I first tried to play guitar when I was three, on a trip to visit my cousins in Indiana. One of them had a nylon-string acoustic and I was so excited by this I spent a literal day trying to play it; didn't want to eat, didn't want to go out and play, no nap either. I sat there on a big fluffy chair and tried and tried and tried. as everyone went about their business. My teeny fingers got teeny blisters, then bled, and I still tried until it hurt too much to play. I finally sadly figured this instrument, as completely cool as it was, was simply too hard to learn.

Then when I was 14, my friends and I were preparing for the junior high talent show. An idiot I knew named Shaun got up with his guitar and passably played and sang some tune which I now do not recall. What I do recall is thinking, "If THAT dumbass can play guitar, then I KNOW I can." I begged my dad for an acoustic guitar, got a Beatles songbook, toughed out the blisters, and before you know it, I could play "Yellow Submarine."

So thank you, Idiot Shaun, for being an inspirational force in my life. You never know.