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

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.
 

Yamaha R1

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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
At a mall with my parents when I was 7 years old, going up an escalator at a large department store called The Bay. At the top of the escalator, slowly rising before me as we made our way up was a black Fender Stratocaster or a copy of one. Too young to know for sure. At the top in front of the guitar I asked my parents if they could buy it for me. They didn't but a week later I was enrolled into guitar lessons with a cheap classical acoustic nylon string guitar. A year later my parents bought me a electric ES335 copy and cheap amp suggested by my music teacher to keep me interested in still playing. I played until 18. Took 40 years off and now play my Gibson Les Paul Standard with my Vox amp. I suck but I still love playing and collecting all things guitar.
 

DBDM

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Only one inspiration to start...
As a little kid during that time period, I was always puzzled by Ace. I always felt that his LP did not match his "Space Man" costume. Furuistic costume but playing "your Dad's guitar". Now, of course, I get it--but at the time thought he should be playing a Flying V.

Edit--of course locals that are in the music business laugh when I say that. Being born and raised in Nashville, sometimes it seems that the costume and get-up are more important than the tones!
 

Brazilnut

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What first started my need for guitars?

Girls
X10!


I would hole a baseball bat upside down, and act like I was Ritchie Blackmore.
Speaking of Richie Blackmore....Our bass player is British, and toured Europe in a very good hair band during the nineties. Evidently, the great Deep Purple guitarist had a less-than-stellar personality, because most of the opening bands called him "Scratchy Richmore"!
 

the_lawyer

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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.
That is the most Scottish thing I ever heard of...
 

frogmore

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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...
Wow, just wow; you lucky son of an SG.
 

tygr1

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My Dad played Yakkety Axe by Chet Atkins on the record player for me when I was eight. I started lessons at nine.
 

joedonner2001

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I always wanted to play guitar, but don't remember exactly why.

I do know the first time I saw the Paradise City video on TV, that was it. I was absolutely going to do that one day, no matter how long it took. With one of those guitars the guy with the wild curly black hair was using, whatever it was called.
 

Neanderpaul

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I saw this guy. I was 8. I’ve been hooked ever since. Simple as that.

it wasn’t until later that I discovered the usual suspects…and some, nobody mentions.

But…I will not deny it. It’s him. Always has been. Always will be.
 

Neanderpaul

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As far as the details…

I ended up getting my first “Les Paul” when I was 11. It was a cheap Allegretto copy. My father paid $110 for it, and got ripped off completely. Took lessons from an old Italian guy who would eventually kick me out, because I didn’t practice. Fun fact, we could’ve had a 1962 Gibson SG for $75. But no, I wanted the guitar that Ace Frehley plays.

Years later, when I went to college, I would trade that cheap Les Paul copy to my cousin for a Squier Bullet Bass. I became an OK bass player, but eventually ended up as lead vocalist for a couple of bands. We took our shot in the late eighties/early 90s, but Nirvana ended that dream pretty quick. Suddenly, everything was down tuned and baritone. That would be it for us.

Right around the time my father passed, I got a hankering to get that old Les Paul back. I called my cousin, and asked if he wanted to trade back? To my surprise, he agreed. The guitar was sitting in the basement of his mother’s house. So, I brought the bass over to his house, and retrieved my old Les Paul copy.

A few years later, while working in Memphis, I got a bonus at work. Took that $500, and bought my first “real“ Les Paul. It was a 1997 Epiphone Standard. My buddy Luke and I walked into the music store, and played every Les Paul on the wall that afternoon. This one, was made at the Leader Musical Instrument factory. It was the only one in the shop. And it sounded/felt different than all of the rest. I only let that guitar go a couple of years ago in a trade for a 1994 Gibson Standard Cherryburst. I would add $500 to the deal. And so, it grew to a Gibby Les Paul.

It’s been a long run as far as collecting. Only recently have I been able to afford the ones I really want. I guess Les Pauls are my “midlife crisis.” I’m OK with that.
 
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cigblues

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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.
And that is the best reason in the world.
 

ehb

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Grew up around musicians.... There were always about everything around me all the time.... I'd hear something in my head and would pick up what instrument was needed to make that sound and figure it out how to play it... Wanting to play guitar or other instruments was not the focus (except Perc, B.S degree)... Rather, it was the desire to be able to 'make that sound.' Kind of bass ackwards maybe but worked for me... If I heard an organ phrase in my head, there was a Hammond to figure out... etc. etc. Basses, Lester, Skrats, Jazzes, Ps, drums, keys, etc.... In school being in band there were brass and wind instruments around even though I was technically a percussionist.... I didn't think my method of learning 'instruments' was odd because in my mind I wasn't. I was learning to make music on whatever 'that sound' called for... Musician my big bro worked with gave me a complete 61 Slingerland Jazz kit with road cases to play when I was real young....My bro later got me a Rhodes and Vox amp to learn theory on and I could play any of his and bandmates gear when they were off the road...and any they didn't take with em... I was one lucky little curtain climber I guess... It really sucked when I 'adulted' and had to buy my own shit to play for the most part.... Still have the Slingerlands...well, son has em at his house a couple hours away...along with a lot of my shit... He was gonna learn too so I made damn sure he had what he needed to learn guitars/bass/perc/brass/etc. on.... I had older players kinda musically adopt me in a halfway sense so I insured my son would have opportunity too to learn whatever the hell he wanted to learn.... Passing it on... Doesn't gig much anymore being a chef but has damn sure played in front of a lot of folks as a teen even... Pass it on... ;)
 
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pmonk

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When I realized that now matter how ugly you are, you can still get laid if you play guitar in a rock band
 

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