Watch New Video of Eddie Van Halen Visiting Jason Becker in 1996
Becker was suffering severely from the effects of ALS, which had destroyed most of his body’s motor abilities. Van Halen wanted to help raise awareness of the condition by making a promo video.
In the behind-the-scenes material that Becker has never previously released, Van Halen is seen presenting a guitar, giving it a rub with his shirt and confirming: “I named it after my son, Wolfgang.” He then explains he’s got a patent on the automated detuning device. Later he’s heard discussing how he’d lost interest in Eric Clapton after having enjoyed his work with Cream and Blind Faith. On the subject of his own talent he reflects: “It’s not me. It just comes to me, you know? Anyone who thinks they’re personally responsible [makes ‘nuts’ gesture]. Where do ideas come from? Thin air. That’s the man upstairs and all his buddies – Hendrix and everybody else.”
“It is really hard to watch myself struggling here,” said Becker, who released his latest album Triumphant Hearts in 2018. “This was right before getting my trache and stomach tube and I couldn’t breathe, talk or eat. I was very weak. Today, I am much better. I wanted to show the incredible love I have received from Eddie Van Halen. Not only was he a master of the guitar, his heart and soul are here for all to see.” He added: “What an example of kindness, humility and love; something the world needs now and always. I will never forget my friend.”
Eddie Van Halen and Jason Becker