My story is a long sad-turned-happy story but I will try to keep it as short as possible.
I have several medical issues and am disabled. I was born with several disabilities and have had a pretty rough time. I get very down because of my condition and also because of the pain I'm in (not only emotionally but physically from the orthopedic joint problems I have).
Late in 2006 I was at my lowest point. I had already been in the hospital twice for depression and was on my last lap. I was very close to ending my life when a therapist recommended music as a form of therapy. I wasn't a music lover at all and really didn't care for it. A friend of the family suggested it as well. One day in January 2007 I was in a very bad way. I thought I had no purpose, etc etc so I decided to give the therapist's and friend's suggestion of listening to music a try. So I went through my parents stack of old albums. I literally got to the bottom of the pile. Nothing was doing it for me. Super boring. One of the last albums in the pile was the Eagles' "Hotel California". I put it in, and I kid you not the second that intro started chills went up and down my spine and I literally jumped out of my chair. When it got to the solos, it had lit a fire in me. I suddenly realized I needed to learn to play guitar. I was really especially drawn to the second part of the solo and I later figured out that was none other than Joe Walsh (who I'll talk more about later).
The next week I picked up my old guitar I had (I tried to learn a few years prior but had a nasty teacher and I wasn't a music lover so I quit and put it under the bed), got some new strings put on and a tuner, and I printed some chords off of the internet. The first song I ever learned was "A Horse With No Name". 2 simple chords and I learned those two chords back and forth and that taught me both strumming and chord changes very quickly. I then progressed to other simple 2-3 chord songs and before I knew it I was progressing at rapid rates. I would play 8 hours a day (with lots of breaks of course) because I didn't work because I am disabled. I then happened to be coming home from a Dr appointment one day and I saw this sign on an old familiar building near my hometown that said "Guitars". I thought to myself and told my father I don't remember that being there. So we turned around and sure enough it was a new guitar store. To make a long story short, I befriended the guy, would spend every Saturday in his store jamming in a circle with others. That got me progressing even faster with learning how to play with others. And then the store owner asked me to come to his outdoor jams and we would play for people. That got me used to the whole crowd thing and being in front of people.
I then joined a classic rock and country cover band for a short while, and then left to form my own band. I knew I wanted to do an Eagles tribute band to celebrate the music of the band that without a doubt saved my life and gave me a purpose. I recruited some jamming friends and other local musicians and we played for almost 4 years. It was very successful and by far the best thing I've ever done in my almost 24 years of life. It ended because people were moving away, the store owner closed his store and ended up moving as well, and other members having issues. I then got back into the covers thing and that is what I still to do this day. My knack as a guitarist is reproducing classic recordings in a live environment both the note-for-note reproduction and getting the tone right. I'm the world's biggest gear geek and now have things that interest me and that I love to buy. Unfortunately though it has taken a toll on my bank account.
Going back to the Eagles and Joe Walsh, after the discovery of Hotel California, I researched them, got all of their albums, and also discovered Don Henley and Joe Walsh's great solo material and Joe's old band, The James Gang. Joe without a doubt is not only my guitar idol but my hero in general. That guy is the one I look up to the most of any player or person outside my family. I'm also a fan of Don Felder too and really admire his playing but Joe is my favorite. That band is my favorite and that album and song to this day is still my very favorite and that song can still bring me out of a depression/slump quicker than anything. It's very motivating to me to listen to that album as that is the reason I started in the first place. I still get chills when I hear the opening of "Hotel". I was very fortunate to be able to play Joe's parts live in a tribute band for a long while and play the very song that saved my life and made me a guitarist in the first place.
And that is my story. I still thank my lucky stars everyday that I gave music a chance and didn't end my life that day and instead found something that completely changed my life in a matter of minutes.