Who was the reason you picked up a guitar?

John Lennon and his Rickenbacker.

What cool looking guitars!

My first guitar was actually a Watkins Rapier which I bought for £5 (Sterling) in 1971. I bought a Rickenbacker in '74 for somewhat more.

Tom Rush (Circle Game), Leo Kottke (Greenhouse), David Bromberg (Midnight on the Water), Janis Joplin (Cheap Thrills). And I wore out Elton John's first album trying to get down the parts for Funeral For a Friend. All on vinyl and reel to reel tape.
I have always enjoyed music and just recently I started learning to play some guitar... my friend who is a really good guitarist is teaching me to play a John Mayer song :) So far I've gotten the first few chords down!
For me it was Ace frehley. I started listening to a KISS best songs CD that my dad owned and thought it was fucking good. Then after a while i started liking Ace, his style and playing and shit. I did not listen to any other band. Then i said i wanted a guitar but my mom wouldn't let me buy one because she tought it would be too hard and that i would give up. But now i've played guitar EVERY day since i got my first one two years ago. Now i play Metallica kind of stuffs and make a lot of music with my band ZYNADE. We're on www.myspace.com/zynade
John Denver and Black Sabbath. My parents would listen to John Denver all the time and I first heard Black Sabbath at a keg party. I still listen to them both.
It may have been The Beatles, since from 1965 until 1969 the only album I owned was Rubber Soul. And I watched their cartoon a lot.

Or it may have been The Archies, because sometime around '68 or '69 my friends & I used to pantomime to "Sugar Sugar" in front of a blacklight & a strobelight...I mimed to the drums, but always thought Bruce sucked miming to guitar and that I could cop Archie & Reggie's attitude better.

But the real answer is Keith Richards & Mick Taylor: When I was 10 years old I was sitting in the waiting room of an allergist's office leafing through Life Magazine, and I came across a photo essay on the Rolling Stones 1969 concert at Altamont Speedway. That was it, like a lightbulb going on: I had no idea exactly what it was those dark, hairy, evil-looking guys were doing, I just knew that's what I wanted to do. Begged my folks to buy me a guitar and the rest is history.
This question has multiple answers for me.

Doyle from the (Original) Misfits and Johnny Ramone made me pick up a guitar so i could be a cool kid and start a Misfits/Ramones Cover band. Casue it was cool. Which is odd becasue the very first song i ever picked out by ear on a guitar was Borstal Breakout by Sham69?

Dick Dale was an encouagement for me to continue playing lefty upside down as alot of people shit on me for that in my little circle. If Dick did it... It made it o.k.

Mike Ness (Social Distrotion) made me want to learn to really play a guitar.

The latter influnce would kind of be the greater of them all as it kinda shapes my style and sound most times.
Goddamn, that man can play. :D He's still bar none the funniest entertainer of any persuasion I've ever seen, too - the first time I saw him, I almost couldn't breathe by the time I left.

A fine Minnesota native (for a while at least) who who once claimed that his voice sounds like "geese farts". Michael Johnson (Bluer than Blue), another fine Minnesota native (for a while at least) was a good friend of Leo and named his son after him. Michael's not a bad player either. ;)
Wow, my story is so different than the others. First, it didn't have anything to do with professional guitarists, although my taste was heavily influenced by Jorma Kaukonen and Pete Townsend.
I think I was 14 years old, and 2 hours into a 1000 mcg or-so trip, which wasn't all that unusual for me in those days. There was a $35 classical guitar sitting there in a cardboard case, and a copy of Mel Bay's "EZ" Guitar Method. Fortunately, the owner was anal retentive, so it was in tune, because I was way too fried to know or care. I just started in with that kind of special obsessive-compulsion that can happen on LSD. 10 hours later, I could play every song in the book, and it wasn't until the next day I realized what I had done to my fingers!

I got a cheap classical, which was all I could afford, and spent the next 4 months playing The Mamas and the Papas, Peter, Paul, and Mary, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Jefferson Airplane,and Country Joe and the Fish. Late that spring, my friend Rick (the owner of that $35 guitar) bought a Les Paul Custom. One day he walked in with his old Les Paul Junior and said, "I don't play this any more, why don't you hang onto it for a while?" He dropped it on the couch with a copy of the complete score of "Tommy" and the double album also. What the hell, he was the son of a millionaire, he could afford to do things like that. I spent the next year learning to play "Tommy" with a Les Paul Junior and *no amp*! By the time he took his guitar back a year later, I had enough money to buy my own damn guitar *and* an amp!

So I guess, who made me pick up a guitar is Rick Cordes, a chiropractor from Sidney New York. And I guess that year with the Les Paul Junior is why I never got into heavy distortion. All I wanted to do was make the guitar sound like it wasn't plugged in, but louder. That is why, in addition to mic'ing amps, to this day, I also often put a mic in front of a solid body and blend some real pick and fretting sound into the mix. I started in bands by the time I was 16, and finally managed to get laid! I knew playing 5 hours a day would get me something. I eventually got tired of the personality dynamics of bands, and fighting over the custody of our child, (the PA), and became a solo (mostly) acoustic performer.

I am influenced by The Eagles, Tom Lehrer, David Wilcox, Steeleye Span, Different Feet, Schooner Fare, Silly Wizard, Nickel Creek, Faith Hill, Garth Brooks, Eric Burdon, Steve Goodman, James Taylor, and a host of little known psychedelic bands of the late sixties, particularly Salloom, Sinclair, and the Mother Bear, Spirit, It's a Beautiful Day, and The United States of America. Although it didn't involve a guitar, I had some of the greatest fun of my life playing Herod Antiphas in Jesus Christ Superstar off Broadway.-Richie