At this point, it's difficult to think of Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian as anything other than a woolly-bearded merchant of metal, but once upon a time, he was just another Elton John-loving '70s kid -- and then Kiss came along.

"I was at the epicenter," recalled Ian during an exclusive chat with Ultimate Classic Rock when asked about the portion of his biography, 'I'm the Man,' in which he recounts the massive influence Kiss had on his early love of music. "I heard 'Rock and Roll All Nite' on the radio in my parents' station wagon as a kid, and flipped out over the song. It was like, 'I gotta hear that again!'"

Just a few days later, young Scott -- not having any idea what Kiss looked like -- saw the band on TV, and the die was cast. "At the time, an 11-year-old whose life revolved around music and comic books and horror movies -- there it is, wrapped up in one fiery, bloody package," he grinned. "It couldn't have been more perfect. I mean, literally, that was a needle right to the cortex."

Shortly thereafter, Ian made his first album purchase with his own money -- the band's 1975 classic 'Alive!' LP. "They owned my soul for the next three and a half years, basically," he admitted. "It was my gateway into other music -- before Kiss, Elton John was my favorite." You can watch the video above.

Scott Ian Discusses the State of Rock