There are a lot of guitarists who make what they're doing look easy. Few of them though, made their craft look as effortless as Jason Becker did in his prime.
Becker first rose to prominence as a teenager when he was one half of the technical guitar duo Cacophony with Marty Friedman. In 1989, at only 19 years old, he followed in the footsteps of Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai, and became the guitarist for David Lee Roth. He wrote and recorded with Roth for the former Van Halen frontman’s third solo album, A Little Ain’t Enough and was poised for superstardom when a nagging pain in his leg was diagnosed as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a fatal condition with a life expectancy of maybe five years.
Becker though, defied the odds and continues to make music to this day, despite the loss of his ability to play guitar, walk, talk and breathe on his own.
This video—shot when he was a teenager—is but one reminder of his extraordinary talent.