Guitarist Adam Clarke was navigating his way through fallen debris from last week’s micro-burst in Montreal’s NDG borough when he came across a toppled tree.
“The tree wasn’t snapped down, it was pulled down, a beautiful massive tree that was still intact,” Clarke told Global News.
The tree was sprawled across Harvard Street — so Clarke had an idea.
“It would be cool to use some wood out of this tree to make a guitar,” he said.
With the help of his wife, Sonia Beckhöfer-Fialho, they started asking both residents and clean-up crews from the City of Montreal if they could help cut a piece of the tree.
A musician for over 25 years, Clarke said he was determined to give part of the tree a second life.
“It’s a guitarist’s dream to have a custom-built guitar,” he said.
Initially, Clarke said workers were too busy to help, but after his band, The Janko Revival, finished practice, Clarke got lucky: someone had cut a chunk of wood big enough for a guitar base and left it for him to take home.
He took to Facebook to properly thank the chainsaw-wielding Samaritan, but said he has yet to hear back.
“I don’t know exactly who it was, but that’s the spirit of NDG these days, people help each other out,” Clarke said.
After the wood has dried out for a few months, Clarke said he plans to have his co-worker, Chris Graham, a carpenter from the Laurentians, build the shell of the guitar.
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Graham has spent a lifetime creating custom wood-pieces, from Adirondack chairs to 3D wooden signs, after taking over his father’s wood-working shop, Finnegan’s Workshop, in Arundel.
He said he is determined to help Clarke craft his dream.
“It’s a neat project for him, it holds a little bit of sentimental value,” Graham said.
Once the body is completed, Clarke said he will begin assembling the electrical components to get the best sound possible for his blues rock band.
The guitar won’t be ready in time for The Janko Revival’s first original album — which is currently being recorded — but Clarke hopes to honour the good-doer with a song on the band’s next studio album.