What was the first instrument you owned?

My family had an old upright piano at which I spent many an hour in tears, being forced to take lessons because my dad didn't get to take lessons when he was young. I don't consider that my first instrument.

For my 16th birthday my parents bought me an Aria Pro II electric guitar in glossy black and a 25 watt amp. I knew nothing about guitar except that I was already infatuated with the sound. I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life making that crunching thunder I heard on Def Leppard's Pyromania.

I spent that first year with the Aria Pro II surgically attached to my hand. Never had a lesson. Never realized what a generic, cheap guitar it was. I even took that sucker apart several times and put it back together, just to see what it was all about.

As the years went by and I started buying more guitars, I gave the Aria Pro II to my brother and he lost it somewhere along the way. Those words "Aria Pro II" still send a wave of nostalgia through me.