Which artists inspired you to play guitar ?

Greywolf

Luthier and Open Mic Host
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While we all have favorite icons, who was it that started you on this magnificent journey . For me it was on Electric.. Devadip and Garcia . I just couldn't be a drummer anymore after hearing their magic . Way back in 6th grade one of my classmates mother came in and played spanish/flamenco for the class .. I was blown away .. and she was a Latina beauty which didn't hurt my boyhood daydreams. Probably why I started off in that genre . imagine sitting in front of this godess.. my favorite player ever...
 
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The one guy who made the biggest impact on me was Eddie Van Halen. The thing is, I don't play like him at all. I know a few bits of Van Halen songs but that's about it. But he inspired me to do something. I'm also very fond of Jimmy Page. I like and appreciate just about every know player out there. They make it look so easy and its not!
 
I am not sure I can pick any one artist. I fell in love with the sound of an electric guitar through a driven amp. There are many examples of this and many different tones that hooked me in. Some that come to mind from my early years were Alex Lifeson, SRV, George Lynch, Eddie Van Halen and probably many more I am not thinking of at the moment.

I remember hearing some of that really early Rush and loving what I was hearing. A neighbor that was a little older than me was playing it a lot in his garage and car. I asked him who it was so I could get my hands on some of that music.

I was really hooked on a lot of the tones in the hair metal days. That was a few years after discovering Rush. Then I heard SRV when he hit the scene. Man, I loved the sound of his Strat. I think these guys and bands are the reason that I really have an appreciation for single coil tones as well as humbucker tones. I love the sounds that Brent Mason gets too. I can't play like that and have never really tried to learn to. I am not sure why. I really like the sound of it. I have even gone through acoustic phases and have a great appreciation for that type of music as well.

EDIT.
I knew I would forget at least one important influence, Billy Gibbons. I am sure he is not the only one I forgot.
 
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My first four concerts in 1982 and 1983 were April Wine/Uriah Heep, Ozzy/Vandenburg, Joe Walsh, and Blue Oyster Cult/Aldo Nova/Dokken. Seeing Mick Box play pull offs with one hand was mesmerizing to me at the time (not realizing how easy that actually is to do). That got me interested. By the time I saw George Lynch I knew I needed a guitar. Convinced my parents to let me trade my alto sax for a cheap guitar and amp. I wouldn't say that I emulated any of those players, but they made an impression on a 15/16 year old kid.
 
Iommi First Caught My Attention And Made Me Aware Of Guitar And That Heavy Vibe. Randy And Eddie Threw On The Sauce And Seasoning And Then Hetfield Put It All Together For Me And Brought It Back Around Full Circle To Iommi. There Were Many Others Who Aided Along The Way But Those I Mentioned Were Significant.
 
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Absolutely Ritchie Blackmore.
He was a total God in my tender eyes and ears at 13 and when I finally got to see him live in 76 along with Ronnie and Cozy in Rainbow I was just so blown away.
Nothing has ever replaced that experience.
 
I was little, somewhere in the 5-7 year old range. PBS had a performance by Paco De Lucia and I vaguely remember standing in front of the TV just amazed that his fingers could move that fast. It took years of pleading to finally get guitar lessons, but that was the point of inspiration.
 
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