Gee, where to begin? Music started to make an impression on me during middle school. Unfortunately, that was in the mid 80's when big hair metal was big, hip hop was in its infancy, and CD's had just hit the mainstream for $20 each. Music was so expensive you kind of had to pick one or two artists and stick with them. After picking up drumming in 8th grade and listening to very musically stagnant metal, I was turned on to Rush by a friend. The complexity of the music - melody v. counter-melody v. tough time arrangements - really turned me on and I began to listen to older and more complicated rock like Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Zepplin and Creme.
Now, at almost 40, I still listen to that (now) classic rock because I am appalled at most "music" that is being published today; it is boring, trite, and unimaginative. I do have my fair share of Red Hot Chilli Peppers, No Doubt and others that have produced some good stuff, but most new bands have no talent and no idea what good music is, let alone complicated arrangements, odd time signatures and great musicianship.
However, in the past two years I have found bands that have restored my faith in great music and great rock. Radiohead, Muse, Dream Theater, Blackfield and Porcupine Tree are but a few that are now at the top of my playlist. I will always be faithfull to Rush and the others, but these bands are the next generation of great music.