As a teenager, Steve was influenced by the guitar generation and the excitement of rock 'n' roll. This led to his receiving his first guitar at age 12, a Christmas present from his parents. It was an an f-hole acoustic, which prepared him for his signature Gibson ES-175. Inspired by artists as diverse as Bill Haley and the Comets, Les Paul, Jimmy Byant, and Tennessee Ernie Ford (whose band included Speedy West), Steve taught himself to play the guitar, eventually performing with friends first at youth clubs and later at local pubs and ballrooms.

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