presents themed radio shows for Generating Steam Heat. He has just completed his first novel, The Bulletproof Truth, and is currently working on the sequel.