Photo Richard Mahoney
Brian Monty is teaching his wife, Erica,
the ropes of the racket he has been in for
Great music and great memories will
with a little
for Brian Monty October 29 at the
Vankleek Hill fairgrounds, beginning at
In addition to a silent auction of
help from his
memorabilia donated by Emerson Lake &
Palmer and friends, there will be a high-
calibre musical line-up.Taking the stage
will be Jordon John and the Blues Angels,
Barry Band, Stephen Barry, Gord
Adamson, Jody Gollick, Bobby Lalonde,
Andrew Cowan, Peter Measroch and
Brian Monty is not singing the blues,
Mike Gauthier & Lorrie Goodman. Plus,
even though he has every right to.
there will be Brian Monty, Todd Monty
The legendary guitar maker and blues
Guy Royer, Steve Segal, Adam Lalonde,
Richard Belanger, Jacques Paquette and
When you are self-employed, an
after having undergone “radical surgery”
others.Every cent raisedat this benefitwill
“This is a minor
unscheduled work stoppage can stretch the
earlier this year.
be donated to Brian Monty to assist with
Diagnosed with throat cancer, Monty
“People have been very patient,” Erica
underwent a larynectomy, a procedure
for him to continue creating fine guitars
relates, noting that somecreditorshavebeen
which, as the term suggests, leaves the
following his battle with throat cancer.
understanding. “There are many people
patient without a larynx or a voice box.
For more information, call Bobby
it is better than the
helping us get back on our feet.”
“I’m a neck breather,” says Monty,
Inorder tokeepworking in theworkshop
depressing a loony-sized button on a tube
locatedbeside their housewest of Ste-Anne-
inserted in his throat. “Squeamish?” With
a twinkle in his eye, he removes the short
Music Facebook at
www . facebook .com/
tube, showing it to a visitor. He re-inserts
p a g e s / B o b b y - L a l o n d e - M u s i c /
cover only a portion of the specialized
the device. “This is my nose.”
“I always had a natural feel for it,” says
equipment and products he needs.
The operation left himwith lots of space
Musicians who absolutely need a Monty
inhis throat. He presses the button: “Space
The cause of his cancer has been linked to
guitar need not fret – they will be pleased to
— the final frontier.”
a virus, and not the products he has worked
know that the “minor convenience” has not
But, seriously, forasinger, theoperation
with over the years.
stopped work in the shop.
must have been devastating.
He has been playing the guitar for 48
He has less energy now, however, he
“This is a minor inconvenience, but it is
years and “I can’t read a note.”
keeps fillingthemanyordershehas received
better than the alternative,” he says with a
His customer list reads like a who’s who
from around the world.
smile. In fact, because he was a singer, he
of the music industry. His clients have
“I was still taking orders while I was in
adapted to the artificial larynx faster than
includedMyles Goodwin, Bruce Cockburn,
most other patients.
Liona Boyd, Cheap Trick, Dwight Yoakum,
bed,” he recalls.
As expected, he and his wife, Erica,
Saturday Night Live musicians.
He is teaching Erica the racket. “He is a
have been forced to make several radical
What is his favourite guitar? “I don’t
good teacher,” she relates.
changes in their lives.
have one. I borrow them,” he remarks with
They have been married since 1989. “It
While cancer patients and their families
was love at first bite,” jokesMonty. “For our
must deal with, among other things,
Monty recalls the time when a few years
first date we went for bagels at the
unexpected expenses and disrupted
ago, he borrowed an entire group, the Long
schedules, the bills still have to be paid.
John Baldry band, to audition for the
Fortunately, Monty has made a lot of
Montréal Jazz Festival. It worked; his group
guitar-making. “I speak at their level,” he
good friends during the more than three
was accepted to be part of the world-class
decades he has been making, fixing and
“I have been in this racket for 35 years,”
Surrounded by planks of wood, guitar
October 29, some of his friends will
necks, and gleaming instruments, Monty
he was living in Sherbrooke, he got tired of
stage Blues On The Hill at the Vankleek
agrees that the “minor convenience” has
having todrive toMontréal toget his guitars
Hill fairgrounds to raise money for Brian
changed his outlook on life.
fixed.With thehelpof some referencebooks,
and Erica Monty.
Monty kept working even while he
“I don’t get bent out of shape as easily I
he beganmakinghis treasuredhand-carved
“It is all very humbling,” says Erica.
was in hospital.
used to. I live one day at a time.”
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