Massachusetts-born Mascis, 47, rose to fame in the early late 1980s and is today an iconic rock guitarist, performing for sell-out crowds throughout the world, recently polling 5th in Spin Magazine’s Top 100 Guitar Players of All Time.
Along with Nirvana and Pearl Jam, Dinosaur Jr is considered one of the bands instrumental in forming the popular “grunge rock” sound of the early 1990s.
Mascis met Amma — as Amritanandamayi is called world-wide — in 1995 and says her teachings have profoundly influenced him and his songwriting. “Amma has given me a lot to write about,” he says. “What better inspiration for songs is there than your guru? I am constantly crying out for help along the bumpy road of life.”
In 2000, Mascis’ CD J Mascis & The Fog featured the song “Ammaring,” which was about Amma.
In 2003, Mascis came to India and performed at Amma’s 50th birthday celebrations in Kochi.
In 2005, he released J & Friends Sing and Chant for Amma to raise money to support the Mata Amritanandamayi Math’s relief-and-rehabilitation work following the 2005 Indian Ocean Tsunami.
“Raising money to help Amma’s charities always feels right,” Masics says of the CD. “Also, I wanted to make a record through which I could ease my fans, friends and peers into giving Amma a chance to touch their lives. Hopefully a few people get to see Amma from listening to or hearing about the record.”
The CD included songs such as “Help Me, Amma,” “Amma, What Now?” and a heavy-metal version of the Sri Adi Sankaracharya hymn to the Divine Mother, the Mahishasura-Mardini Stotram.
In 2005, Dinosaur Jr — which had disbanded in 1997 — got back together and has been touring regularly throughout the world ever since.
Speaking about coming to India to perform for Amma’s birthday, Mascis says, “I feel so grateful to get a chance to offer some songs to Amma on her 60th birthday. She’s given so much to this world. At least I can give this small thing to her.”
Mascis lives in Ahmerst, Massachusetts, with his wife, Luisa, and their six-year-old-son, Rory, both of whom will be accompanying him on his trip to Amritapuri which is the venue for Amritavarsham60 spanning from September 25 to 27.