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

violao

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My love affair with the guitar started like this:
Back in the day when I was about 6 years old a boy in the suburb where I lived had been bought a black Strat as compensation for having undergone some horrible operation, which had left his chest badly scarred. I was blown away by the fact that if you connected this thing of beauty into the mains power you could sound like The Who, The Beatles or The Rolling Stones; well at least that is what the 6-year-old me thought it was for; oblivious to the fact that none of the above used Stats. I was totally electric guitar smitten.

Later in my early teens my mother bought me a catalogue acoustic, which had a pickup and came with a lead which I could plug into the family's radiogram; life was good, and I dreamed of a life on stage. An older friend of mine, who owned a blue Strat, a Selmer amp, and a van, had rented a church hall for us to practice in and at this point I was convinced that we were headed for rock’n’roll fame. We were going to be called the Larrytones; his name was Larry and mine was, and still is, Tony. However, shortly afterwards he got married and fathered a child, not necessarily in that order. My road to becoming a rock god ended up in a cul-de-sac. I blame it all on the blond hippie babe with the large, untethered breasts who gave birth to Larry’s daughter.

Later at age 18 I bought a Les Paul copy, which I believed in my ignorance was indistinguishable from the real thing; it was plywood, but I thought it was the dog’s appendage banging out the Stones’ Satisfaction on it. Aged 21 marriage and a mortgage came along, and guitars and impending rock stardom did not seem to feature in my life anymore, nor going to concerts and generally having fun living the full post-hippie sex, drugs and rock’n’roll lifestyle I had hoped for. Worse, sometime during those 5 wasted years of wedlock I lost the Les Paul copy and the cheap catalogue electro acoustic. I had money, a nice car, and a good job but no guitar, and a wife who did not share my values; she once told me that I could not play Zappa’s Zoot Allures in her company as it was obscene. The Torture Never Stops with background gasps and screams provided by Frank’s wife on that album seemed to cause my wife extreme distress.

At age 27 I reasoned that the financially ruinous cost of divorce was in fact a bargain in exchange for liberation and sanity and although impoverished by my decision pretty soon I found a wonderful music loving lady who shared my free spirited and hedonistic view of life, and although she was not a Zappa fan, she had no problem with my love of the guitar genius that was Frank. She was a Roxy Music fan, as was I, and we both loved Donovan’s Cosmic Wheels, so we were always destined to be as one. Some many years later she bought us tickets to see Zappa Plays Zappa with Steve Vai at the Royal Albert Hall, one of the greatest concerts I have ever attended, and even though she wasn’t a Zappa fan she admitted she now understood my love of Frank.

In the early to mid-80s, I managed to persuade a pawn shop owner I had befriended in Cardiff to let me buy a real Gibson “The Paul” together with a 100-watt HH Head and a Marshall 4x12 for the incredible sum of £120.00, which I paid off at the rate of £20 a week; yes, in the mid-80s you could buy stuff like that in pawn shops that cheap; I loved that guitar.

Now over 30 years later, no longer impoverished and still with the same music loving lady I now have several Gibsons, Strats, Teles, a beautiful PRS Custom 24 and a Steve Vai Jem. I no longer have the “The Paul” having part exchanged it for my first real Les Paul, a Joe Perry Signature in black burst; I still miss that guitar to this day. I am still a totally crap guitarist but since I gave up pretty much all illegal recreational highs my favourite drug is taken at least once a day through my Mesa Boogie; life is good
Delightful story… my old rock band used to cover Love Is The Drug. But the most interesting part was the Cardiff part. My mum was born in Cardiff in the old Docks/Butte Town neighborhood. Although I’m located in the Seattle area, half my family is there on Cardiff.
 

lpfan1980

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My mother becoming ill and dying in 2018 it was something to obsess over and be excited about during dark days. Bought my beloved Mexican Black Fender Strat in Oct 2017 and now have 11 fiddles.In 2019 I bought my first Gibson Les Paul and gave her my moms nickname-Weezie so there ya go Im a self tought hack-gonna get lessons this year-I play just about everyday-thats my story.
 

The Nighthawk

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it was a girl. My first real girlfriend had a Suzi Quatro fixation and an earnest desire to own a Les Paul. Not to play the Les Paul, but to own one. So I told her i would play bass in her band and took 5 lessons which took me from a crappy Jazz bass copy to buying my first 1975 Fender Jazz Bass in Melbourne, Australia. Cost me a month of saving my wages to pay for it.

The girl dropped me (which I still thank her for) and married a guitar player in a pub rock band. She gave him the Les Paul. I played in garage bands and jams and a few gigs in forgettable line-ups, while life had marriages, mortgages and kids in store for me. But I couldn't understand how anyone could live without music in the centre of their lives.

I taught myself to play 6-strings. Nearly fifty years later I now own 20-odd guitars and having retired a few years ago I write and record and play in a band of oldies with young hearts and rock'n'roll tastes. Still learning, still playing, still getting moments of sublime joy with the Les Pauls, Strats and Rickenbackers. Music hs been the central pillar of continuity, growth and change in my life. I used to know the lyrics to 50 years worth of songs by heart, and the ability to play more than few.
 

msalama

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A local rock band had a shit-hot lead guitarist and I thought "I wanna do that too". No girlie action yet since I was just a kid, but playing the geetah (or, rather, "playing" and putting on a show) certainly helped in getting acquainted with the ladies as well later on.
 

Rds

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I, for the first time heard ted nugent, then Led Zepoelin. I was ruined! Guitar came shortly thereafter.
 

MiniB

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PA-18468638.jpg
 

The Nighthawk

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Thinking back now, it was the sound of a Les Paul through a Marshall on T Rex's Electric Warrior, that got me. The First few seconds of this...

20th Century boy

and this:

Get it On

I've been chasing that tone ever since.
 

DaveSG

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Found my first electric guitar in a gomi pile (Japanese trash pile on the street) in Japan in '93ish, was a 'Liverpool' strat copy. Dad traded it in for a Washburn B70-RS bass (cool bass), which then we traded in for my first real guitar of my own, a 1979 Gibson 'The SG'. Listened to a ton of classic rock...Zep, the Who, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, etc.

I still love the SG the most (have 4 or 5), but the new LP Standard 50s is scratching an itch I never knew I had.
 

Mojojones

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In 1968 I was 12 years old and in junior high. Back in those days there was no FM radio and even the heaviest rock bands put out singles which you would hear when you were in the car etc. Our tv had broken the previous year and I had spent most of 67 and 68 glued to the radio, when music was changing really fast. So when Cream came to town on the final leg of their final U.S. tour I already owned the records and was psyched to see them live. I was a latch key kid raised by a single mom, so I purchased a ticket on my way home from school, left a note for mom, and took a bus to the venue. As was often the case in the 60's the band was late, fights were breaking out in the audience, I think the ushers were actual policeman, and when the band finally took the stage and broke into the ominous minor chords of White Room I took off from my nose bleed seat and rushed the stage and hunkered down in front of the front row directly underneath Eric Clapton who was wielding the famous psychedelic SG, painted by The Fool. Being a little nipper no one paid me any mind. Looking back on it I'm guessing most of the folks around me were tripping their brains out and frenetically bopping to the high-intensity music and the de rigeuer psychedelic light show behind the band. It was electrifying... Back in those days, modern sound reinforcement did not really exist and I believe Clapton's guitar sound was coming from the two or three Marshall double stacks on his side of the stage. It was flooring. They opened with White Room, did Sunshine of Your Love and closed with Crossroads. Clapton kept closing his eyes and tipping his head back, mid solo and going into a special zone all his own. During the extended drum solo that was Toad I walked to the opposite side of the stage to see if I could obtain one of Ginger Baker's broken drum sticks, as Baker broke stick after stick while trying to down a beer that mostly went streaming down his scraggly red beard and bare chest while he was still frenetically drumming with just one hand and both feet. Back in that era, the stage security was often lax, run by bikers who had other agendas, so I managed to easily slip backstage and get behind the drum riser where I came face to face with Steven Stills. I didn't know who he was at that time, but as he was dressed like a rock star, I figured he was one of the session musicians who were listed on the credits of Wheels of Fire. He was quite pleasant and gave me his autograph. The show probably did not last much longer than an hour, but during that hour my life changed. I had the image of Clapton as rock guitar shaman etched into my brain... Clapton is god! After the show, I called my mom who came to pick me up and was more than a little peeved at me. My ears were ringing for three days ( a sure sign of early hearing damage). It took me close to ten years to actually pick up a guitar myself because it seemed like playing the guitar was not something that could be achieved by mere mortals. But the power coursing through Clapton's fingers, in what was the band's final U.S. performance, is what eventually set me on the path to becoming a player myself. Three weeks later I saw Jimi Hendrix on his birthday...
 

cigblues

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These went into my earholes as a kid:

Rf8a51a42a00be15e79fa85adff844b24

R34559d73264c0587a5a98a6a500d36fc

OIP.RXVLM2_QoyZ7rBA3bjc9GgHaHa

Rdb2fbf50f1893c147751a7a58b0d4779

Rf24c734e053ac794ec005008cac25e8e

R87d10128df0272bd33cb952dc1d12415

Rdf32e61e61b764c77a2b7fce09ac8899


An when I realized it was possible to have your own guitar and attempt to make the glorious noises I was hearing I became obsessed with having one and learning to play. Got my first guitar in 1976. Got my first "real" guitar in 1977. Been a lifelong obsession I guess you could say.
Mine too. Led Zep LL. Pete Townsend. I still cannot windmill...but I have tried. OK loved 1st Kiss album and we did our bit in the band with "Strutter". Played it last night fun!
 

The Nighthawk

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In 1968 I was 12 years old and in junior high. Back in those days there was no FM radio and even the heaviest rock bands put out singles which you would hear when you were in the car etc. Our tv had broken the previous year and I had spent most of 67 and 68 glued to the radio, when music was changing really fast. So when Cream came to town on the final leg of their final U.S. tour I already owned the records and was psyched to see them live. I was a latch key kid raised by a single mom, so I purchased a ticket on my way home from school, left a note for mom, and took a bus to the venue. As was often the case in the 60's the band was late, fights were breaking out in the audience, I think the ushers were actual policeman, and when the band finally took the stage and broke into the ominous minor chords of White Room I took off from my nose bleed seat and rushed the stage and hunkered down in front of the front row directly underneath Eric Clapton who was wielding the famous psychedelic SG, painted by The Fool. Being a little nipper no one paid me any mind. Looking back on it I'm guessing most of the folks around me were tripping their brains out and frenetically bopping to the high-intensity music and the de rigeuer psychedelic light show behind the band. It was electrifying... Back in those days, modern sound reinforcement did not really exist and I believe Clapton's guitar sound was coming from the two or three Marshall double stacks on his side of the stage. It was flooring. They opened with White Room, did Sunshine of Your Love and closed with Crossroads. Clapton kept closing his eyes and tipping his head back, mid solo and going into a special zone all his own. During the extended drum solo that was Toad I walked to the opposite side of the stage to see if I could obtain one of Ginger Baker's broken drum sticks, as Baker broke stick after stick while trying to down a beer that mostly went streaming down his scraggly red beard and bare chest while he was still frenetically drumming with just one hand and both feet. Back in that era, the stage security was often lax, run by bikers who had other agendas, so I managed to easily slip backstage and get behind the drum riser where I came face to face with Steven Stills. I didn't know who he was at that time, but as he was dressed like a rock star, I figured he was one of the session musicians who were listed on the credits of Wheels of Fire. He was quite pleasant and gave me his autograph. The show probably did not last much longer than an hour, but during that hour my life changed. I had the image of Clapton as rock guitar shaman etched into my brain... Clapton is god! After the show, I called my mom who came to pick me up and was more than a little peeved at me. My ears were ringing for three days ( a sure sign of early hearing damage). It took me close to ten years to actually pick up a guitar myself because it seemed like playing the guitar was not something that could be achieved by mere mortals. But the power coursing through Clapton's fingers, in what was the band's final U.S. performance, is what eventually set me on the path to becoming a player myself. Three weeks later I saw Jimi Hendrix on his birthday...


Great story, but please, please remember to break it into paragraphs!
 

Pesh

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Jimmy Page and my best bud Harry, who had been playing for a while. Wanted to be one of those cool kids at school.
 

Stealthracer

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When I was about 8 or 9 my only motivation for getting an instrument and learning it, was so that I could write music which I could then play ... I had already started learning the recorder at school, but quickly realised that was never going to cut it. However a guitar could play chords!

Actually progress was glacially slow, until I started work and could afford decent gear - and in the forty or so years since then I have bought far too much of it! Anybody want to buy 20 guitars?
 

1all's Pub

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The one who made me realize guitars were cool was none other than the King of Rock & Roll, Elvis Presley. My parents grew up in the 50s and were huge Elvis fans and thus he was my first introduction to rock & roll (& music in general, really). Whether with an acoustic or an electric (ie, the 68 comeback special in that black leather suit) Elvis and his guitar made a big impact on me. Later in my youth (preteen and teen years) it was Ace Frehley and Eddie Van Halen though who most made me “want” to really learn to play... with Ace being the reason I am a Les Paul devotee.

Ultimately though, it was my cousin Chad (who is TONS more musically talented than me) who first decided to learn to play... and I rode his coattails (in as shabby a manner as possible). Without Chad I’d still be playing air guitar on a tennis racket!
:jam:
 
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The Beatles gave me a hankering for a Hofner violin bass at an impressionable 8 years old. And then seeing Pete Townsend's windmilling antics (with a soon to be destroyed Strat IIRC) gave me a burning desire to play guitar a year later.

Many passed through my hands over the years: a horrible no-name strat copy, a Shaftesbury "Black Beauty" lookalike, a few acoustics including a couple of 12-strings (lived up to the joke of twice as many mistakes twice as loud for me), a couple of teles and a couple of LPs.

Still own a 2016 LP Classic, Jazzmaster, Baja Tele, Epiphone Dot 335, Squier Jaguar Bass, and a much modified no-name tele shaped cheapy.

66 and still learning.
 

cybermgk

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I was a musician/vocalist from 4th grade into my twenties (granted, not guitar).

Then I got a professional career in IT. Music became a less and less daily hobby.

Then I got married into what became a caustic, soul-sucking, emotionally draining marriage 14 years,and divorce process and custody process that took another almost 2 years. Music was out of my life completely.

After that was done, wanted something for myself. I wanted music back in my life. I wanted something that gave back to me emotionally. So, having always wished I had learned guitar back then, loved Rock, Punk, Surf, Rockabilly, most or all my life, I went that route this time.
 
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rosslewis76

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14 years old, just heard Gary Moore playing Still Got the Blues for the first time which absolutely blew me away, shortly after that I dug out my Dad's old nylon strung acoustic and used Russ Shipton's 'Learn to play Guitar' books and never looked back...that was 30 years ago and I still can't play Still Got The Blues.
However I did buy the 2013 Gary Moore Tribute Les Paul after my Dad died...his name now adorns the truss rod cover instead of Gary's...

But I still can't play Still Got The Blues.
 

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