What started this truly was when I first saw the initial Richie Blackmore's Rainbow cassette tape in a local tape store. The castle fused into a guitar and with a rainbow caught my attention in passing.
I looked at the songs' names and noticed they were all medieval themed mostly and knew I had to have it. This might be my grail so to speak. I listened to it and it blew my mind. Finally, at the age of eight, I was hitting upon what and who I should be so early in life. It was in this time that I was buying gaming figures from a local hobby shop to paint unaware that they held another purpose entirely. I was enchanted by them all in the showcase. I could see the wizards, warriors, dragons and the rest and had to have them all!
This came with me buying the next Rainbow album, 'Rising' and it brought my young imagination to a place that was simply spiritual. I was now ready to jump into all things fantasy, I just didn't know how then or that there was a hobby called role-playing games. This was in 1980.
Then by chance I was able to get the original Monster Manuals and Deities & Demi-Gods books and loved the info and art inside. I just didn't put that together with the figures yet. I didn't know that Rainbow was changing in that time and that they were now doing 'popular' music and sold out their medieval/fantasy themed brilliance. But then I bought their third album, 'Long Live Rock & Roll' that to me was the sum of what good and perfect music should be! It blew my mind more than the other two.
The song that pivoted me towards my scholarly expertise was 'Lady of the Lake', it and the movie 'Excalibur' set my course towards what later became my academic specialty and my Masters from the University of Wales Lampeter in Arthurian Studies.
Please play these full albums, blast them, to get your gaming vibes going. They always do mine. I play them at least every day or so since 1980. (The first three albums are the Dio era ones)