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The Van Halen News Desk

November 21, 2014    Headlines: 06.03.08  Press Archive: 01.21.04
Exclusive Jason Becker Interview

February 12, 2001 - To Van Halen and David Lee Roth fans, Jason Becker is best known as the guitar whiz behind Roth's 1991 solo album, A Little Ain't Enough. To me personally, Jason is an inspiration as a guitar player, but more importantly, he is an inspiration as a person.

Jason was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease) 12 years ago. If you haven't already, I strongly recommend you visit Jason's web site and read his story.

Last year I contacted Jason's sister-in-law, Amy about the possibility of interviewing Jason for the Van Halen News Desk. To my delight, Jason agreed to the interview. Thanks to Pat and Amy Becker for helping arranging it. Special thanks also to Jason for agreeing to the interview.

VHND: What have you been up to recently?

Jason Becker: "Perspective" is being released by Warner Bros. on May 22nd. Hotlicks is going to release my instructional video called "The Legendary Guitar of Jason Becker" around the same time, so I have been working on that stuff.

VHND: Are you still composing new songs?

Jason Becker: No. There isn't a computer system that I can use.

VHND: How did you get the David Lee Roth gig?

Jason Becker: Gregg Bissonette called Mike Varney, looking for a good player. Varney and I sent tapes and Boom! Actually, then Dave wanted to hear me play five of his and Van Halen's songs, so I spent one night learning and recording drums, bass and guitar for five songs to send, then Boom!

VHND: What do you remember most about the first time you met David Lee Roth?

Jason Becker: I remember his big smile, telling a joke and him really trying to make me feel welcome and comfortable.

VHND: In August 1999 I ran a story about the re-release of your album "Perspective" by Warner Bros. Records. The re-release was to feature a brand new song written by yourself and performed by Eddie Van Halen. How did this collaboration with Eddie come about?

Jason Becker: Well this isn't going to happen now. It isn't Eddie's fault. He will help promote it.

VHND: Has Eddie recorded the song yet, and if not, is this the reason for the album delay?

Jason Becker: It was the reason for the delay, but no one should think Eddie is anything other than a sweetheart. He does what he can.

VHND: Have you heard the rumors about David Lee Roth being back in the studio with Van Halen? If so, what's your opinion on this?

Jason Becker: I have. I won't have an opinion until I hear the music, but I feel like everyone else, those days were simply magic.

VHND: I thought the strongest tracks on David Lee Roth's "A Little Ain't Enough" album are the final two, co-written by yourself. Did you and Dave write any other songs together?

Jason Becker: Thank you. For my taste, I would agree. I think me and Dave and the other guys all wrote one together. It was good. I was bummed when it didn't make it onto the album. There are a few on my CD, "The Raspberry Jams", that Dave also turned down.

VHND: Were there any extra songs recorded or demoed for "A Little Ain't Enough" that were left off the album? Any song titles come to mind?

Jason Becker: I can only recall "She's My Machine" and "Any Time, Anywhere".

VHND: When was the last time you heard from David Lee Roth? Do you guys keep in touch?

Jason Becker: The last time was when we regretfully parted ways. I could tell he was bummed, but I haven't heard from him since.

VHND: When was the last time you heard from Eddie Van Halen? Do you guys keep in touch?

Jason Becker: I heard from Eddie last week. We have our droughts, but we keep in touch.

VHND: What is your favorite Van Halen album?

Jason Becker: Oh so hard. I guess the first one, Fair Warning and 1984, but there are many gems on every album.

VHND: Did you get a chance to listen to the Van Halen III with Gary Cherone? If so, what did you think?

Jason Becker: There are some great spots.

VHND: Did you get a chance to listen to Dave's 1998 album "DLR Band"? If so, what did you think?

Jason Becker: I actually haven't heard it. How is it?

[Ed. - Dave's people sent a copy of the album to Jason this week...]

Jason Becker

VHND: Can you describe what a typical day is like for Jason Becker in the year 2001?

Jason Becker: Oh, just stuff everyone does only someone has to do it all for me, and it takes many hours.

VHND: Are you still using the Quick Glance software to communicate?

Jason Becker: Actually I have never used Quick Glance to communicate. My father invented a system that is way faster than a computer.

VHND: Do you use the Internet at all?

Jason Becker: Rarely, but it is pretty cool.

VHND: What are your thoughts on new technologies such as Napster?

Jason Becker: Well I wouldn't ever use Napster.

VHND: Feel free to write any messages you have for your fans here.

Jason Becker: To the people who write me: You are great. Thank you.



Link: 2/14: Jason Becker interview at rockreunion.com

[Return to Current Headlines]

Dec 31, 2000 - 2000: The Year In Review
2000 has come and gone, and I don't have to tell you that it was probably the most frustrating year ever in the life of Van Halen fans. "No news is good news" got old real fast.

OFFICIAL MERCHANDISE

2004 VH Press

01.22: Wire Image
01.20: 106.7 FM
01.20: Reuters
01.17: Undercover
01.10: Undercover
01.09: Dwyer & Michaels

VHND News Archive - Table of Contents

2008: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2007: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2006: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2005: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2004: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2003: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2002: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2001: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2000: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
1999: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
1998: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
1997: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
1996: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec


Tours: Van Halen: 1998/2007/2008/2011
David Lee Roth: 1999/2001/2002/2006
Sammy Hagar: 2000/2001/2002 Solo/2002 with DLR/2006/2007/2008/2009/2010/2011
Chickenfoot: 2009/2010/2011/2012

 
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