What first started the need for a guitar in your life?

John Berrettini

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2018
Messages
13
Reaction score
7
I was 5 when the The Beatles were on Ed Sullivan. I begged for lessons for a year. For my 6th birthday I got a rental Danlectro and lessons. When I was 18 my teacher turned his students over to me. I taught for several years playing out multiple nights a week in the 70's and early 80' Stopped in 84 to raise a family but kept on playing at home. Came full circle I'm 2010 when I started playing out again with 2 of my kids. Music can be a constant in your life.

I have owned somewhere over a 100 guitars in my life and now have a 16 Chambered R8, a 339 with no holes, a 98 DC Standard, a 07 Explorer Pro, a 11 faded Studio, and a 19 Jr Tribute.
 

NotScott

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2012
Messages
3,736
Reaction score
9,302
My parents bought all of my siblings a musical instrument when I was 10. Mine was a Decca electric with amp. My mom signed me up for lessons at the local community center but, even though I knew jack squat about playing, I knew the instructor was a wanker and I quit going after the second lesson when he called me out for being "lazy" and not holding my guitar "the proper way".

I was discouraged but still fiddled about on my own. A short while later, I was home and my parents called me into the living room to see this guitar player on TV. It was George Benson. This guy I liked! He didn't sound like the boring dreck I heard on the radio and he played so effortlessly. I just assumed it was easy to play like that. I went off to my room, picked up my guitar, and within 30 seconds I realized how wrong I was. Now I was really discouraged and put the guitar in the closet where it sat for the next three years.

When I was 12, we moved out of state and stayed with my grandmother for a short time. While there, I discovered my aunt's record collection which included, Hendrix, Zeppelin, Doors, Joplin, Beatles, Cream basically a who's who of 60s rock. Honestly, most of it bored me out of my skull but two records started my interest in playing again, Led Zeppelin 2 and the Woodstock Soundtrack. I loved how Zep 2 sounded with the guitar out front and what Page was playing. Then that Hendrix instrumental at Woodstock really grabbed my attention.

I started toying with the guitar again and made a friend who was into guitar music. He gave me Robin Trower Live and that was the turning point. That was when I became serious about guitar. Trower could melt your face with a hundred notes or break your heart with just one. He was everything I wanted to hear from a guitar player and was my inspiration to finally get serious.
 

bobsessed

Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2014
Messages
32
Reaction score
18
My older sisters Elvis records around 1963. Then the Beatles came along and I was hooked. My parents got me a plastic guitar made by Emenee, and it could actually make guitar sounds in tune, but I wanted more. In 1966, a teenager in my neighborhood got a brand-new Stratocaster in Dakota red. To this day, the image of that guitar is burned on my brain as THE electric guitar. When my parents had enough of my begging for a Stratocaster, they bought me (at a jewelry store),a cheapo Winston electric. It came with a terrible SS amp that was about the size of a very small hat box. Knowing nothing about electronics, my brother and I built 2 speaker cabs of about the same size as the amp and installed speakers gleaned from old radios. They smoked the amp within the first 3 minutes of play. Many more guitars and amps followed, and I discovered that the Stratocaster was not the one for me, opting for the more Gibson influenced instruments. Today I've got lots of guitars and amps, and there's one particular Squier, in Dakata red, that hangs in a prominent place on my wall to remind me of that day in 1966. These days I build and modify guitars and amps like a mad scientist (without any knowledge of science).
 

dasherf17

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2020
Messages
624
Reaction score
311
I posted this somewhere else but,

here’s the story.


My brother said that my old man bought a junior sized acoustic guitar at a yard sale just before i was born. To me that acoustic hung on the wall in my room at the feet of my bed FOR EVER. I never paid any attention To it because it was always there.

When i was in 8th grade in jr high after many hours of listening to Metalica tapes with best buddy I turned to my older bro and asked, “ is that a real guitar“ on the wall. He continued to tell me the yard sale story.

That day I pulled that acoustic guitar off the wall for the first time in its 12 years of no one touching it & I started my journey.

I little on later bought a crappy 60’s era Japanese Hofner electric at a flea market and had it painted black. It had no pic guard, volume knob or jack. So some garage tinkering and radio shack electronics and bam. A crappy electric guitar to go with my crappy acoustic lol


View attachment 543925
View attachment 543926

What happened to that acoustic you say? ....... Later in my HS rebel years my old man preceded to scold and tell me it was his guitar while I tried to take it with me on my on my way to run away from home. A struggle ensued as we both tugged at the acoustic & I decided I didn’t need his damn guitar and let it go.

He then proceeded to “el cabong” it over my head into pieces.

Eventually i want back home and there were other guitars but that little acoustic really left an impression on me. :rofl:

View attachment 543927
That was brutal...
 

Pop1655

Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2014
Messages
16,315
Reaction score
48,515
Next door neighbor. I was in about 7th grade. He was in high school, but let me hang around. I thought he was pretty much it. (He had a motorcycle. Something I could never even think of aspiring to) Sitting in his backyard listening to him bang out Gloria and Louie Louie on a $25 nylon string acoustic pretty much signed me up.
The journey
Already having learned Gloria and Louie Louie on my acquired $20 nylon acoustic, I saved up paper route money and scored a Kent I could play through my dad's Philco. He got tired of that and got me a Silvertone for Christmas. Another high school guy up the street was the real deal. He had some kind of fender with a blond bassman head and 2x12 cab. That amp was the coolest thing I'd ever seen. So was he. He could have been a Beach Boys walk on. He didn't hang with the lowly likes of me though. Had to pay for lessons. He taught me Yesterday. Then next door neighbor figured out House of the Rising Sun. Next came The Letter by the Boxtops. So there ya go.
We got:
Louie Louie
Gloria
Yesterday
House of the Rising Sun
The Letter
Add to that Light My Fire
Then the Monkees provided all kinds of options.
Hooked up with the kid around the corner with a drum set in the garage, a bass player I walked home from school with and soon we were ready to tour.

....evidently that didn't go so well because in about 30 minutes I'm gonna start frying fish again
 

dasherf17

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2020
Messages
624
Reaction score
311
My baby sitter used to work part time at a restaurant in "beautiful downtown Rogers (that's pretty much what Rogers was...downtown, small residential area, pop. 300-50). They had an old jukebox, converted 78-45 AMI. Colored lights, fluorescent blue 45 adapters (the ones outside the record for10"), and the sound! Whoa-ho...even at 4-5 years old...it sounded SO good...
It was full of pop, the "new" rock and roll (we're talking 1956-57) and R'N'B....MMM!
Living in the country, it was not uncommon to see kids with their folks at the local river bar in those times, with the rare occasion to see the bar band...the guitar player that got my attention weilded a Fender of some sort with a "stick shift" as Mom called it. The guy could play it behind his neck...cool...
Aaaand then, of course, the Beatles...got me away from my Mousegetar and int my first acoustic for $5...which after a home bridge repair with compound cement, the edge split, I left it home for "awhile", parents hung it up in the garage in front of Mom's Chevy...she missed thee brakes one night, hit the back wall...on the other side of the guitar...found out after reading an old issue of Guitar Player that it was a Martin...a 1920-30s 00(0?)-28 (45?)...the one on his debut album.
 
Last edited:

MrMountainHop

Member
Joined
May 28, 2014
Messages
97
Reaction score
121
Ace Frehley.
Detroit Rock City.
Kiss Alive II.

I was changed immediately and forever.
 

Brian_d

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2015
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
I pretty much grew up with music listening to Waylon & Willie, Jonny Cash Roy Clark & Buck Owen's, while riding in the car with my parents. I listened to stuff like Frampton, ELO, Aerosmith & Atlanta rythm section on the radio as a kid in the 70's.
During the early to mid 80's, nobody I knew played guitar. I played sax in jazz & marching band throughout Jr high/ high school. Chuck Mangione & Henry Mancini - stuff like that. In fact, someone in the school system created the idea that, if they had every school in the district learn the same music, they could put together the world's largest marching band. So, I got to take part in that - we played Dodger Stadium to a full house right before the game started. That grass was so soft! Henry Mancini conducted. I have no idea if the world record still stands...

During this time (pre MTV) I was also listening to the great Randy Rhodes playing with Ozzy, Dio, Quiet Riot etc. I liked Twisted Sister - until my little sister did - then I didn't lol. MTV broke out & Ts was huge - so huge that my Madonna listening to sister liked em. Nope. Done. Lol.
MTV was an eye opener for me. So many great rock/metal bands from that Era. Van halen's "Hot for teacher" & "Panama" videos stand out in my mind - Eddie's & Mike flying across the stage with their stripped 'strat & Jack Daniels bass. Fuck yea! The teachers - that WERE hot, and that T-bucket doing a burnout - just epic stuff to my young teenage mind!

The day I graduated high school is the day I stopped playing music - I turned in my Sax & moved on in life; little did I know how much I'd miss it. I still watched MTV, went to a shit load of concerts. Say what you will about that Era - I know alot of people still like to bash it (thanks Bevis & Butthead) - but there were ALOT of great guitar players from those years. Shredders who were almost God like.

Fast forward to the mid 2000's & I stumble onto an up & coming video outlet called youtube. The video I watched was some "common guy"... Shreading - I don't remember what. It hit me: If he can do this... I can do it too! Little did I know, lol. I knew enough that it would be extremely difficult & that I may not stick with it so, a cheap Sam ash acoustic was in order. I got a couple of books to learn with it, I watched the limited amount of videos available on Youtube. One of which, the person admonished that while learning to play guitar - no matter what - you must play with style. Yea right! I can barely get my fingers to play a G chord, I sound like crap, but I must play "with style"?!? Pfffttt.

It was all so disheartening & difficult, so I did what I'd done before to learn music. I went back to school & enrolled in a guitar class at the local jr College.
The teacher was an old guy who claimed to have played with Frank Sinatra back in the day. All he did was talk story. Bla bla bla. This would inevitably lead him into playing a song or 10. He could play, but he never taught. Man, how he loved chatting up the girls in the class, spending an inordinate amount of time with the big breasted-resting em on top of her acoustic-girl behind me. Dirty old man. I learned the first 4 positions on the 6 strings taking that class for 6 months & that was it. I gave up.

Fast forward 8 years later, I discovered software that has taught me to play by following but not how to memorize or improvise. I have several Les Paul's, a Jackson & an Ibanez bass.
I'm an old guy now - I play for me as a way to escape. But I'd love to get out & start playing with others...
 
Last edited:

ArtWerkOrange

Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2019
Messages
42
Reaction score
25
Easy. I got my first guitar when I was about 10. Then 30 years later, I bought my son his first guitar. He had no interest, so I decided, after about 10 years later, that I was gonna play it, but figured I should start where I left off 40 years ago and bought a cheap acoustic via Keith Urban infomercial, on a whim. I have been hooked ever since. Now bordering on obsession.
 

PRSWILL

Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2011
Messages
71
Reaction score
80
I was in 5th grade and heard the highschool band playing 25 or 6 to 4 and the guitarist was playing a KIller Les Paul Custom through a Marshall half stack. I had a paper route and one of my stops was a pawn shop ( this was a small town in upper michigan). They had a Teisco Delray and a craptastic amp for $ 100 bucks so I hauled it home on my bike ! My mom just about killed me- but I played the heck out of that. now, 40+ years later It's a part of my soul.
 

Voxman2027

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2020
Messages
43
Reaction score
44
How did I get started in music? Hmmm …

It began in my sophomore year in Germany in early 1964. My dad was in the Air Force stationed in Spangdahlem. The Beatles had been out for a few years but I never paid any attention because I was immersed in guns and all that went with that. My sister however was deeply connected to Beatles and had every record and album they had made. I could hear her playing the songs on a really simple record player so the fidelity wasn’t very good at all. So I basically ignored the sounds coming from her room.

However once we were in Germany things changed dramatically. My dad bought a really good turntable, tape recorder, and some good headphones to listen to his records without bothering anyone. This was right around Christmas too…my sister ended up getting a cheap acoustic guitar (and I got my dream rifle). Neither my dad or sister had any idea how to tune it so she kept bugging me to figure it out. I messed around with it but wasn’t any better at tuning. My sister also got the Beatle album Rubber Soul for Christmas. Me-still not interested or aware.

Shortly after that my dad invited a German fellow from our little village to come over and play his guitar…he brought a decent Hofner triple pickup solid body in bright red. The amp was a no name but had tremolo effect built in. The guy started playing and we were impressed he could play like a rhythm and melody at the same time. Really impressed my dad who ended buying the guitar and amp so he could learn how to do that. Although I wasn’t really interested in the guitar at the time, it came with music books that explained tuning and other basics. Again I was asked to tune the guitar and finally was able to come close enough so a chord sounded right.

The next part is kinda hazy on what the actually sequence of events were but this is my best guess… I had already met some fellow students who had a guitar and drums, when they found out my dad had an electric guitar and amp, they bugged me to show it to them sometime. They talked about music a lot and forming a band. I had no intentions of doing that. However one day my sister had left the Rubber Soul album on my dad’s turntable. I had a slight musical introduction from my dad who played a lot of movie soundtracks…although they were considered grownup music , a few of the tunes actually intrigued me enough to record them on tape. I had collected about 3 or 4 reel to reel tapes of the movie theme songs before ever going to Germany. My dad had a stereo console in house before we went to Germany and it had a rudimentary tape deck. So I was listening to music, I just wasn’t thinking I’d want to be a musician ….I just like the melodies.

Back to Germany and the day I was knocked out.

So the Beatles album was on turntable and just as a whim, I put on the headphones and started the record. WOW! I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! The headphones provided excellent stereo imaging and I could hear each individual instrument and vocal. It was like I was there in the recording studio with them. The sound was so amazing I couldn’t stop listening. After the album was over, I sat there in kind of a daze and thought THIS IS WHAT I WANNA DO FOREVER!

For some unknown reason my brain focused on the drums at the time and I immediately started playing along with record as a drummer using my mom’s knitting needles and whacking my thighs imaging I was playing the song. The next thing I remember doing was telling my friends about the Beatles who were already well into them. They wanted to start a band and I wanted to be in it… the problem was the other 2 brothers already had the drum and guitar instruments covered. They told me they needed a bass player…. I didn’t really know what bass guitar was all about. I was reluctant because I had shifted my focus from drums to lead guitar and really didn’t want to change my dream. It wasn’t til they told me, Paul McCartney plays bass and he has the coolest bass guitar on the planet. They showed me pictures and I was hooked. Unfortunately the Bass cost money I didn’t have so I ended up using the Hofner electric guitar for bass which as you can imagine was pitiful. My grades in school had been suffering a little since I dove headfirst into becoming a Beatle copy….my folks were concerned I wasn’t focusing enough on school as much as the music. So after along talk, I told them I would settle down and try to concentrate on school. I did bring up my grades and still manage to keep the fledging band thing going. We picked up a keyboard player who was learning to. We were having loads of fun.

One day my dad said he was going into the big town of Trier to do something and I could go along with him and maybe stop at a music store if I wanted to. SURE I SAID!

After my dad finished his errand in town we drove over to a fairly large music store. Although there were no American made instruments, they had a full line of Hofner stuff. They must of had 10 Beatle basses hanging on the rack. My dad said something like “is that the bass you’ve been talking about for months”? Of course I said yes….he went over to sales clerk and asked if we could play it. Sales guy got it down and plugged into an amp. I played my best known bass parts although they were crappy as all get out…I had never played a bass before this…it was difficult but boy the cool sound coming out of that bass and amp had me in heaven. My dad asked me if I’d like to have it….I about fell out of my chair. I’m sure I said yes but don’t remember saying anything. My dad walked over to the salesman and asked how much 360 Deutschmarks ($90 in US dollars). He pulled out his wallet and paid the salesman. And we walked out with bass in the typical Hofner green felt-lined case that smelled like cat piss.

I practiced no stop for hours and hours til I got blisters on my fingers. And then kept playing anyway til there was blood….I was hooked, fish-line and sinker from that day forward.
Now almost 56 years later my musical journey is still alive and well. I never became a rock star but came close a few times. My only regret is selling that bass long ago….must have had the flu or something.
 

Attachments

zdoggie

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2015
Messages
581
Reaction score
212
it was the ventures, walk don't run and 1964 beatles on ed sullivan

zdog
 

rs-guitar

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Heard a live rock band when I was in 5th grade…wanted to play “drums” in a band…my father couldn’t afford drums, but he had a second-hand electric guitar, so I practiced for several months and then joined a band. I still play in bands today, 50 years later. In addition to all my guitars…I DO have a set of drums now (for when my wife is not home!).
 

DBDM

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2020
Messages
522
Reaction score
569
as a kid (and teen and into my adult life) my grandfather ran a small sawmill (in his back yard) outside of Nashville. He specialized in quartersawn wood and was known for it locally. In the 80's, people from Gibson started to pay visits and buy wood (edit--Maple. Only Maple). Men like James "Hutch" Hutchins and others would stop by. Soon we started delivering our wood to their factory. When delivering I would look in and sometimes walk in and see the finished guitars as well as the workers making them (sometimes out of our wood). At the time, they were priced such that "teenage me" almost could not conceptualize buying one but I determined that someday I would own one. "Hutch" promised me that one day he would make me my dream guitar--out of our wood. He died before I could call in that favor--but have fond memories of him coming to Sunday dinner and bringing me dealer posters and photos. Today, one of my guitars is FOR SURE, know for a fact, made of "our wood" (and signed by Hutch on the label) and one that I strongly suspect was (but unsigned).

Edit--one of those posters was based on the book "The Beauty of the Burst". As any kid would have done, I hung it on the wall and it took enough wear and tear that ultimately I tossed it. I have seen reproductions but not many of the Gibson branded ones that I had (mine was bigger than the ones I see online and said "Gibson") Wish I had that today.
 
Last edited:

johnguti

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2008
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
I got my first guitar (Gibson SG ‘63 Reissue) by looking at my heroes what they played (Early Carlos Santana, John Cipollina, Jerry Garcia, and guitar players from the San Francisco psychedelic scene). Later, I found out Angus Young and Tony Iommi.
 

mgenet

Earth = Cheese Burger
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2010
Messages
13,679
Reaction score
18,734
I was 5, maybe 6 years old. I was arguing with my older sister over who got to play my dad's old beat-up Roy Rodgers and Tonto Kay acoustic.
My sister had her hands firmly on the neck, I had my smaller, but strong hands pulling at the edge of the soundhole.

I don't remember how long we were pulling and pushing and no doubt screaming at each other. All I do remember is what happened next.

Throwing his newspaper to the floor, my father jumps up off the chair, lunges towards us with a furious look about him and snatches at said guitar whilst screaming something like, "Guitar. I'll give you £#@ing guitar"... He proceeds to Rip said guitar from both of us and smash it off the hard concrete carpeted floor like a demented Scottish and white Hendrix

I think it was my first recollection of my father being a potential f#@*ng psychopath and not really cut out for this parenting lark.

It also may have been at that point that I subconsciously thought to myself, hey, I gotta get me another one of these stringed wonders. They have the ability to make grown humans lose their shit big time. The possibilities are endless.

Total rock and roll moment. My father was smashing guitars (to an audience of 2) way before it became fashionable to do so.

Funny. I hate even putting a scratch in one. Maybe need to ask my therapist about the connection between the two.
Good story. It all makes perfect sense actually.
 

Louie the Slug

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2018
Messages
9
Reaction score
4
Late in life for me. Played trumpet badly as a kid for six years. Dropped it when I could. Always loved rock and roll. Beatles (Ed Sullivan), Stones, but what really got me was Hendrix. Lots of air guitar. Especially Red House. Later went to be a teacher in western Kenya for a year, and would sneak out to the outhouse to get stoned and play air guitar. Smash Hits was my constant companion there. Discovered much later he was a lefty, like me. Eventually, kept a Hendrix "shrine" in my office in various places around the world. Am an amateur woodworker (inherited from my much more talented Dad). I told a friend in Finland that maybe I should try building a guitar just for fun. He was a Strat player and an artist. Drew me up a crude "plan", which I stored away and 20+ years later, I thought, what the heck I should try and build one. Thought I'd just do a body of Hendrix Woodstock Strat, but my friends said don't be a pussy, build the whole thing. So, I did (followed Fletcher guitar build videos). Amazingly enough, it actually worked. Bought a cheap Fender Mustang beginner's amp and then when I plugged it in and hit an E chord, my life changed. Having over decades been to hundreds of concerts, owning hundreds of vinyl LPs and a great stereo, then a thousand or so CD's, and good headphones, but this did not prepare me for the feeling I got when that E chord rang out of that amp. I was sooooo hooked. Took some lessons (I still suck), then built "Greeny" (showing how ignorant I was as to just how much more complex building an LP was than a Strat) and now I can't stop playing it. Every night for at least a couple of hours. Then built Page's Dragon Tele, or my version of it, which I like, but I keep going back to the LP. Then built a StewMac 59' 15W amp kit. Again, a revelation when I plugged the LP into. Just can't stop. Probably a good thing this happened to me in my 60's. If I was a lot younger like most of you guys, I think my addiction would have ruined me.......happily for sure.
 

Latest Threads



Top