I remember my bass player trying to get me to like Rush when I was 15. I just couldn't take Geddy's voice and I was trying to find a direction on guitar. I had only been playing a couple of years and most of my influences were my friends. The pros I liked were Tom Sholz, EVH, Roy Clark, and Ace Frehley. I didn't really know about anyone else. I heard their music but didn't really know about them as individual players.
I remember, at 15, sitting by my neighborhood pool. I was with my bassist and we had a little tape player. You have to remember that when I was 15 it was 1980. No CD's or boom boxes - we called them ghetto blasters back then. He had a tape in and started playing the tune that Would change my life both as a player and a listener. La Villa Strangiato came on and I listened to it over and over. It is still one of my all-time favorite instrumental tunes.
I happened along others' versions of through the years. Greg Howe did one that was nice. My favorite version is, no doubt, Steve Morse's. I found it on my PC after not listening to it for about a year. It's not only great Steve Morse guitar work, but the rest of the band plays and sounds incredible.
The issue is that I can't upload the MP3 for you to listen to and I think if I uploaded it to youtube, it would violate the terms of agreement. I don't know how to upload somewhere where people can listen and I wouldn't be violating anything. Anyone got any ideas?