When I was a baby, some (allegedly crazy) relative of mine told my mother that she'd had a premonition that I would be famous for music one day. I'm glad I'm not -- fame no longer interests me -- but I'm pretty sure that influenced my mom's attempts to make sure music was part of my life. One of my earliest memories is of playing around on the piano we owned when I was 5. When I was 12, I found my mother's violin in the closet, and took that up to play in the school orchestra. That taught me enough about musical notation to start writing down melodies and chord progressions that interested me, and to learn a few piano songs from sheet music, but it wasn't until I discovered Van Halen at 15 that I took up the guitar and became quite serious about pursuing a career in music.