There wasn’t any specific guitar player or music genre that made me want to play guitar. It was the the sound of the guitar itself. I started wanting to play guitar around the age of 9 or 10. This was around 1970, and radio at that time wasn’t as segmented as it is now. The main radio station I listened to was CKLW, which was a “Top 40” radio station that played whatever was popular, regardless of genre. You would hear everything from Led Zeppelin to Elvis to The Temptations to The Beatles to John Denver. And the common denominator, for me, was they all had cool sounding guitar.
It wasn’t until years later that I learned who was making all those cool guitar sounds and started developing my own set of guitar heroes. I just knew I liked the sound of the guitar on the songs I was hearing. This also seems to be the case with most my younger students. They usually don’t have “guitar heroes” yet. They just like the sound of the guitar. My older students usually have guitar players or bands that they want to learn to play like. Which is fine. But I am personally glad I didn’t have any guitar heroes in mind when I started learning. I just wanted to play cool sounding guitar.
That is how I teach guitar. Genre isn’t important to me. Cool guitar is cool guitar. Regardless of genre. If it sounds cool, why not learn it?