Many point to Billy Squier as early-'80s rock personified -- an era when he and many of his peers tempered hard rock with pop melodicism -- and by adding just the right amount of posing and posturing for the newly constructed MTV set, he scored a string of arena rock anthems and power ballads. But Squier did not enjoy overnight success as it took many years and several failed bands before he hit paydirt as a solo artist. Born on May 12, 1950, in Wellesley Hills, MA, Squier began playing piano and guitar at an early age, but didn't become serious with music until discovering Eric Clapton (via the renowned British guitarist's stints with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and Cream) in the late '60s and deciding to pursue music full-time. After playing in several local bands in the Boston area, Squier spent the early '70s relocating back and forth between Boston and New York City, during which time he contributed to a troupe that combined music with poetry (called Magic Terry & the Universe), attended the Berklee College of Music, and played in a pair of rock groups (N.Y.C.'s Kicks, which included future New York Dolls drummer Jerry Nolan, and Boston's the Sidewinders).