Watch Previously Unseen Footage of Eddie Van Halen’s Emotional Visit with Jason Becker in 1996


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Rock Cellar Magazine
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Jason Becker, the musician/guitarist who has maintained a prolific career despite being dealt a tough hand — amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease — is an inspiration to many.

Over the weekend, Becker shared a deeply personal video featuring previously unseen footage from his family, documenting one day in August 1996 that Becker received a special visit from Eddie Van Halen. Per the video’s description:

The two guitar legends spend time together in this recently released 1996 video.

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 had been diagnosed 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.

Jason Becker shared the video as a means of paying tribute to the famed guitarist, who passed away in October after a fight with cancer.

“Eddie was such a beautiful person,” said Jason Becker in a statement accompanying the video. “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.”

For more on Jason Becker, his incredibly inspirational story and 2012 documentary, Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet, click here to read our recent feature interview with him.

Comments

  • Dan Horsnell says:

    In all my 50 yrs, I’ve never held such love for a man , since the day I seen the video with Eddie blowing smoke rings at the camera, I was hooked as his biggest fan,Eddie, if you can read this somehow, I love ya man keep on rocking with those above us that we have lost on this God forsaken earth, r.i.p


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