I think a lot of modern day guitarists start off playing like Eddie van Halen, and they don't take the time to learn the basics.
I just couldn't take school seriously: I had this guitar neck with four frets which I kept hidden under the desk. It had strings on it so I would practice my chord shapes under the desk and that's about all I did at school.
Back in those days we thought we could change the world.
I just play to the people I can see. So it's almost like you are playing to the first few rows of the crowd. You can see the faces of the first hundred people, but then it becomes a blur as the crowds disappear over the hill.
I strongly encourage listening to the radio to hear something you haven't heard before. It's a very healthy thing to do. It's strange: unless you reload your iPods every couple of weeks, you're listening to and recycling the same music all of the time. I'm serious. Listen to your radio station.