When Tisa and I had only been dating for about 2 or 3 months, I wanted to get her a cool present for her upcoming birthday on the 16th of April. She and I were frequently going to see Monte Montgomery play at the local bars in Austin and she had made some mention to me that she would like to learn to play the guitar. My idea was then to buy her a relatively inexpensive acoustic guitar and have Monte sign it for her.
Getting the Guitar
About a week earlier to this particular trip, I went onto eBay and found a red Johnson 6 string acoustic for about $150.00 or so. There was an available 'Buy it Now' option and since I didn't have much time, I went ahead and did it. For whatever reason, my eBay account was giving me trouble, so I actually had Dave Guezuraga, my roommate at the time, purchase the guitar for me. I quickly reimbursed him for it - and he got the star on his eBay account.
I went on to Monte's website and found an email address that I figured I could use to contact his people regarding having the guitar signed. A day or two went by and I still had not heard back from them. Getting slightly anxious about this, I decided that if I did not hear back from them, I would just have to go to one of Monte's concerts and have him sign it, I figured he couldn't turn me down. The only problem was that his only upcoming concert was in Dallas on the 5th of April, 2002, and that was going to be a bit of a drive on my part.
My Letter to Monte Montgomery
From: "Kevin Ludlow" <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, April 01, 2002 2:53 PM
Subject: upcoming show - with a question
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am hoping that this letter can find its way to Monte Montgomery as this was the only email address that I could find on the website. So:
My name is Kevin Ludlow and I live in Austin - where I do get to see your shows from time to time. I try to go whenever possible because, while I'm sure you can do without more flattering from people, your music is incredible and your guitar method is something I've never seen before. To the point, I have a small favor that I would like to ask of you. I have been playing guitar for quite some time and my girlfriend has been wanting me to teach her. For her upcoming birthday, this April 16, I have bought her a pretty inexpensive, but nice, practice guitar so she has something to learn on. Unfortuantly I couldnt afford anything too grand. My favor to ask is if you could sign/personalize the guitar. I'm sure that you have lots of number one fans, but I would say that she is definately one of them and I think she would cherish the very thought of you signing it. Also, I would hope it would inspire her to learn to play, as she admires your guitar playing a great deal.
If this is at all possible, I would happily pay you for the trouble or do whatever necessary to make it possible. I might not normally go through such a length do to something, but she is definately worth that and much more, to me anyways. I understand that you have a show coming up in Dallas on the 5th, and I happily would drive up to Dallas. I'd love to see the show, and perhaps I could see you afterwards? I am just hoping that the guitar gets here before then, as I ordered it online. So - it would mean a great deal to me and I guarantee her too if you could do this. I hope to hear from you - and email is great - but my cell is 512:xxx-xxxx.
Thank you so much for your time,
Getting the Signature
I asked my good friend Preston Graham if he would like to join me in going to a concert in Dallas, and of course explained why I needed to go up there. Being the great guy that he is, he happily agreed to go with me. So, around 4pm on the 5th, I picked him up in my truck and we drove the 3 or so hours up North to Dallas. I guess we got there a bit too early for nightlife but it allowed me to get a spot directly in front of the club where Monte was playing that night, The Gypsy Tea Room.
The signed guitar sitting in my living room
With some time to kill, Preston and I walked across the street from the club and had a beer or two at another bar. Afterwards, we proceeded to walk back over to the club and wait in line. We were there for about 10 minutes or so when Tisa called me on my cell. There was clearly a loud ruckus from the people standing around and I had to make up some story about me being out with some friends or the like. I didn't want her to know that I was in Dallas going to a concert. I think it was a fair white lie.
When we finally got inside of the Gypsy Tea Room, the opening band was just about to go on. Preston and I had a few more beers and were just sitting around talking when I happened to notice Monte up at the bar. I quickly ran up to him and explained to him that I had just bought my girlfriend an acoustic guitar and would appreciate it if he could sign it. He told me no problem and that he would do it after the show. This was a relief, though now we had to sit through the entire show. Not that I didn't want to see Monte play or anything like that, but he wasn't going on until around 11pm or so and we still had to drive back to Austin.
Needless to say, we watched the entire show, drank some beers, and all in all, had a great time. As soon as the show was over, I asked Monte once more just to confirm and he told me to go and get the guitar from my car. I brought it back to him and he was more than happy to sign it personally to Tisa. He asked me what I wanted it to read and I told him just to write whatever he wanted, so long as it was addressed to Tisa. He didn't argue and signed it "To Tisa: Peace and Love - Monte Montgomery".
Preston and I left the Tea Room sometime around 2:30-3:00am and of course still had a 3 hour drive ahead of us. It was more than exhausting and I think Preston tried to stay awake with me as long as possible but eventually fell asleep in the car. We got home some time around 6am.
My Response from Monte Montgomery
Even though I managed to get the guitar signed, it took awhile for that email that I originally wrote to get back to me. The return letter actually came from Monte's manager, Ray Rodriguez, but apparently he actually spoke with Monte regarding the guitar. Thankfully, it wasn't of much concern by this time. Here is the email that was sent back to me regarding the guitar being signed:
From ???@??? Sun Apr 14 11:45:59 2002
From: "RayRod" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Kevin Ludlow" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: upcoming show - with a question
Date: Sun, 14 Apr 2002 10:45:35 -0500
Sorry for the late reply. I spoke to Monte about this and he'd be glad to sign the guitar. So, bring it to any one of his shows and just ask him to sign it!
Manager, Monte Montgomery
Giving the Guitar to Tisa
I had to hold onto the guitar for 10 solid days without letting her know anything about it, much less that I had just been to Dallas the night before and gone to a Monte concert. On her birthday, she came over after going out with one of her friends and I was anxious to give her the guitar. I presented it to her and of course she was incredibly excited that I had given her a guitar in the first place. The funny thing was, she thought that I had signed it. I explained to her that it was personally signed by Monte Montgomery just for her. I had to explain the entire story but I think she was more than amazed with the effort made.
Wow! That is so cool! I can't believe you went to all that trouble. But, I can see you had a good time doing it. I am a huge M.M. fan, and have driven between Dallas and Austin to see gigs, myself. Tisa'a a lucky girl.
bonjour, je cherche la tablature de romeo and juliet par monte montgomery. Pourriez vous m' écrire pour savoir si vous l' aviez et si possible pourriez vous me l envoyer a mon adresse mail. je vous remercie a bientot