Former THE IRON MAIDENS and current ALICE COOPER guitarist Nita Strauss has revealed that she was recently “tricked” by her manager/boyfriend, Josh, into performing for her guitar hero, Jason Becker.
Said Strauss: “A few months ago, my boyfriend and savvy business manager Josh told me that I had an audition to be the face of a new guitar app that was going to be the next big thing in the music world. Little did I know it was an elaborate trick that would end in me playing a composition by one of my biggest guitar influences — in front of him in his own living room.”
The “audition” in question involved Strauss playing the song “Perpetual Burn”, the title track of the 1988 solo album from former DAVID LEE ROTH and CACOPHONY guitarist Jason Becker’s 1988 album.
Nita has uploaded a seven-minute video clip in which she can be seen rehearsing “Perpetual Burn” at home, followed by shots of her being driven to an unknown destination and eventually performing for Becker.
Strauss’s performance of “Perpetual Burn” begins at the 5:00 mark in the YouTube clip below.
Jason Becker was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease) at age 20, shortly after joining David Lee Roth’s band for the gold-selling 1991 album “A Little Ain’t Enough”. Although the disease robbed him of his ability to play guitar — and eventually left him both paralyzed and unable to speak — Becker continues to compose music with the help of computers, collaborators, and a system of communication using eye movements that was devised by his father Gary.
Even after his once prodigious axe skills left him, Jason’s music continued to earn the respect of his peers. Joe Satriani called 2001’s “Perspectives” — Jason’s first recorded work after losing his motor functions (originally self-released in 1996) — “a triumphantly powerful and beautiful album.” Fellow virtuosos joined the chorus of praise, including Steve Vai, who said, “Jason has discovered a brilliant source of inspiration within himself. His deep soul searching has resulted in a body of music that reveals courage and insight and is deeply moving.”
Jason’s original partner in CACOPHONY, Marty Friedman added, “To call Jason a genius is an understatement. He doesn’t cater to trend, target audiences, marketing gimmicks or anything like that. He plays out the emotions from his heart and makes real music that is a salute to the human spirit. Jason is a prodigy and on ‘Perspectives’ he realizes his miraculous potential.”
Jason’s most recent album, 2008’s “Collection”, is a mix of old recordings and new compositions, with guest guitar work from Satriani, Vai, Friedman, Michael Lee Firkins, and Greg Howe.
For more on Jason Becker and his fight with ALS, go to www.jasonbeckerguitar.com.