What started you on the merry go round?

Forgive me if this is an old thread, but can you look back and say a particular event, experience, got you started? For some it may be your Dad, perhaps attending a show, or a friend.
For me it was sometime in the Autumn of 1977. I had just started in my first residency job in the National Health Service in Devon. Ian a fellow serf in the hospital trenches had a pretty good system for the time and his salary, Linn LP12/SME 309/Shure, Monitor Audio speakers, I can'nt remember the rest. I was getting into Opera then and he played the Beecham version of Puccini's La Boheme, I bought the set about this time and it is still the first record I would rescue in a fire. It was the entry of Mimi in Act 1, scene 1. Victoria De Los Angeles was perfect on that record and it was as if an angel had come into the room. Well that was it for me and I started the long, hesitant road to where I am now, with a long gap when the kids were young.
Did any of you guys have a similar "epithany"
When I was 6 my Mom bought me my first record player, along with lots of records that I loved (In 1963, there were many to love :) Between this event and her lifelong love of playing her Piano, music was burned into my soul.

Really that was the root of all my Hi-Fi obsessions.

Lost my Mom 4 years ago, and I think often of her passion for music and the great gift she gave me.
Kind of funny actually, as there are two distinct turning points.

My dad fixed TV's and stereos for a living (Chief Radio). He had a Grundig console in for repair and I was in awe of the deep sound and richness of the sound. When I was 17 (1974) I purchased a SONY HP161 compact stereo and used that for 5 years and then moved up to a Pioneer/EPI/Dual combination for the next 10 years. Listened to and collected a lot of music in those days.

Fast forward to 1988 and for Christmas, my wife buys me a set of Boston Acoustics floorstanders, which I hated. I had been auditioning Klipschs for 2 years but had always hesitated on pulling the trigger. We break up two years later and audio becomes my new passion. I have owned a lot of equipment ever since.

Regards, Rich
In 1967, I was 10, and my Dad had a Lafayette system (tube receiver, Criterion? speakers, Garrard turntable). I vividly recall hearing the Mamas & Papas- the harmonies had me transfixed. It sounded so much better than when I heard it on AM radio. I knew that there was something better out there. My parents were into Otis Redding, Beatles (Sgt Pepper), Bob Dylan, Sam Cooke.... They started my love for music (I still listen to all of the above). The desire to hear it at it's best was fomented back then.
Ironically, when I finally got my first cheap system ( Sansui receiver/ BSR mini-changer/ cheap Ohm speakers), they'd yell, "Turn that ****down!". Now, they ask me to burn copies of the same **** for them. :-}
Not really an epiphany, but a long trail to the rabbit hole.

When I was young, my parents (dad) listened to a lot of music on this funky system he set up with an HH Scott tube receiver, old Garrard record changer and two large "full spectrum" speakers hidden up in the rafters somewhere. The music - mostly jazz, musicals, soundtracks and opera - was rich and loud, and it seemed to come from Heaven. By the time I was about 8 years old, I had learned how to climb up and put records on my Dad's system. The next thing I knew, I received a Westinghouse portable record player with a built in speaker, the one that had a plastic molded top that closed like a clam shell. My much older brother and sister gave me newly minted copies of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band and Magical Mystery Tour and I was hopelessly smitten. Shortly after that I got a little transistor radio that I would listen to it incessantly. By the time I was in high school, I was spending most of my meager income on putting together the best sounding system I could, and buying and borrowing records to make high quality cassette tapes for use in the car and at parties.

I took a long break from my early ride on the merry-go-round for excessive schooling and child rearing, and was spurred back a few years ago by my wife of all people who said "Honey, it would be nice to be able to listen to the radio". At the time we only had a very old integrated amp, a little bit less old CD player and some cool looking but modest sounding home brew speakers. I interpreted my wife's comment as "Honey, go out and learn everything you can about music reproduction in the new millennium, and don't come home until you have gotten the most musical system we can barely afford with a plan to gradually improve it for the next twenty five years", or something to that effect. In this recent quest I can honestly say I have heard some really nice sounding systems. Still no epiphany, but a gradual reawakening of a deep seated interest.
I thought by "merry-go-round" you meant a quest for better sound, or at least better equipment, not any initial exposure to recorded music. If it is the latter, I would have to say the old tube radio in the kitchen of my childhood every evening blaring a show called "Hits on Parade" out of CKVL Verdun, Quebec, if memory serves, that my older sisters would invariably listen to.