Well that's a juicy one, ain't it?
I mean, after all, everyone has their influences. Whether they be people, places or things.
I suppose at one end of the spectrum you can argue that everything I've ever come into contact with, or indeed, everything in the universe influences me in some small way.
But I think the point here is to go a little deeper than that.
The trouble is, there are so many things to discuss. Not just people. But ideas. Places. Things.
Where does one begin?
Perhaps with music.
Musically I would have to say that my greatest influence, or the musician who had the most affect on me would be Prince. In my formative years (and even now), his music has all touched a chord in me. Sure, his latest couple of albums may be pretty pedestrian and his whole "I'm gonna sue my fans and stop swearing because Jesus said so" bullshit is irritating. But fuck me if he isn't a goddamn, bona fide, musical fucking genius. Possibly the most under-appreciated guitarist in history.
Listening to Prince's sexually charged and provocative lyrics have definitely influenced my way of thinking about love and lust and ladies. His music was a large part of the foundation that would eventually become who I am now.
In fact, now that I think about it, Prince would probably be the greatest influence on me. Apart from my parents of course, but they don't count 'cause they're not famous or anything cool like that.
Everything else that I think about sort of pales in comparison, in terms of influence and longevity. I can start to rattle off other things here like, say, christianity. Religion has had an influence on me. I used to quite the christian. Tolkien was a big early influence. I credit The Hobbit as the book that turned me into a reader. Hunter S. Thompson. Charles Bukowski. Shakespeare. Buddy Wakefield. All more recent influences.
Skepticism has been a great influence on me in the last few years. It's fast approaching Prince levels of influence and it has helped me become part of the reality based community.
But at the end of the day, it's all about the music. The funk of it. The rock of it. The soul of it. The sex of it. Prince is the man.
And if you doubt me, then you ought to challenge him to a game of basketball.