Jason Becker, the guitarist/composer who has had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, a.k.a. Lou Gehrig's Disease) for 30 years, has posted the following message on his web site:
"I'm feeling very grateful for the blessings in my life — for you all, and for your prayers and their effect on me. I had an early Christmas gift last week from my doctors. They did a scan of my lungs and chest and saw nothing troubling. The residual scar tissue that has been bothering me is nothing to worry about. The fluid that had been surrounding my lungs is gone, and my trachea had no blockages — something I've struggled with in the past. I thank you all for your part in this outcome; I feel it is huge, and I hope my prayers for all of you have as much power.
"May I ask for help with another obstacle I am facing currently? Since I communicate with my eyes, when it is hard to keep them open or move them it is challenging to get my needs met or train caregivers. My left eye has been quite weak lately. You prayers for its strength are just what I need right now.
"With profound gratitude, Jason"
Becker previously underwent two cataract surgeries in September. Six months earlier, he had an operation to drain the abscess in his lung.
Becker's story is one of brilliance, talent, determination, adversity, and, ultimately, triumph. A child prodigy on guitar, Jason rose to prominence as a teenager when he was one half of the technical guitar duo CACOPHONY, with his great friend Marty Friedman. In 1989, at only 19 years old and after wowing audiences all over the world, the young virtuoso became the guitarist for David Lee Roth, following in the huge footsteps of Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai. He wrote and recorded on Roth's third solo album, "A Little Ain't Enough", and was poised for superstardom when a nagging pain in his leg was diagnosed as Motor Neurone Disease (MND), also known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's Disease, the same condition Stephen Hawking lived with for over five decades. It is a fatal condition with a life expectancy of maybe five years. Maybe.
That was 30 years ago. He lost the ability to play guitar, walk, talk, and breathe on his own. But never lost his will to live or his desire to create music. Communicating through a series of eye movements with a system developed by his father, Jason spells out words as well as musical notes and chords. He imparts his musical vision to his team who then can input the notes into a computer, edit the parts to his exacting standards, and then generate charts for session musicians. His inspiring music and life story have been the subject of countless news articles, magazine cover stories, and an award-winning documentary, "Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet".
Becker's latest album, "Triumphant Hearts", was released in December 2018 via Music Theories Recordings/Mascot Label Group. The disc features guest appearances by a who's who of six-string gods, including Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Neal Schon, Steve Morse, Paul Gilbert and Joe Bonamassa.