An amazing meeting took place on August 31, 1996. That’s when Eddie Van Halen spent the day with a guy who had followed in his footsteps playing alongside David Lee Roth—Jason Becker. Jason hadbeendiagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and was not in good shape. Van Halen came to Jason’s house to give love and support—as well as a guitar—to his friend and to film an ALS awareness promotional video. During that time, Eddie told stories, talked about his creative process, and played amazing music, instantly sounding exactly like Eddie Van Halen even when playing Jason’s guitar through a small practice amp.
This never-before-seen footage shows a side of Eddie Van Halen that goes far beyond his brilliant musicianship: a sweet, caring, generous personality, devoid of the trappings of fame or rock stardom. The video also documents the incredible strength of Jason Becker, who had been deprived of his shot at fame as well as his genius guitar skills, but still found the courage and the will to battle a debilitating disease.
“Eddie was such a beautiful person,” says Becker. “He was incredibly kind to me and my family. Not only was he my biggest influence, he had such a huge heart. He honestly saved my life.”
This video is a must-see piece of history, not just for guitarists but for
everyone. It truly shows the magic of kindness, and a depth of emotion that we can all use more of.