Jason Becker

Raspberry Jams

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There are few stories in rock music as tragic as that of Jason Becker. Just as six-string stardom was handed to him on a silver platter -- by landing a gig with David Lee Roth and appearing on the A Little Ain't Enough album -- Becker was stricken with A.L.S. (better known as Lou Gehrig's Disease), which by the mid-'90s had completely robbed him of his ability to play a musical instrument. Still, sporadic releases were issued, such as the odds and ends collection, Raspberry Jams, in 1999. Comprised solely of previously unreleased demos, you instantly detect Becker's impressive six-string ability (in a late-'80s and early-'90s sorta way), as evidenced by such selections as "Becker-Ola," "If You Shoot...Shoot -- Don't Talk," and a sweet and serene collaboration with Marty Friedman (Becker's former bandmate in Cacophony), "Black Stallion Jam." Fans of Steve Vai and Joe Satriani-esque guitar heroics will certainly appreciate Raspberry Jams.

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