I was a strange kid growing up. I hated practicing the piano but I loved music. At some point, my parents thought it was a good idea to buy me a few vinyl albums...
Beethoven's 6th and 7th Symphonies and Mendelssohn's 4th. I wore them out and pretended to conduct. I wanted to be a conductor when I was about 8 years old (or an astronaut). To her credit, my mother took me to the local symphony orchestra performances. I studied the composers religiously and listened to the Tuesday night orchestral radio hour where I pretended to conduct.
When I was 9 or so, I studied the violin. At 12, I switched to the oboe (and still playing the piano) while still doing my personal research on astrophysics.
My parents bought musicals on vinyl like "South Pacific", "My Fair Lady" and "Carousel". I loved those, too, and still have a fondness for the songs by Lerner, Loewe, Rogers, Hart and Hammerstein. When the Beatles came out, I didn't really get it. My friends were going bananas over their hair and I was playing in bands and orchestras. But hey, when Jimi Hendrix came out... I was changed again. And later wanted to emulate Oscar Peterson (who I got to meet in the 1980's at a Synclavier workshop of all things). I also met Tom Silverman at the workshop (founder of Tommy Boy Records) and was invited to his studio in Manhattan. Walking around NYC with Tom was a trip... he introduced me to Jelly Bean Benitez (then dating an unknown artist named Madonna).