The Beach Boys had a really cool guitar sound. I also liked the guitarists in the Searchers and the Dave Clark Five. Then Jimi Hendrix and Pete Townshend hit, and it turned the guitar world on its ear. The more I got into playing guitar, the more I enjoyed music and the broader my listening became. The instrument itself became important to me, and I started messing around with classical guitar and took classical lessons.
Hearing the Ventures and Elvis Presley when I was eight years old. But my guitar teacher thought I should learn jazz standards first, and the training really paid off. I was taught theory, reading and understanding the instrument.
The first thing that I did was write a song. As far as I can tell, it was called “Bluebird.” I still have the piece of paper, and it’s a little difficult to decipher. It looks like the scribblings of a mad schizophrenic. I remember playing that for hours and trying to impress my family that I already started writing songs.
What inspired Eric Johnson to start playing the guitar? "It was Nokie Edwards of the Ventures. He was one of the first guys I ever heard play guitar, and I really enjoyed the sound. And when I was a kid it was something new and different to try. Then I got into guys like Clapton and Hendrix, who had these amazing sounds, which further inspired me to play."