People always say that when you're into a musician or band, you should go backwards and trace their influences. An alternate to that would be trace the web of collaborators, friends, etc.
But as for the former, it's been proven to me, more or less. I would have never heard Neu! if I never read a shit-ton of books about Bowie. So thanks, Bowie.
But really what I'm saying about the former is a revelation I'm having today. I'm listening to the Cure, and I've noticed that literally everything about the Smashing Pumpkins comes from this. You can hear everything Billy Corgan heard and said "Raaah! I'm going to totally steal this later on!" It's incredibly obvious in the Pumpkins' early work (Pre-Gish, I mean), but even after they seemingly assimilated their influences (or hid them under a sheen of Big Muff pedals), you can totally tell that Billy listened to The Cure everyday of his high school life.
Sure, he's said he loves The Cure a ton, but I've just never noticed how obvious it was before today.
Addendum: The real meat of this argument was that there's a Smashing Pumpkins song called She that has the lyrics "She is everything / Monday to Tuesday / Wednesday's another game / praying for Sunday." I always thought (before I got way into The Cure and had a vicious Wikipedia read) that this was an obvious ripoff of Friday I'm In Love, lyrically at least. I mean, the whole "day" thing, and the song was performed at a time when Billy was still trying to ape Robert Smith's voice (and failing).
But here's the wild thing: She was written years before Friday I'm In Love! I had no idea that Friday was an early nineties song. She was written in 1988! That's pretty crazy. It proves that Billy was such a big Cure fan, he went into the future to rip off his favorite band.
No hard feeling on She, though. It comes really close to being a catchy song, it's just held back by being performed by a band who hadn't found their feet yet.