Last night (September 21), Alice Cooper and his band – which features electric guitar hero Nita Strauss – played at the Leader Bank Pavilion in Boston, Massachusetts.
For the group's encore performance of Cooper's anti-authority anthem School's Out, Strauss – rather than her Ibanez JIVA10 signature guitar – elected to use a different, very significant guitar instead, Jason Becker's original prototype Peavey 'Numbers' model.
Used by Becker – whose 30-year struggle with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease) has robbed him of the ability to play guitar, walk, talk and breathe on his own – to record his songs River of Longing and End of the Beginning, and played by Eddie Van Halen during a visit to Becker’s home in 1996, the one-of-a-kind guitar was recently sold at auction for $65,000.
You can see Strauss take School's Out's rabble-rousing solo with the custom Peavey below.
"It’s taken me 12 hours to find the words," Strauss wrote on Instagram of the experience. "What an incredible honor and a privilege it was to get to play Jason Becker's original Numbers guitar on stage for a song last night.
"This guitar truly has Jason’s magic in it – I felt like I couldn’t miss a note if I tried! I was in tears walking off the stage thinking what that moment meant. I don’t know when that guitar was last used on stage! But I am so grateful to have had this opportunity.
"Jason told Josh [presumably Josh Villalta, Strauss's boyfriend] and I years ago that he wanted his guitars to continue being played," Strauss continued. "At the time I was struck by how unselfish that thought was – there was no sense of bitterness, just that same joy and love of guitar that we all associate with Jason and his playing.
"Now that I’ve played it a couple times – I get it. I do."
Earlier this year, Strauss played a prominent role in a massive virtual Jason Becker fundraiser, set up to assist the guitarist with his significant medical costs.
As part of the initiative, which included a live fundraising event on DragonForce guitarist Herman Li's Twitch channel, Polyphia guitar maestro Tim Henson also got the chance to play Becker's Numbers guitar, using it for a rare display of his improvisational prowess.