“John Monteleone: The Chisels Are Calling” – A Journey through the Life of a Renowned Guitar Maker

“John Monteleone: The Chisels Are Calling” – A Journey through the Life of a Renowned Guitar Maker

John Monteleone The Chisels Are Calling - A Journey through the Life of a Renowned Guitar MakerJohn Monteleone The Chisels Are Calling - A Journey through the Life of a Renowned Guitar Maker

“John Monteleone: The Chisels Are Calling” is a 2017 documentary film directed by Trevor Laurence. This film is about the life and work of John Monteleone. John is a world-renowned guitar maker based in Long Island, New York.

He is known for his handcrafted guitars, which are highly prized by musicians and collectors alike. John has been building guitars since the 1970s and has worked with many famous musicians. His list includes Paul Simon, James Taylor, Mark Knopfler, and Steve Miller.

The film provides a fascinating insight into Monteleone’s creative process, his dedication to craftsmanship, and his love for music. The film includes interviews with Monteleone himself, musicians, collectors, and fellow guitar makers who found inspiration from his work. One of the featured musicians is Mark Knopfler, who appears in the film and discusses his personal experience with Monteleone’s guitars.

Mark Knopfler wrote the instrumental song “Monteleone” for his 2009 album “Get Lucky”. At the time, Mark has specifically inspired by John Monteleone’s exceptional guitar-making skills. The piece features Knopfler’s distinctive fingerpicking style and highlights the beautiful sound of Monteleone’s guitars.

During an interview, Knopfler disclosed that playing one of Monteleone’s guitars was a revelation that inspired him to write the song. The guitar’s sound and craftsmanship amazed him. He also spoke about his admiration for Monteleone as a luthier and his unique approach to guitar-making. The song has since become a fan favorite and a testament to the close relationship between Monteleone and Knopfler.

In the documentary, Monteleone discusses his early interest in the craft. Starting with repairing the family piano at age 10 and then smashing a cheap guitar to see what was inside. The film follows him through his realization as a young man that building instruments were actually a job.

He launched his career repairing some of the world’s finest instruments. Monteleone was largely self-taught and used his background in repair to begin building instruments in the traditional style. Once he mastered this, he began to innovate and design his own models.

The film also examines John’s influences including his father’s and uncle’s artwork. His own interests in Art Deco, architecture, cars, trains, and the work of industrial designer Raymond Loewy. Branching out further, Monteleone drew on these influences to create one-of-a-kind themed guitars with names like “Radio City,” “Sun King,” “Orange Blossom Special,” “Radio Wave” and many others.

In addition, the documentary takes us on a journey with Monteleone to Italy. Where his family and creative roots are in search to find the perfect wood for his next projects. And then on to Cremona, known as the city at the heart of the violin building.

John leads us on a tour through the Museo del Violino, where we can see the violins of Stradivari and the Cremonase masters on display. During the tour, he explains how we can learn from the old masters’ approach to building and emphasizes the importance of discovering our own methods.

Overall, anyone interested in music, craftsmanship, or the creative process must see “John Monteleone: The Chisels Are Calling”. It offers a unique glimpse into the life and work of one of the most talented guitar makers of our time. The documentary is available to rent or buy via Apple TV or iTunes, Amazon Video, and Google Play.

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