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The Stuff Of Legends
The title “The Stuff Of Legends” originated from a guitar clinic I gave a few years ago by the same name. During the clinic I presented the names of some guitarists that are considered to be legends (Jeff Beck, B.B King, Jason Becker…) and posed the question “What did they have to go through to become legendary and what events transformed their lives?”
Once I told their stories it was apparent that the very obstacles that stood in their way was what attributed to their sound. For the teenaged Jeff Beck, guitars were hard by in post WWII England and swiping a pickup from a music store, built his own electric guitar that somewhat resembled a Fender Strat, but the neck was too long and the frets out of place resulting in the intonation being way off. He learned to bend the strings into tune to compensate and this is why his playing has a vocal like quality to this day.
For B.B. King, he would bang two nails into the walls of his house and string broom wire from one nail to the other as a makeshift instrument because “if us kids wanted to play music, we would find a way.”
Prodigy shred guitarist Jason Becker had reached the pinnacle of success in 1991 when he landed his dream gig of taking over for Steve Via in the David Lee Roth Band. Right about the same time he began experiencing numbness in his leg. The diagnosis wasn’t good… Jason had ALS. He barely finished the DLR album before losing his ability to play and the tour was called off. Jason is still alive and continues to make albums to this day. He and his dad developed a language using eye movements. Jason will stare at his guitar hanging on the wall and communicate to his dad what notes to put into the computer and the music that comes forth is astounding.
This kind of resilience is awe inspiring and what keeps me forging ahead and that’s “The Stuff Of Legends”.