Do you have a defining musical moment from your early years?

Let me explain.

I grew up in England, mother bringing up 2 unruly louts as a single working mother. Not too common in rural England in 60/70,s and somewhat frowned upon.

Money was not bountiful although we never went without staples and no way mom would let her kids go to school in worn or threadbare clothing so I have no complaints.

So imagine my surprise when I got up on the morning of my 13th birthday to find a bright yellow Decca record player wrapped in a bow with a card on the kitchen table.

Even more of a surprise when I lifted the lid to find 4 singles loaded up in the multi play changer. These were my very first vinyl I could call my own!
Think years of listening to my mom’s albums like Perry Como, Andy Williams, Frank Sinatra etc. It’s a wonder I was not scarred for life!

So the singles.... These although long gone I will never ever forget.

Pinball Wizard ... The Who/ Elton John.
In the year 2525 ... Zager & Evans.
Teenagers Mother .... Bill Haley & the Comets.
Purple Haze ... Jimi Hendrix.

Bit of a strange brew but later my mom told me she had no clue and had enlisted the help of a fellow parent who donated these to help her out.

Probably a good thing I do not have them,now as fairly sure they would be worn out as they were played to death.
That was it though, I was hooked and got a Saturday job ( child labour eh?) to feed my addiction. Our local swapshop ( think English equivalent to Pawn shop) always had loads of cheap singles for sale. No idea where they all ended up though tbh.

So that’s my story and my wayward start down the road of rock,n,roll!
The way I understand your story , is that your mother, by giving you
this birthday gift, ( with her hard earned money ) , was telling  you that music and culture was important for a balanced life.
This is quite a gift.

One sometimes does not realize how special some things are until it's too late....
at age 4 I asked my mom if I could buy a 45 for my little plastic record player with a lid.  I picked Yellow Submarine (A side) with Eleanor Rigby (B Side).  I've seen Super 8 video of myself dancing to the 45.  The momentum never stopped from there.
My friends younger sister brought a copy of Led Zeppelin I to his room which was an defining moment for me. That was back in the late 60's. There went the neighborhood :)
Christmas, when I was in 5th grade, I received a Sony Discman and a copy of Beck's ODELAY.  It was the only CD I owned for about a month, so naturally it was overplayed.  

I remember writing down all the songs' lyrics and trying to figure out their meanings.  A little too much for a 5th grader, but nonetheless it was very fun.

I still love & cherish that record today, 23 years later.
Great posts! My choir teacher at church would give out records for those of us that would do the scales acapella or solo in church. My first two were Sgt Peppers and Zeppelin II. My other experience from my childhood was being in Munich for the 72 Olympics and going record shopping coming back with Golden Earring Moontan with that provocative cover and Bad Company’s debut. Cherish those times and my Great Great  Choir teacher Ruth Lansche RIP!!
When I was 5 years old my father had a party for his friends in his squadron. One of them left behind the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour LP. A few days later, he and 30 others were killed in action when their plane was shot down by a North Korean MIG during a recon mission, and I ended up with the album. It was my only record, and I played it a lot for the next several years on my sister's Fisher Price record player. When I was a young teen, after the record became unplayable, I took the inserts out and made "posters" out of them. To make a long story short, I have been a Beatles fan, and a rock music fan, since the age of 5 because of that record.
Touching story thaluza.
I was about 8 years old with a Sears Silvertone record player. I had been playing those multi colored kiddie records. One day I asked my mother to buy whatever record was number one on the charts. She came back with Hound Dog/Don’t Be Cruel. I was a happy camper.

Wow, great stories that will make mine sound superficial. It was the Summer of 1964, and The Beach Boys were coming to The San Jose Civic Auditorium. My 8th grade girlfriend and three of her friends made a cake for one of the boys (I don’t recall which of them), as they knew it was close to his birthday. We got to the Auditorium early, and went to the back door and knocked. A security guard opened the door and the girls told him why we were there. He said just a minute, and closed the door. He was back in a flash and ushered in the four 14-year old girls, but put out his hand and stopped me, closing the door in my face. Well!

The girls were back outside about five minutes later, weak in the knees and excitedly recounting the events that had just occurred inside. It was nothing more than sitting on the laps of four of The Beach Boys (all but Brian Wilson) and kissing; those were innocent times, at least in the world of The Beach Boys.

We went inside, and I saw my first live Rock ’n’ Roll group. Actually, two of them---Local (Santa Cruz) Surf group The Tikis opened the show (the group, which included future Warner Brothers producer Ted Templeman, changed their musical genre in ’67, and their name to Harpers Bizarre). So in 1964 I got to see Brian Wilson playing bass and singing on his last tour as a Beach Boys for many, many years (he quit the road later in ’64, replaced first by Glen Campbell). But it was when I saw the reaction from the girls in the audience to Brian singing "...and she makes love to me..." in "Don’t Worry Baby" that I decided I wanted to be in a group myself. ;-) About six months later I was, and that following Summer saw The Beatles at The Cow Palace in S. San Francisco. I was on John’s side of the stage, and when the crush occurred (all the folding chairs collapsed when the girls stormed forward), I was about thirty feet from him, and realized he was a living, breathing human being, just like everyone else. Well, not JUST like. ;-)

Only two years later I saw The Dead and The Airplane in the Panhandle in Golden Gate Park, and Cream and Hendrix at The Fillmore. Change was occurring at light speed in those days.

My first concert was The Beach Boys at the Cow Palace. It must have been '65 because Brian wasn't there, at the time, we didn't know why. Many more concerts followed at the Filmore and Winterland.

Hey @ericsch, we probably "inhaled the same smoke" at some Fillmore and Winterland shows (and don't forget The Carousel Ballroom, where I saw The Who perform the "A Quick One" Suite in '68). The Bay Area was a great place to be a music lover in the 60's and 70's, and remains so (Slim's is a great club in SF). The Keystone in SF, Berkeley, and Palo Alto (lots of Blues), The Mabuhay in the Punk era, lots of small clubs and bars with stages and live music every night. I saw Quicksilver in one such in Sunnyvale in '68.

It was (and is) the same in L.A. of course, and NYC, Chicago, Boston, Detroit, New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville, Austin, Tulsa, Seattle and Portland, dozens of other big cities and hundreds if not thousands of smaller towns. It's great to be an American!

One day in grade school, probably 3rd grade, violinist from the Seattle Symphony Orchestra came to our class room. We would be going on a field trip to hear them and he came to tell us all about concert etiquette.

Well, he did a lot more than that. He showed us his violin, talked about how its made and shaped and held and played. Every time he would say something he would tap or pluck or bow a string so we would get it and every time he did it was insane magic how good that thing sounded.

He talked about how expressive and versatile an instrument it is. Then he did something I will never forget. He said, "Everyone close your eyes. Now you are going to hear one violin." And he played this little phrase, sweet solo notes, which all these years later no way I remember what it was, only that it was so achingly beautiful I still get choked up just thinking about it. I mean think of it, third grade, sitting maybe ten feet from a concert violinist. Damn.

Then he said, "Now you're going to hear four violins." And he played another little bit, only this time chords, and damned if it didn't sound like there were four of him.

And then for the next however long it was he let loose. Whatever he played, I don't know, but it was awesome. That close up in a class room, everyone sitting dead quiet, you can imagine the detail, the incredible dynamic range. A well-played violin can tug at your heart strings or make you dance at a hoe down, and this one was doing it all.

Been a close your eyes see with your ears listener ever since.

When I purchased "The Rolling Stone Record Guide" back in 1978.
I had gotten into heavily into The Beatles when Capital started reissuing their catalog back in the mid-seventies, but TRSRG showed me there was so much more out there which encompassed "Rock Music".  It was the guide that had pictures of the 5-star albums spread throughout the book, so it made easy to find great albums like Love's "Forever Changes" or The Velvet Underground and Nico out on the shelfs.
I listened to Get Yer Ya Yas Out (which had just come out) on the big (big, big) system in a chalet up on Red Mountain in Aspen where Dave Brubeck Quartet would go to practice. The mostly high end Mcintosh Tube system featured quite a few very large speakers and very big McIntosh electronics, a time delay system, grand piano and Joshua Light show stuff, oh, and some kind of monster midrange horn. I recall the garage was loaded with Ducati racing motorcycles. Not that that sort of thing impresses me. 
As a youngster, our family went to visit distant relatives in Kentucky. Walking down into the basement, there it was, a complete wall of vinyl records.

Watching The Beatles first appearance on Ed Sullivan I think must have had some impact.
Playing first chair coronet in the 7th & 8th grade band.

Listening to our family’s Christmas music on vinyl growing up through the Motorola console stereo (had a tube amplifier).

Staying up late as a teenager to listen to FM radio shows
I have two:

1. The first time I heard a Charley Parker song at age 10. I asked to be in the band and rent a saxophone.

2. School field trip to see a small symphony. As I sat in the audience i remember a strange sensation of excitement and satisfaction as the hair on the back of my neck and arms stood on end. It was then that I knew I would be chasing this sensation for the rest of my life. 
1970: “Whole Lotta Love” on headphones before heading off to school.  The minute before was one universe, the minute after was another.

1968: hearing the Vienna Boys Choir at the Civic Opera House, Chicago.  I became aware that some people spent a ton of money to build a beautiful building just for hearing music.  Now that really blew me away.

1975:  Playing “Whole Lotta Love” in a garage band.  Drums, a quarter as good as Bonham with twice the tubs.

1972:  singing “Oh, Holy Night” in the church choir.

1977:  Hooking up my friend’s Marantz 2245 to his BIC Venturi’s.  

2018:  hearing the Triangle Magellan Concert Grands on a Luxman rig at Axpona.

2019:  hearing the Spendor D7 on a Chord rig at Axpona.

Uberwaltz, that was one beautiful story.
Thank you Dprincipato.

A lot of worthy highlights in your post.
Thank you for sharing.

I guess another worthy moment ( or two) was our first venture into a recording studio.
Followed by having said session mixed and mastered at THE Abbey Road Studios in London. Just being in those hallowed halls was a huge moment!
My parents listened and liked music, they had plenty lps, with all kind of different music, some that I ve liked, some not.

Amon those which I liked, was lp of Elvis, hits of 70's.Listening to that record made me ask my father to take me to the record store and to buy me more such music.

Next day we went, he bought me the Beatles 'red' compliation, hits from 62-66. 
I was 9 years old at the time and I was moved by one song in particualr, it was 'Yesterday'. 
It was double album, which I still have, 36 years later.
 Records had inner covers writtten with lyrics of the songs, which I could not understand.
For that reason I started to learn English.The music came along
I guess for me, it would be the radio. My parents had records like Eartha Kitt, Harry Belafonte and Burl Ives. The only one that impressed me was Prokofiev's "Peter & the Wolf". 

But when I was 10 years old, Armed Forces Radio came to town. The first songs that really peaked my interest were: "Bye, Bye Love" - Everly Brothers, "Runaway" - Del Shannon, and of course, "Maybelline" and "Jambalaya", already oldies in 1962. 

My tastes have changed a bit over the years, but those songs still do something to me. 

Honorable mention to Brubeck's "Take Five". 

For me I would say what got me into music was because of my parents. And some very special times remembering mom and dad dancing in the living room listening to doo wop. Must of been about 5 yrs old. Being italiano and growing up in the Bronx NY. My parents met in the late 1950s. So can totally understand their love for  DOO WOP. It must of had an effect on me cause I also love doo wop. I also remember what kind of stereo my dad had in our living room. XAM receiver and speakers and a Gerard tt. Bought from Korvetts. 

Yes and it was traumatic , As a youngster I grew up listening to forms of jazz as did the bulk of Americans  . In a year this was vanished and replaced by junk music which still prevails and is a major factor in the huge drop in taste  in American society . And not just musical taste .

The day i bought my very own CD, Depeche Mode's People are People.  I think I was 16 or 17 and didn't even own a CD player.  I used to stare at the CD after school almost every day and read the liner notes over and over and over in anticipation of hearing the disc.  I figured if I bought the CD, my parents would buy me the player, and they did.  But i waited about a year for it.   That in itself was another defining musical moment.  I went crazy buying from Columbia House CD club.   Having a part time job back then as a teen and getting all those CDs for cheap was unbeatable.  I sure miss Columbia House. 
What a beautiful thread. Stories to remember. Thank you guys.

Nobody listened music at my place but we had small TV which was kind of luxury at that time and I was quite thrilled with the Festival di Sanremo (The Festival della canzone italiana) which was broadcasting on our national TV. As the little girl, I did not understand the single word in italian but the songs sounded magical. The song from Anna Oxa - E’ tutto un attimo, blew me away. When my mother had to go to work, she would leave me in the room, gave me some cookies and the access to her closet. Where she would left me, she would find me. In front of the big bedroom mirror, wearing her clothes, singing songs from Sanremo. In my own way. That is what music does to you. :--)

But real shock with the music happened when the group of musicians came to local church to perform live some spiritual songs. They looked strange to me, with their very long hair, different clothes. When they started to play in the acoustic church, my jaws dropped. I did not want to go home, stayed there from the morning hours till the nightfall because guys promised to play some music again.
That did not happen and I remember I was the saddest little girl. But I knew then what made my heart smile. Music. Ever since.

On vinyl - Chicago - "Make Me Smile" etc.
On radio - Diana Ross and the Supremes - "Up the Ladder to the Roof"
On T.V. - the whole Beatles phenomenon/controversy - specifically the Paul is Dead and Paul was the Walrus.  Fun stuff!  Drove the adults bonkers.😲