Here's my story....
I was in 6th or 7th grade, during xmas, I had some puff daddy and B.I.G. cds. My older cousin Mark Morris, handed me the "best of Hendrix" CD and said, "listen to this stuff, they are real..." I listened to "Voodoo child" and "star spangled banner" and my head almost exploded. I was obsessed. I started listening to his music all day and even when I slept. I would put his cd in my old school walkman, and listen to his music in my sleep, hoping that it would subconsciously make me understand his music and art better, so I could express it the same way as he did.
After hearing hendrix, I quickly found Stevie Ray Vaughan. "Live at El Macambo" was in my VHS collection soon after, and also blew me away. I would play guitar staring at him performing, trying to learn every lick. That stuff got me into music like Muddy Waters, BB, Albert and Clapton, etc. I dove down that rabbit hole for a while.
Then I say my buddy Eric Johnston shred some Dave Matthews, Tim Reynolds and John Mayer. It sounded refreshing, amazing, soulful, and different. I was blown away at how different and challenging the chords and scales were, compared to my dominant 7 and pentatonic scales. I started reseaching Mraz, Mayer, DMB, and also got into Sublime. I love their acoustic album, so much soul with just simple melodies and simple chords.
These days, I am still researching the legends, finding new stuff, and am always blown away by local and international talent. That's my story, what is yours?