As a kid I listened to 50's stuff - Elvis, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, pretty much everything from that era. My mum's sister used to work at a record pressing plant so my Mum had all these old 45's and test pressings.
As an 11yr old I became a Beatles fanatic and listened to every song they ever released.
In the early to mid 80's it was alternative and punk for me, everything from the Exploited through to the Dead Kennedy's, Black Flag, Reagan Youth, Sex Pistols, Adicts, Toy Dolls.
All those things I loved, and still do, but none of them ever made me feel like I could actually play in a band.
Then in about 84 I saw a VHS tape of Rock'n'roll High School at the local video store. I just borrowed it because of the cool looking cover. Then half way through that movie I saw the Ramones play some concert footage and it was like a light going off. I'd heard of the Ramones, but never actually heard them play. The minute Dee Dee yelled out the iconic 1-2-3-4 I was in. The next day I bought the It's Alive double album and wore it out.
It was another 5 years before I actually played in a band, as a strange quirk of fete I played my first gig a fortnight after getting back from New York after seeing my first Ramones gig (even managed to get on the door list for the Ramones gig thanks to a mate of mine giving me Monte Melnicks, their road manager at the time, home number. And once I told him I was coming from Australia and just wanted to know if the Ramones were playing he hooked me up.)
But thanks to the Ramones, their energy and drive and the fact they played music that I loved and yet did not seem so intimidating that I would never play it, that is what got me into playing guitar, well bass in a band.
Since the Ramones it has mainly been bands that I have seen live that have been great inspirations like Rollins Band, Nirvana, Primus, as examples, all of whom I was lucky enough to play gigs with so got to meet them, watch soundcheck etc.
As for current bands, the first new band to grab me in a big way is BabyMetal, BOH has reignited the passion, I realise they are manufactured, but they are one of the freshest most energetics bands in decades