World's greatest guitar heroes assemble for mammoth virtual Jason Becker fundraiser

Jason Becker
(Image credit: Ross Pelton)

It has been announced that a collection of the world’s most prolific electric guitar players will join forces throughout March and April to raise money for – and celebrate the music of – iconic guitarist Jason Becker, who has been living with ALS for the past 30 years.

Hosted by DragonForce guitar wizard Herman Li, the fundraiser will be composed of three separate parts, including a live fundraiser on Li's Twitch channel, a special store on internet gear retailer and a one-off auction of Becker’s prized guitars.

Over $13,000 has been raised so far by the Twitch livestreams, which see special guest guitarists join Li to jam and take part in a range of challenges conceived by those tuning in.

Those who will be participating in the fundraiser – to name but a few – include Marty Friedman, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, John Petrucci, Kiko Loureiro, Nita Strauss, Orianthi, Guthrie Govan and Tosin Abasi.

Also making an appearance are Mark Tremonti, Nili Brosh, Matt Heafy, Lari Basilio, Jared Dines and Cole Rolland.

Marty Friedman is doing a New Year's livestream

Marty Friedman is among the guests participating in Herman Li's livestream. (Image credit: Susumu Miyawaki)

Details of the online store and auction are yet to be announced, though it has been revealed that the guitars Becker appeared with on the front of Perpetual Burn and Speed Metal Symphony will be making an appearance.

Becker’s original Numbers guitar, which was played by Eddie Van Halen, will also hit the block in the coming weeks.

I’ve been a huge fan of Jason Becker since I was young, and it’s one of the biggest honors of my life to be able to help organize this tribute and raise money for him

Herman Li

Said Li, who co-organized the musical fund-raising marathon, “I’ve been a huge fan of Jason Becker since I was young, and it’s one of the biggest honors of my life to be able to help organize this tribute and raise money for him. It’s been very inspiring to see everyone coming together to celebrate Jason.”

Having never lost his passion for making music, Becker continues to compose music, using a system developed by his father to write musical notes and chords via a series of eye movements.

Of the event, Becker said, “I am so grateful for all the love and support everyone has given me and my family. As far as selling my guitars being sad, and that I shouldn’t have to do it, I just want you to know that isn’t how I feel.

“I feel good about passing on my guitars, thinking they mean something to others,” he continued. “I can’t play them now, but other folks can. That’s a good thing. And I want myself and my family not to have to worry about money, if possible. Thank you for all the love. I send it right back to you.”

Head over to Jason Becker’s website for a full schedule of livestream events.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.