COURTESY OF CHAD TAKATSUGI
Chad Takatsugi's stolen guitar is a custom Morgan. It is a six-string concert-body guitar with a koa body and spruce top. It has a matching koa faceplate on the peg head.
Theft hits isle musician close to heart
To musician Chad Takatsugi, his custom-built Morgan was more than just a guitar.
"It's a part of who I am and my identity," said Takatsugi, who performs contemporary/ traditional Hawaiian music with the award-winning group 'Ale'a.
So he said he was shaken when he discovered the koa-and-spruce guitar was stolen from his car early Sunday morning by a thief who smashed the rear window.
Takatsugi said he wants to appeal to the thief to return the guitar.
"If this person could imagine something they work with every day and ... just imagine something like that being taken from them," he said.
Takatsugi was staying at his girlfriend's Nuuanu home Saturday night and suspects the guitar was taken early Sunday morning.
The guitar is easily identifiable by its curly koa peg-head faceplate with the Morgan insignia "M" and black ebony tuning buttons. Its back and sides are curly koa, and the top is spruce.
The guitar has an estimated value of $5,000, he said. A Canadian craftsman flew to Hawaii to select koa for the guitar, Takatsugi said. But he said the value of the guitar is more than what he paid for it.
"It's just a representation of what I do as far as my music in the community, an embodiment of my passion for Hawaiian music and culture," he said.
"I refuse to believe that this is how we in Hawaii treat each other," he said. "It makes me very sad and very sick that someone would have that kind of disrespect for another human being."
Friends of 'Ale'a, which has won six Na Hoku Hanohano awards, have circulated news of the stolen guitar via e-mail.
Anyone with information about the guitar is asked to call police at 911.