Guitar maker takes his 'axe' to cancer
Brian Monty loves making music.
He used to love to sing, until stage-4 throat cancer cost him his vocal cords.
He now breathes through a tracheotomy, and speaks with a quiet, monotone rasp.
“So, two things I can’t do,” jokes the 63-year-old. “I can’t sing at the Met and I can’t go swimming.”
But there’s one thing he can still do. Monty is a master luthier. He builds guitars. Rare, very expensive guitars. He says he’s lucky if he makes 12 in a year and they can cost in the thousands of dollars.
And this year he has built one very special guitar, a unique ivory and burgundy-striped hollow body electric.
According to Monty, the design of the guitar is symbolic. The ivory is the person who has cancer. The stripes represent the hardships and restrictions caused by the disease, like the bars of a prison.
The guitar as a whole represents the healing powers of music.
Monty has even added an inlay of a cancer ribbon under his name on the guitar’s head.
Remarkably, someone can have this one-of-a-kind instrument for as little as a $10 raffle ticket. Monty is raffling off the guitar to raise money for the Ottawa Hospital Ear, Nose and Throat Cancer Clinic, the clinic that saved his life.
The guitar-maker wanted to do something to raise money and awareness for a disease he says receives far too little of both. His throat cancer was caused by the HPV virus and he is a strong advocate of boys receiving the HPV vaccine alongside girls.
The raffle will take place at a special fundraising concert Saturday, May 9th at the Greenfield’s Pub in Ottawa.