Gallup School of Lutherie, Michigan
As a youngster on the southwest side of Chicago, Zach took guitar lessons, played in bands, and by way of the legend of Brian May’s homemade guitar, got interested in making guitars himself. After completing the Master Program Gallup School of Lutherie in Michigan, he started at Third Coast in 2006. He’s now one of our high-end techs who restores your shattered hopes and dreams. Zach’s curiosity about woodworking and finishing knows no bounds, helping him to devise and execute great repairs even when things get weird. In his spare time, he might be found working in his own wood shop, playing guitar in some rock band or as a side man, or perfecting his signature dance move, the Mad Dip.
Benny “The Foot” Monson
SOME GUY FROM SOMEWHERE IN MINNESOTA
Benny Monson claims that he came into Third Coast to try to buy a switch ring some time in 2007, but instead was offered a job and has since learned all about guitars. We know the truth is that he went to guitar-building school in Vermont, but we still humor him when he tells this story. Benny has a great eye for the visual aspect of this work. As a result, he’s able to make some of the strangest requests come out looking so good that they no longer seem strange. He’s got a soft spot for funky old cheap guitars, so be aware that if you bring in your old Harmony Rocket, he will try to buy it from you. In his spare time he tends to his adorable family, his beagle Frank, several old buildings, and several old radios, record players, and motorcycles. He never did get that switch ring. He’s still here. Coincidence? We think not.
KNOCKING DOWN THE SETUPS
Konstantine (aka “Ken,” aka “Curly,” aka“Special K”) has been a Chicago guy since the age of 7 when he immigrated here from Kiev. As a kid he took apart and reassembled his first electric guitar the day he got it. Later he got interested enough to attend the Chicago School of Guitar Making. He’s been here at Third Coast since 2014, with hundreds of fret levels and setups under his belt, and always has at least one project guitar or pedal or amp cooking on the side. Outside Third Coast, he stays busy as a guitarist for hire and a member of several bands. Other interests include film, vinyl records, and making his own cheese.
Chris “Chad” Kingston
SHIPPING AND RECEIVING
Chris is also known as “Chad,” because we can’t have two guys named Chris answering the phone. The other Chris owns the joint and refuses to change his name. Chris Kingston came to us from Boone, North Carolina in 2013. Technically speaking, he’s our shipping and receiving guy, but he’s also that guy who jumps in wherever he’s needed to help out and keep it all rolling. Chris has been taking his guitars and his friends’ guitars apart and putting them back together since he was a teenager in the hills of NC. If he’s not on deck at Third Coast, he’s probably in the back shredding some metal on guitar, or at home shredding something on the piano to scare his cat.
AMP TECH AND SYNTH-FIEND
As a young Philly kid, Mike was fascinated by synthesizers, so much so that he eventually learned about electronics in order to be able to build a synth. He’s got a number of modular synthesizers under his belt now, and has been spending his days fixing amps and electronics with us since 2014. When he’s not doing one of those things, you’ll probably find him tinkering with guitars, listening to some noisy art music, or swirling fine red wine around in one of those crystal globes.
Stay tuned for tidbits on the rest of the team as John Slevira and Mike Lamantia prepare for their close-ups.