Carvin Announces JB200C Jason Becker Tribute Guitar

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San Diego-based Carvin Guitars has worked closely with neo-classical metal guitarist and composer Jason Becker to create a new tribute guitar, the JB200C.

For a while, Carvin and Becker had been considering a reissue of the flamed blue guitar made famous in the “kiss” photo, in which Becker is kissing the neck of his Carvin. The original guitar was a DC200 with the custom ST body shape and a flame maple fingerboard and flame maple body top.

The JB200C, which was created by Carvin’s Custom Shop, features an alder body, 4A flame maple body and headstock, flame maple fingerboard, Floyd Rose bridge with locking nut, Sperzel locking tuners, active/passive circuit and Carvin M22SD and M22V pickups.

Carvin has released a video paying tribute to Jason while documenting the making of the JB200C, and you can check it out below.

Becker, who rose to fame in the late ’80s on Mike Varney’s Shrapnel Records, teamed up with guitarist Marty Friedman to form Cacophony. Becker joined David Lee Roth’s band in the early ’90s, appearing on the A Lil’ Ain’t Enough album. Before he could hit the road on the supporting tour, Becker was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. He has survived decades longer than doctors had predicted. Although he can’t play guitar anymore, Becker continues to compose music and communicate using a customized computer interface.

For more information on the guitar, visit carvin.com.

The History Of: Jason Becker

 

Born on July 22, 1970, Jason Becker was first introduced to the guitar at the age of 5. Both his father (also an artist) and uncle were guitarists from whom he was able learn quite rapidly, becoming an excellent musician at an early age.

Even at a young age we would reportedly practice for over 10 hours a day to the likes of Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Eddie Van Halen. He was also heavily influenced by various world music, and like friend and fellow ex-Cacophony band member Marty Friedman, Jason’s compositions often feature exotic and unusual scales. By the time he was in the sixth grade Jason was already playing local coffee houses and school dances.

In high school Jason was introduced to Marty Friedman with whom he shared similar musical tastes and extraordinary musical talent. In 1986 the duo formed speedmetal band Cacophony, releasing their first album (Speed Metal Symphony) in 1987, at the age of only 17. Hailed as a masterpiece, Speed Metal Symphony features some of the most incredible, fast, complex and melodic guitar playing ever recorded. Following the release of a second album in 1988 (Go Off!) which proved a complete commercial failure, Cacophony disbanded.

Also in 1988, Jason released his first solo album, Perpetual Burn, a must-have for any shred guitar fan, full of the aggressive, classical-influenced (Paganini, in particular was a major influence) harmony, counterpoint and sweep picking that is Jason’s signature style.

In 1990, at the age of 20, Jason was offered Steve Vai’s place in the David Lee Roth band. With David Lee Roth he recorded A Little Ain’t Enough, which is largely considered to be David’s best solo album. Jason’s career had never looked better, until disaster struck. What began as a slight weakness in his left leg was soon diagnosed as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a degenerative nerve disease. His doctored estimated that he had at most 5 years of life left. Although he ignored the diagnosis for quite awhile, taking it as a temporary setback that would soon clear up, by the time recording of the album finished Jason’s ability to play guitar had diminished to the point where he had to depend almost entirely on the tremolo bar for vibrato.

Now unable to play guitar, Jason moved to his parents’ home. There, he found refuge in spirituality, which helped him come to terms with his condition. He places considerable credit for his prolonged life on Ammachi, his guru and on the teachings of Yogananda, which he follows. Supported by loving friends and family he began to compose through his computer and released an album of original material (played by other musicians), Perspective, in 1996. Since that time his condition has stabilized and two albums of demo-tape material were released, The Raspberry Jams in 1999 and The Blackberry Jams in 2003. There have also been unconfirmed mentions of a movie about his life in the works. To this day, Jason continues to write music out of his home in Glendale, California although currently he is focusing most of his energy on spiritual healing and writing.

 

Discography

 

  • Speed Metal Symphony (1987) with Cacophony
  • Go Off! (1988) with Cacophony
  • Perpetual Burn (1988)
  • A Little Ain’t Enough (1991) with David Lee Roth
  • Guitar’s Practicing Musicians: Volume 2 (1991) rare compilation CD featuring numerous established guitarists
  • Perspective (1996)
  • The Raspberry Jams (1999)
  • The Blackberry Jams (2003)A number of Jason Becker tribute albums have also been released, notably Warmth in the Wilderness Vol. I and II.

    Becker’s official site (very informative, lots of content, lots of great articles).

    If you have control over your mind, you can do anything.” – Jason Becker

Steve Vai Streaming New Song, “Gravity Storm”

 

Steve Vai: "Gravity Storm"
Stream a new track from Steve Vai’s upcoming new album, The Story of Light.

Just days after announcing plans to release his sixteenth solo album, The Story of Light, late this summer, Steve Vai is already giving fans a taste of new music with a track called “Gravity Storm.” Stream it below.

The Story of Light centers around a character who has been driven mad by grief, and will continue a thematic arc that that started Vai’s 2005 effort, Real Illusions: Reflections.

“I’m always pursuing knowledge, I’m a seeker of spiritual equilibrium-and music is a big part of that,” said Vai in an official press release. “I’ve been obsessed with these kinds of ideas for years.”

The Story of Light is out on August 14 via Favored Nations.

Available for pre-order on http://www.vai.com
Steve Vai – “Gravity Storm” Preview from his upcoming solo album “The Story of Light”

Joe Satriani still a driving force

Last updated 14:20 22/03/2012
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CAMERON BURNELL/Fairfax NZ

FULL THROTTLE: Joe Satriani plays at G-TARanaki in 2008. “You know how they say in the moviues ‘ don’t work with kids and animals? In rock ‘n’ roll it’s ‘stay away from people who do the same thing as you do’.”

Joe Satriani is thinking about another guitarist, the one who recorded the best known version of Hey Joe and showed the world just how versatile the electric guitar could be.

“I was such a Hendrix fanatic that when he died I was devastated. I decided I would be a guitar player that very day.”

Jimi Hendrix died in 1970 when Satriani was 14 – and while Satriani, who plays Wellington on Saturday, wouldn’t compare himself to his hero, there are similarities. Satriani is considered one of the best rock guitarists on the planet.

There’s Satriani the sought-after session player and collaborator. In the late 80s he toured with Mick Jagger. In 1994 he replaced Richie Blackmore in Deep Purple. He heads rock “supergroup” Chickenfoot, which includes former Van Halen members Sammy Hager and Michael Anthony and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith.

There’s Satriani the soloist. His 1987 release Surfing with the Alien broke into the American top 40 – a rare feat as it was a completely instrumental album – and remains hugely influential. He’s sold 10 million albums and has 14 Grammy Awards nominations.

Then there’s Satriani, the electric guitar evangelist and teacher. His students have even included Kirk Hammett, of Metallica.

Satriani took up teaching early on, something he did “on the side while busy trying to be a rock star”. But it stayed with him. “It was much better than any kind of a day job that may be injurious to my fingers or my hands,” he says.

“Being in a band that’s working on the weekends meant that we had to rehearse during the week. Basically, I was unskilled, other than music. I couldn’t work on Wall Street, I couldn’t work in a hospital. But I loved teaching, even when I was a young kid just starting out. I was teaching kids just starting out behind me. Just by accident I walked into a guitar store one day where the owner was looking for a teacher. I was bugging him because I was playing all these guitars with no plans to buy anything. He figured he’d put me to work. But I became the luckiest teacher in rock ‘n’ roll because after a couple of months who comes walking through the door but Kurt Hammett, Larry LaLonde [Primus], Charlie Hunter, Kevin Cadogan [Third Eye Blind] and David Bryson [Counting Crows]. All these young kids were dedicated to becoming good musicians . . .”

Naturally, like any teacher, Satriani has followed them and been pleased with their achievements. “We did a show with Metallica last July and we were playing in Quebec City in front of a crowd of 120,000 people. It was unbelievable. After the show my wife and I were in the cage behind Lars’ [Ulrich] drum kit and we got to watch the show from back there and I remember I’m looking at Kurt playing the guitar and I’m thinking ‘now, that’s amazing’. I remembered Kurt as a good student and I knew he had the dream and he had the drive . . . I could say ‘we did it right’.”

Another of Satriani’s students was Steve Vai (Public Image, Whitesnake) – and it’s Vai who will also play Wellington on Saturday, along with another top guitarist Steve Lukather (Toto). The three come under the umbrella of G3, a concert concept Satriani started in 1996, where he and two guest guitarists each have a slot with their own bands, before joining Satriani and his band for an all-star jam session.

G3 has had sold out shows in the United States, Europe, Japan, Australia and South America. Satriani’s guests over the years have been a who’s who of guitar legends and across genres, including fellow virtuoso and teacher Robert Fripp.

“We dreamed up the idea in ’95 so I would have people that I could play with on a regular basis. I was complaining to [my management] that my success had isolated me a bit from my own community. Managers would generally keep their guitar players away from each other.

“You know how they say in the movies ‘don’t work with kids and animals?’ In rock ‘n’ roll it’s ‘stay away from people who do the same thing as you do’. But I thought ‘that’s no fun. Let’s do the opposite. Let’s figure out how I can be on stage with two or three or four guitar players and we go at it every night’. I just knew the audience would love it because I knew that I would love it if I was in the audience. When I was a kid I would have loved to see Hendrix and [Jimmy] Page and Jeff Beck and all my favourite guitar players playing together. But they never did it. It took us a year to convince everybody to do it. So we are a well- oiled machine at this point.”

The Details

G3 with Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Steve Lukather, Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington, March 24. A live Joe Satriani DVD and double CD Satchurated: Live In Montreal is released on April 9.

Author: TOM CARDY

 

G3 – Tourdates 2012


Check the vai.com Tour Dates page for the most up-to-date dates. Ticket links coming soon.

Steve Vai North America Fall Tour 2012

08/15/12 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Revolution United States
08/16/12 St. Petersburg, FL Palladium Theater United States
08/17/12 Lake Buena Vista, FL House of Blues United States
08/18/12 Jacksonville, FL Florida Theatre United States
08/20/12 Charlotte, NC The Fillmore United States
08/21/12 Nashville, TN Marathon Musicworks United States
08/22/12 Asheville, NC Orange Peel United States
08/23/12 Atlanta, GA Centerstage United States
08/24/12 N. Myrtle Beach, SC House of Blues United States
08/25/12 Durham, NC Carolina Theatre United States
08/26/12 Richmond, VA The National United States
08/28/12 Washington D.C. The Howard Theatre United States
08/29/12 Stroudsberg, PA Sherman Theatre United States
08/30/12 Glenside, PA Keswick Theatre United States
08/31/12 Westbury, NY Theatre at Westbury United States
09/02/12 Lancaster, PA Chameleon Club United States
09/04/12 Ridgefield, CT The Ridgefield Playhouse United States
09/05/12 Wilmington, DE The Grand Opera House United States
09/06/12 Greensburg, PA Palace Theatre United States
09/07/12 New Brunswick, NJ State Theater United States
09/08/12 Morristown, NJ Mayo Performing Arts Center United States
09/09/12 Albany, NY The Egg United States
09/11/12 New York, NY Best Buy Theater United States
09/13/12 Boston, MA Wilbur Theatre United States
09/14/12 Northampton, MA Calvin Theatre United States
09/15/12 Concord, NH Capitol Center United States
09/16/12 Lebanon, NH Lebanon Opera House United States
09/17/12 Quebec, QA Capitole Du Quebec Canada
09/18/12 Montreal, QC Metropolis Canada
09/20/12 Toronto, ON Sony Centre Canada
09/21/12 Royal Oak, MI Royal Oak Music Hall United States
09/22/12 Buffalo, NY University of Buffalo Center for the Arts United States
09/24/12 Cleveland, OH House of Blues United States
09/26/12 Minneapolis, MN The Brick United States
09/27/12 Milwaukee, WI Pabst Theater United States
09/28/12 Chicago, IL House of Blues United States
09/29/12 St. Louis, MO The Pageant United States
09/30/12 Salina, KS The Stiefel United States
10/01/12 Denver, CO The Ogden Theatre United States
10/03/12 Boise, ID Knitting Factory United States
10/04/12 Seattle, WA The Moore Theatre United States
10/05/12 Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom Canada
10/06/12 Portland, OR Roseland Theater United States
10/07/12 Napa, CA Uptown Theatre United States
10/09/12 San Francisco, CA Regency Ballroom United States
10/10/12 Sacramento, CA Ace of Spades United States
10/11/12 Anaheim, CA City National Grove of Anaheim United States
10/12/12 Los Angeles Club Nokia United States
10/13/12 Agoura Hills, CA Canyon Club United States

G3’s scheurende gitaristen doen oren bloeden

AMSTERDAM – Gitaarhelden bestaan nog wel degelijk en ze verzamelden zich op vrijdagavond in de Heineken Music Hall om de liefhebber te trakteren op een avond vol instrumentaal geweld.

NU.nl/Paul Barendregt

Optreden G3 in Heineken Music Hall Fotoserie

G3 is het geesteskind van gitaarvirtuoos Joe Satriani, waarbij hij zich op tournee vergezelt met twee andere niet onaardig spelende gitaristen. Het is een ritueel wat vaak voorbij komt in de Verenigde Staten, maar in mindere mate in Europa.

Nu werd het dus weer eens tijd voor dat continent. G3 toert het hele jaar door met verschillende line-ups door de hele wereld, met uitzondering van de Verenigde Staten. De start van de Europese tournee was in Amsterdam, waar de Heineken Music Hall zich vulde met echte gitaarfreaks.

Het lijkt bijna een gegeven dat Steve Vai altijd meegaat en dat is nu niet anders. Degene die zich nieuweling mag noemen is Steve Morse, nota bene een gitarist die al naam aan het maken was toen die andere twee nog op hun kamertjes aan het oefenen waren.

Iedereen krijgt keurig vijftig minuten speeltijd en het programma wordt heel netjes gevolgd. Al die gitaarnoten precies in zo’n tijdsbestek krijgen is al een prestatie op zich.

 

Steve Morse

Morse mag het gitaarfestijn openen. De van Deep Purple bekende gitarist heeft een immense discografie op zijn naam, onder meer als solo-artiest onder de naam Steve Morse Band.  Slechts één keer wordt er geklapt bij de inzet van een nummer, wat de onbekendheid van zijn solo-uitstapjes duidelijk maakt.

Maar de set was wel zeer onderhoudend en erg gevarieerd, waarbij het naast scheurende rock niet gek is om country, funk, akoustisch, of klassiek voorbij te horen komen. Het zuivere gitaarspel maakte het optreden af. Een muzikaal en visueel rustige openingsact, maar vooral interessant om Morse eens zonder zijn bekende bandmaten te horen.

 

Steve Vai

Vai treedt voor het eerst sinds tijden weer eens aan zonder poespas. De laatste jaren werd hij voornamelijk vergezeld door klassieke instrumentalisten, dit keer krijgt het publiek een ouderwetse rockshow voorgeschoteld. De routineuze set, met onder meer Animal en Tender Surrender, is hem daarbij vergeven. Wel heeft Amsterdam de primeur van een nieuw nummer: een stampende ‘classic’ Vai-track.

Als gitaarspeler blijft Vai op eenzame hoogte staan, maar zijn fysieke fratsen blijven dit keer op een minimum. Dan nog blijft het gemak waarmee hij met zijn ledematen over het fretbord vliegt ongelofelijk om te zien. Het spelplezier maakt dat zijn optreden ook voor de meest negatieve zuurpruim te genieten valt. Wel een minpunt: publieksfavoriet en ballade For the Love of God diende als afsluiter, maar een steviger slot was wenselijker geweest.

 

Joe Satriani

Satriani dient zich al vrij snel aan na een korte ombouwpauze en is meteen de enige gitarist die moeite doet het publiek op te zwepen. Dat lukt meteen. De handen gaan collectief de lucht in en de gespeelde gitaarmelodieën worden meegezongen.

Ook deze set staat vol met gouwe ouwen, met hooguit het nieuwere Dream Some als verrassing. Maar Satch Boogie en Flying in a Blue Dream kunnen natuurlijk niet ontbreken. Het lijkt logisch dat zulke songs na al die jaren vlekkeloos gespeeld worden, maar het moet toch maar elke keer weer waar gemaakt worden én met enthousiasme. Dat doet Satriani dan ook deze avond.

 

Jam

Voor de toegift kwamen Morse en Vai het podium opstappen om traditioneel een drietal covers te spelen. Dit dient vooral als excuus om onderling de meest virtuoze solo’s uit te wisselen. Voor het eerst in de G3-geschiedenis werd You Really Got Me van The Kinks gespeeld.

Morse staat er een beetje bij, want Satriani en Vai zijn samen inmiddels een geoliede machine. Kwestie van gewenning tijdens zo’n eerste show natuurlijk, en zijn gitaarspel sloot wel keurig aan. Middels White Room van Cream en Neal Young’s Rockin’ in a Free World kwam er een einde aan het gitaargeweld.

Door: NU.nl/René Hartkamp