Photo Richard Mahoney

Blues on

Brian Monty is teaching his wife, Erica,

the ropes of the racket he has been in for

35 years.

the Hill

Getting by

Great music and great memories will

befeaturedat theBluesontheHillbenefit

with a little

for Brian Monty October 29 at the

Vankleek Hill fairgrounds, beginning at

7 p.m.

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,



- DE


Andrew Cowan, Peter Measroch and

MartinBoodman,Organ-Ization featuring

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

bank account.

Diagnosed with throat cancer, Monty


inconvenience, but

“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

a grin.

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,”

playing guitars.

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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