When I started to listen to music, bands like Ten Years After, Cream, Black Sabbath and Yes were the ones that got my attention, due to the fact that they had extraordinary guitarists. Then came a period of progressive bands like Soft Machine, Gentle Giant, Van der Graaf Generator, Druid, Colosseum and rockier bands like Wishbone Ash, Thin Lizzy, Budgie etc. etc. Not to forget MAGMA, the fantastic French Band. As of the Eighties until today I was and still am totally blown away by the so-called shredders: Steve Vai, Shawn Lane, Brett Garsed, Frank Gambale, Al DiMeola, Joe Taffola, Andy Timmons, Joe Satriani, Derryl Gabel and a few thousand others. :-) (no chronological or any other order intended)
Allan Holdsworth however is the Best in my book and always will be.
I started playing the geetar when I was 16 or 17 years old. My first instrument was virtually unplayable and the first rehearsals meant the guitar and bass player plugging into an old radio, ruining it of course during the second rehearsal at latest. !!!!
But things kept getting better and better and today I am the proud owner of a few (!?) guitars and a couple of decent amps, namely an Elmwood (Sweden) and a Red Stuff (Germany). I also have a Roland Jazz Chorus, a vintage Steelphon, a Rath and a Fender Deluxe 112.
My guitars range from the unevitable Ibanez guitars to a Bill Delap, Tyler, Schindler, Godin, Hamer, Auerswald, Teuffel, Steinberger, Suhr, Gordon Smith, Yamaha, Fender, Vigier, Carvin, Charvel, Jackson, Musicman, Siggi Braun and a couple custom built ones. I'm sure I still forgot a few.
Oh yes, I also have a Bond Extraglide and a Danelectro Baritone !!!