I was this wee little teen living in the Bible Belt around '77. There was no good music on the radio. The days of decent pop when I was sprouting - long gone. In Tennessee you had stuff like The Little River Band.....it was grim, my friends.
Then things all sort of coalesced. I bought my first CREEM magazine and there was a spread on Patti Smith in there. I read about all these bands I'd never heard of and it all seemed so dynamic and new. I don't know which came first...Patti Smith or The Ramones. But those were my first discoveries of the stuff that lay waiting. I had been into Bruce Springsteen back in the lean hungry Bruce days. Then all of a sudden Patti Smith is on the radio singing "Because The Night," co-written with him. I bought Easter on cassette and had to hide it from my mom. Then I bought Rocket To Russia and knew that there was a whole new ballgame going on on this adjacent field to mainstream radio. YESSS. Record Bar still existed back in those days and I would get someone to drive me into Chattanooga and I'd paw through their import section, which was more or less two rows of English bands. I bought The Clash, the first album and then I transformed overnight into this little punker who spent all the money she made working at Taco Bell part-time on albums. Paydays were so great - I'd come home with five or six albums at a time. Blondie, Television, The Dead Boys, etc.
It was like the world shifted. I started dressing strange for my conservative high school (343 members, give or take) and took to converting all the friends who whould listen. I started thinking outside the sleeve. But yeah, for me....CREEM was the match to the fire for me.