At 5, my grandfather bought me a 26 record classical set from the grocery store lol. A new record would come out each week. So I would always listen to those for some strange reason as a kid: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Berloiz, Strauss, Rachmoninov, etc.
My mom had ELO's Greatest Hits on album and I would listen to that thing forever on the headphones while I read my Marvel comics at around 7 years old.
My dad (a guitar player) would always get crazy eclectic stuff from the library and bring it home. Al Di Meola, Leo Kottke, Django, SRV, etc.
I discovered Yngwie and my life changed for better or for worse. Shred was injected into me and has never left.
In college I played in big bands and combos. I learned probably more there than any other time musically, but I know I'm not a jazzer at heart.
Dream Theater gave me a good foundation that it was ok to be nerdy and a musician but still be able to make heavy music that wasn't gay prog (talking about elves and wizards and crap).
About 8 years ago my sister's theater teacher gave her a tape to give to me of Tommy Emmanuel. I got his concert vid and can't stop playing acoustic guitar. I'm not that great, but I can't put that damn thing down. I started playing guitar at age 13 on a $0.25 guitar my dad bought at a garage sale. Somehow I think I'll be playing acoustic long after I get rid of all my electrics.
I heard and met Guthrie Govan this past year and he's really the only "new" guitarist in the past few years that I've really liked. He has monster chops but always plays in the pocket and has a great sense of melody. I don't know whether to practice or give up after listening to him play.