View Full Version : Just lost a friend

10-22-2013, 09:50 AM
Not a good morning. Got a call from Ramon, and found out our good friend is gone and starting over elsewhere.

My words to him are my own, but I just thought I'd share. Thanks for listening.

mm stan
10-22-2013, 10:54 AM
Aloha Aaron,
Howzit Brah...I just was thinking of him this morning...so sad Aaron...he was a great friend of mine... should I spill the beans to all here?
Okay Gang, My Friend Aaron is talking about a friend who was for battling his last battle for his life....he had kidney, liver failure .....
He was a really nice guy and everyone here loved him.....He passed away this morning and is playing his ukes and bass and is in heaven now..I will miss him alot..
To many of you he may have sold you your first Ukes and or many ukes and gave you excellent advice....Rip Micheal Aratani, We will all miss you...1958- 2013
The Uke World has lost one of the giants in the ukulele movement...he certainly was one who changed how the ukulele has progressed....he will be missed greatly..my eyes are
all watered with sadness...

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-22-2013, 11:01 AM
Wow, so sad. He will be missed.

10-22-2013, 11:09 AM
RIP. Playing with the angels now.

10-22-2013, 11:14 AM
I am so saddened by this news. My heart is heavy.... He was a good, generous man, and he will be truly missed....Somehow I am sure he is making incredible music in heaven now......

10-22-2013, 11:15 AM
I was one of those who bought his first ukes from Mike... three altogether, in fact. Mike was sort of the pied piper of ukuleles for the internet. I'm sure there are many here who owe their love of the ukulele to the attentive service Mike provided. His legacy lives on in the happiness he spread and the music he created.

10-22-2013, 11:17 AM
Definitely sad to hear that. We will miss him for sure. Sometimes there just aren't words...and I know it has to be much worse for those of you who knew him as more than a voice on the end of a long-distance phone line.


10-22-2013, 11:20 AM
My condolences to the guys on Hawaii and everyone here. He will be missed by many.

hawaii 50
10-22-2013, 11:24 AM
RIP my friend Mike....you will missed.....

10-22-2013, 11:26 AM
Bought my first ukulele from you 3 years ago.. Rest in peace, Mike.

10-22-2013, 11:30 AM
A pillar of the industry has been taken from us. Rest in peace, I am richer for having known you.

10-22-2013, 11:32 AM
What a loss to anyone who ever met him. Wonderful soul. My condolences to all his family and friends. I'll always remember how wonderfully helpful he was to my wife and buying my first "real" uke. I'll remember him every time I play my Kala! RIP Mike!

The Big Kahuna
10-22-2013, 11:32 AM
So incredibly shocking and sad. My condolences to all who knew and worked with Mike.

Rick Turner
10-22-2013, 11:33 AM
He's going to give all those heavenly harp players some real competition!

I am so sorry to read this; I just talked to Mike about eight days ago. I knew he was in rough shape, but this is way too soon.

He was incredibly supportive of this mainland uke maker...

10-22-2013, 11:40 AM
Very sad and unexpected news. Truly a big loss.

10-22-2013, 11:41 AM
So deeply saddened to hear this news. Indeed a pillar in our community. The world is a better place for his having been here. Rest in peace....I hope we will jam again.

10-22-2013, 11:42 AM
I'm devastated. My deepest condolences to Mike's family and to his universe (literally) of friends.

10-22-2013, 11:42 AM
I'm editing this post to add that my second conversation with Mike was when he was laid up in the hospital. When his ebay biz was falling apart because of his extended hospital stay, he took the time to call me and let me know that my order would be filled as soon as he got out of the hospital. His charisma and aloha spirit came through even over the phone and I ended up ordering another uke from him right then.

I introduced myself to MGM at the 2011 Roy Sakuma Ukulele festival after recognizing his voice from our phone conversations where he was extremely helpful and patient in answering all my noobie questions. I had the opportunity to talk with him face to face about a half dozen more times and he always, always treated me like a long time friend.

Thank you for all you've done for the community we all love.

Rest in peace Michael Aratani

10-22-2013, 11:50 AM
A sad day for our community. While I never met MGM on person, we would email and PM to talk about ukes. I don't think Mike ever met a stranger. He will be dearly missed.

What can we do to memorialize him?

10-22-2013, 11:52 AM
RIP - Mike you will be sorely missed

I had the pleasure of meeting him just a couple of times. The most recent was just a few months ago when I stepped into the shop and saw him setting up a Baritone uke for a mail order customer. I had purchases a Pepe Romero Tenor from the shop the day before and returned just to chat with him again and to pick his brains for some pearls of wisdom. Aloha and again you will be sorely missed.

10-22-2013, 11:54 AM
I'm at a lost for words. Ukulele Underground as well as the Ukulele world has lost a prominent voice and advocate. My thoughts and prayers to his family, friends and those who knew him. Rest in Paradise Mike . . . A Hui Hou

10-22-2013, 11:55 AM
Oh, no! Terribly sad news. The ukulele community has sure lost a valuable and kind person.

10-22-2013, 11:56 AM
Wow. That is hard to wrap my head around. Such a cheerful, warm guy. He will be missed.

10-22-2013, 11:58 AM
Wow we miss you MGM but keep strumming.

10-22-2013, 12:00 PM
Mike sold me my Koaloha last year and insisted on giving my wife a Hawaiian picture that he had framed because "It wasn't fair that I was getting something and she wasn't". I only met him that one time but he was a good guy. RIP.

10-22-2013, 12:00 PM

My all time favorite MGM uke demo, on a Maui Music deluxe super concert. The sweetest sounds ever! RIP, Mike.

10-22-2013, 12:01 PM
Wow. He supplied me with Dolphins for the kids and a Kanile'a for me - great guy. He had such a big part in my getting started with the ukulele. He will be truly, truly missed.

RIP, Michael...play with joy now!

10-22-2013, 12:06 PM
Sigh, so sad. :(

10-22-2013, 12:06 PM
Mike sold me my Koaloha last year and insisted on giving my wife a Hawaiian picture that he had framed because "It wasn't fair that I was getting something and she wasn't". I only met him that one time but he was a good guy. RIP.

That's a great memory.

10-22-2013, 12:12 PM
So very sad. Can't stop crying.

10-22-2013, 12:12 PM
So sad . . . I bought a KoAloha concert from him back in the day, pre-HMS. And then spent a couple of hours just talking story at the shop on my last trip to Oahu last fall. Thank you, Mike for all you have done for me and the entire ukulele community.

mm stan
10-22-2013, 12:13 PM
So very sad. Can't stop crying.
Aloha Jamie...my eyes are watering too.....and I just cant stop

10-22-2013, 12:16 PM
Rest in peace Mike.

10-22-2013, 12:18 PM
A silent moment for you and then I will play my ukulele for you.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

10-22-2013, 12:20 PM
This is incredibly sad. What a joy-bringer we've lost. Condolences especially to his family and friends.

ukuLily Mars
10-22-2013, 12:23 PM
I never met him, never talked to him... but I'm so sad. He touched a lot of hearts, just through his generosity and enthusiasm. My heart goes out to his family and friends and the people who actually knew him in person.

10-22-2013, 12:24 PM

I never had the pleasure of meeting him, but feel that I have lost my guide to the ukulele world.

Uke Republic
10-22-2013, 12:29 PM
This is very sad, too soon to go. Such a nice guy with such a talent for music and a wealth of knowledge with the ukulele. He will surely be missed.

Hippie Dribble
10-22-2013, 12:36 PM
Thankyou Mike for your warm heart and your amazing advocacy for our community. Your life has been a blessing to many. Sincere condolences to all who have known and loved you.

10-22-2013, 12:38 PM

Never to hear his laugh again--or catch his sometimes sly asides (and those quick little comments always brought more laughter!).

I know that many who worked with Michael from afar never knew he faced such daunting medical issues--he simply didn't let that intrude into the joy he brought to people through ukulele quests and acquisitions. God bless Mike and those who surrounded, supported and loved him through the years. He blessed us all.

10-22-2013, 12:44 PM
My most sincere condolances to his family and friends..

10-22-2013, 12:44 PM
Aloha Mike. We are sad here because we will miss you. Kind gentle soul, sold me my first tenor uke.

10-22-2013, 12:45 PM
Such sad news. Rest in peace, Mike.

10-22-2013, 12:46 PM
I was lucky enough to spend a couple of hours on the phone with Mike before buying my Kala from him - the instrument he recommended and set up, and which I will never let go of. It is special, because he was special, and treated everyone else as special, too.

I finally got to meet him in person at the Wine Country Uke Fest this past September, and I know that the heat was doing a number on us all, but even though it was rougher on him than on many of us, he was still MGM, and larger than life, to me. One of my Ukulele Heroes.

He is at peace now, and we are all richer for having had him in our community.


10-22-2013, 12:47 PM
God bless his soul. He will be missed.

10-22-2013, 12:47 PM
RIP Mike--I'm so glad I got to spend time with you in NYC--you are everything that is good about the ukulele community and life in general. I'm gonna miss you a lot

10-22-2013, 12:52 PM
RIP MGM. I never got to meet you in person but I feel like I know you. This is a sad day for the ukulele community and for the world in general.

10-22-2013, 12:59 PM
:( I was hoping he would pull off another miracle.... I loved seeing his Facebook posts of good food and good times and great ukes. How he lived his life was a good example to everyone. Enjoy everything, have a great sense of humor, and be a friend to all. Done too soon, Michael Aratani. :(

Aldrine Guerrero
10-22-2013, 01:01 PM
This is some shockingly heavy news. I last saw him after a stopover on Oahu after a Korean tour a few months ago. He was his usual chipper self and we were all laughing and joking around. I'm glad my last memory of him was a happy one.

My condolences goes to the family and friends of MGM. We all lost a a key player in the uke world. Rest in peace, MGM.

10-22-2013, 01:04 PM
Wow, MGM helped me get my Kamaka tenor earlier this year after I had just lost my mom.

I learned Gentlemandolin and play it when I think of her.

I haven't had my uke out lately, been concentrating on my mandolin but tonight I'm getting it out and will play Gentlemandolin once more for MGM.

RIP Mike

10-22-2013, 01:13 PM
Deepest condolences! It's a loss to this world and a gain to the other. Keep ukeing. Although I don't know him personally, I've had a plan to get something from him in the future, but fate has turned the corner and it won't happen now.

10-22-2013, 01:17 PM
I am really sad to hear this news. Mike was one of the good guys.

10-22-2013, 01:27 PM
Into Paradise may the angels lead you MGM.

Didn't buy my first 'ukulele from him but bought my best 'ukes from him.

Gerald Ross
10-22-2013, 01:29 PM
Rest in peace Mike. We'll all remember your smile.

10-22-2013, 01:32 PM
Wow, this comes as a big shock. Knew he had health issues, and had been up and down over the last few years, but he always managed to bounce back with a lot of resiliency and spirit.

My heart goes out to his family and friends.

10-22-2013, 01:37 PM
We will miss him! Deepest sympathy to his family and friends.


10-22-2013, 01:50 PM
I would say Rest in Peace, but it doesn't seem appropriate for Mike. I'm sure he's hanging out now with the other guys up there that are just making some noise. He may no longer be with us, but the legend of MusicGuyMic will live on. Condolences to all friends and family.

Ronnie Aloha
10-22-2013, 01:51 PM
Sad to see you go my friend. May you rest in peace with an ukulele in your hands...

10-22-2013, 02:03 PM
Three years ago I got my first ukulele from him, I am thankful I got it and to have dealt with him. RIP...

10-22-2013, 02:06 PM
Man...never met a stranger and always happy to help. Thanks for steering me down this road MGM, and for always brightening things with your smile.

10-22-2013, 02:07 PM
Wow...never dealt with or met the man but I still feel I know him from his presence and reputation here on the UU.

RIP Mike!

10-22-2013, 02:07 PM
I'm deeply saddened by the loss of MGM, but I'm sure he's gone to Heaven and I know his legacy lives on. My thoughts and prayers are with Mike's family and friends.

10-22-2013, 02:13 PM
I am saddened by this news. My heart goes out to his family. RIP MGM

10-22-2013, 02:18 PM
Such sad news. RIP Michael. You will be greatly missed.

10-22-2013, 02:19 PM
Wish its not real. Sad..... May you rest in peace...:(..

10-22-2013, 02:22 PM
Sad..... May you rest in peace...:(..

Rest in Peace, Mike. Thanks for everything.

Toucan Mango
10-22-2013, 02:24 PM
Terrible terrible news :( RIP MGM. I ordered my first uke & one other from Mike, he was a wonderful person and will be missed by so so many. My condolences to his family. :(

10-22-2013, 02:25 PM
I am saddened by the news. Rest in Peace, MGM.

10-22-2013, 02:28 PM
RIP Mike, we will never forget you. You have brought a new meaning to 'Aloha'.

10-22-2013, 02:30 PM
What sad news. I was fortunate to have spent time with him at the store, such a good and helpful man. Sometimes it seems true that only the good die young. RIP Mike.

10-22-2013, 02:35 PM
Such sad news. MGM was the best of the best. Rest in Peace my friend.

10-22-2013, 02:36 PM
Goodnight, Mike. :'(

Total legend.

10-22-2013, 02:38 PM
my condolences to his family. RIP.

10-22-2013, 02:39 PM
Wait! What? No! I have not heard about this!
I was just about to write him to see if he would be well enough for NAMM this year.
I had met him before, but never really got to hang out with him until NAMM of this year and he was so much fun!
We had a great time talking and goofing around. He has a great sense of humor and he really made me feel like a friend. This makes me so sad if it is true.
I echo your words. May he rest in peace. He was a good man an inspiration to me and has done so much for the uke world!

10-22-2013, 02:40 PM
What a loss to the community, but more so to his friends and loved ones. My condolences to everyone who knew and loved MGM.

Capt Amazo
10-22-2013, 02:46 PM
Bought my favorite uke from him a few years ago. It's still the best I have. Hope wherever he is, he's jamming for the angels. Rest in Peace, Mike.

10-22-2013, 02:50 PM
I stickied this thread "Just Lost A Friend (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?87883-Just-lost-a-friend)" . . . and will merge all threads/posts relating to Mike . . . Much Mahalos!

10-22-2013, 02:52 PM
I just heard the news. Rest well Mike.

10-22-2013, 03:10 PM
Mike's passion and kindness came across in something as simple as a phone call or an e-mail. That was the humble power of a good man. He will be missed by so many people. I will always smile when I think of him.

10-22-2013, 03:10 PM
I stickied this thread "Just Lost A Friend (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?87883-Just-lost-a-friend)" . . . and will merge all threads/posts relating to Mike . . . Much Mahalos!

That was nice. Mahalo, I know Mike deserves it.

I know there's very little info, but I spoke to his mom and will update more later. Thank you to all of you who have shared in Mike's life. I'm happy to have been able to call him my friend.

10-22-2013, 03:13 PM
RIP, Mike. You'll be missed! :(

10-22-2013, 03:15 PM
I bought my first hundred or so ukes from him. He was my crack dealer. My wallet won't miss him but I will. RIP MGM.

10-22-2013, 03:27 PM
Hard to imagine a world full of ukes without the "Music Guy" It's quite a tribute to be mourned by so many that didn't really know him personally. His sweetness shined through everything he did. Bet he got the angels playing uke right about how.

10-22-2013, 03:31 PM
I am deeply saddened to learn of Mike's passing.
I have a great memory of jamming with him at HMS, he was playing u-bass and we were having a ball.
I wonder how many angels he has already convinced to switch from harp to ukulele!
I'm sure he is having a great jam session with Iz and Gabby and so many others.
My thoughts and prayers go out to his close friends and family.

Ronnie Aloha
10-22-2013, 03:34 PM
I must have meet Mike in high school at some point but didn't remember him. He self admittedly missed a lot of school during those days and just wanted to play music. I met him again a few years ago at the old shop in Kaneohe and we talked story for a long time while his phone constantly went off and he answered calls. He was always known for his customer service and would not try and up sell anyone. He was already sick then and on the transplant list but he never complained about it. He was always in and out of the hospital but always went back to work as soon as he could. I will truly miss him. Too many good people are passing away these past years.

10-22-2013, 03:34 PM
Although I didn't know or ever talk to MGM just from the words I've read he seems like he was a amazing guy. RIP MGM

10-22-2013, 03:44 PM
I didn't know Mike and I have now missed a chance to buy a Uke from him (still saving),but I can tell from the post's it is my loss as it is obvious he was a generous and loved man who shared "Uke Aloha" with many. My Condolences to his Family and many Friends. I am sure he was warmly welcomed at the Kanikapila in the Sky,and will be saving seats for us when it is our time.

RIP Mike, Never forgotten

Jacman Rasta Bicycle
10-22-2013, 03:51 PM
I bought a few Ukes from Mike over the years. He always gave me a fair price. Several years ago he came to my little corner of hell for a Hawaiian Festival. I had the pleasure to sit and play music with him for a while. He was (in the ancient language of my people) a mensch.

10-22-2013, 04:02 PM
I bought my first uke from Mike when he had his ebay store. I never met him, but I felt like I knew him from his videos and I always thought fondly of him. My condolences to all who were close to him.

10-22-2013, 04:07 PM
Horrible, horrible news. I'm so sad. But he brought so much happiness and aloha with all the ukuleles he sold. Such a loss.

10-22-2013, 04:09 PM
Can't believe that I woke up to such devastating news. Mike's advice was instrumental in picking my first uke...I wish I got to meet him in person. My condolences to all his family and friends. :(

10-22-2013, 04:24 PM
Perhaps UU members (and their friends) from around the world could play a tune in his honor, all at the same time (say, 12 noon Hawaiian time) and day?

10-22-2013, 04:26 PM
May the Road rise to meet your feet...

Blessings...I am so very sorry! I have just about met everyone else there in voice or in person...save MGM...but i know him through his lessons and videos and wonderful spirit...I wish I could make it better...this just sucks!

Aloha and thanks for sharing a piece of your life with us MGM!

10-22-2013, 04:28 PM
I'm so saddened by the loss of Michael Aratani, aka MGM. He was truly full of the Aloha Spirit and loved the ukulele. RIP MGM!

10-22-2013, 05:16 PM
Just devastating news!! Like many others, i bought my first ukulele from MGM

10-22-2013, 05:22 PM
I bought my first uke from Mike back when he was on eBay, I think in 2009. He was so caring and funny and wanted to make sure I got exactly what I wanted. He knew I was nervous. That uke will always be special.

Fast forward to HMS, this year...got a fab KoAloha. Mike and Andrew were both great. I had mentioned to MGM that I had gotten my first uke from him and he remembered me years later because I had a unique name (Antoinina) and that I lived in Florida.

My sincere condolences to all his family and friends. The ukulele world has lost a beautiful soul. Truly a legend.
Be free Mike and play your music with the angels. Godspeed.

10-22-2013, 05:32 PM
Prayers for his family.

10-22-2013, 05:43 PM
Uff. RIP, Mike.

10-22-2013, 05:52 PM
You will be greatly missed Mike. RIP.

10-22-2013, 06:01 PM
Very sad to hear the news of Mike's passing- he is going to be missed very much by the Ukulele Community and his loved ones ! RIP Mike Aloha

10-22-2013, 06:11 PM
so sad :( RIP Mike....you'll be missed!!

10-22-2013, 06:16 PM
Condolences to his family and friends…RIP Mike.

10-22-2013, 06:20 PM
I bought my first Uke from MGM back when he sold on eBay....

Very sad to hear of his passing... But his spirit is alive out there through the love of ukulele and this wonderful community.

Aloha MGM...

Chris Tarman
10-22-2013, 06:30 PM
I saw this on Facebook earlier this evening. I bought my first good uke from him on eBay, then a couple of better ones. Then I met him at the Denver Uke Fest and bought my Kiwaya from him. He brought one specifically for me to look at. The next year at the Denver festival, I bought my KoAloha from him. He was a great guy and will be missed.
RIP my friend.

10-22-2013, 06:32 PM
That's so sad. :(
Best wishes to his family and friends.

10-22-2013, 06:36 PM
Mike's passing gives all of us a heavy heart, for we will all miss him. We can learn much from how wonderfully he lived his life, sharing and helping others. Even though he knew he was terminally ill for quite a while, he went about his life living fully as possible, spreading Aloha. We need to think of a good way to memorialize Mike in way that will honor his memory and keep his spirit with us.

10-22-2013, 07:14 PM
I had no personal experience with Mike, but over the last few decades, it was easy to see how much he had to do with the popularity of the Ukulele today.

His warmth and honesty came across - even over the internet - and I'm sure some folks casual interest in the instrument turned into a wonderful musical life simply because a beautiful fellow like Mike was not going to steer them wrong.

As such, he has a lot of people indebted to him. He will be fondly remembered for a very long time.

10-22-2013, 07:59 PM
I bought Aaron's Eha pua from him. This is my dream uke.
We will never forget you. RIP, Mike.

10-22-2013, 08:16 PM

about 5 minutes in he sings a good one...love you Mike

10-22-2013, 08:17 PM
my ukulele adventure started with mike..... from this site...he was one of the first to welcome me here...he will be missed.
my heart goes out to all of his family and friends.

10-22-2013, 08:23 PM
Many of us dream about leaving the world a little better than we found it.
Mike definitely accomplished the task by spreading so much ukulele.
So many of us bought ukuleles from him, we are all now charged with keeping the ukulele joy going.
Thank you Mike for your ukulele love.

10-22-2013, 08:39 PM
Rest in Paradise . . . A Hui Hou, Braddah Mike

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v486/hawhyen51/MGM_03_zpsa8f4a802.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/hawhyen51/media/MGM_03_zpsa8f4a802.jpg.html)

10-22-2013, 08:52 PM
I am deeply saddened to have heard the news. Honored to have met him and will miss him dearly when I visit the Ukulele Site like always when I'm in Honolulu.
Fly with the Angels my Bruddah and don't let the Harps overpower your Uke. Give Bruddah Iz our warmest Alohas too.......

Dan Uke
10-22-2013, 08:55 PM
RIP Mike! Aloha

10-22-2013, 09:08 PM
During one of my visits to Hawaii, heard he was in the hospital and decided to surprise him with a visit. His reaction... a smile and tears. Such an angel of a guy! We talked about ukuleles, and Aaron, he recommended that I contact you when I told him I was interested in having an ukulele custom-built for me. So I think this koi ukulele that you're making for me will always remind me of him.

10-22-2013, 09:10 PM
Oh my goodness, I am shocked and so terribly saddened to learn this news! I spoke with him on the phone a month or so ago at HMS (the only time I ever did get to speak with him); he was so helpful and was so very patient with all of my questions. I was so excited when I realized that I was talking to THE MGM! I even told him that on the phone, actually; he just laughed good-naturedly at my silly comment. :-)

My deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy go out to his family and friends -- we will all miss MGM tremendously! His many contributions to the uke community will always be remembered and treasured!

Peace and blessings!

10-22-2013, 09:14 PM
RIP Mike
You'll be missed

mm stan
10-22-2013, 09:20 PM
Today My heart is heavy and my eyes filled with tears..he was the Big Kuhuna of the uke world.....RIP Mike A hui ho..

hawaii 50
10-22-2013, 09:30 PM

about 5 minutes in he sings a good one...love you Mike

Wow....that was too much,Thanks Andrew

the perfect video for me to see at the end of this very sad day..
I met Mike in Feb 2013...but I felt like I knew him my whole life...

You,Me and Stan so lucky to have said our good byes to our pal in person...I am sure we will always remember Mike with that great smile(just like the end of the video)

and so many of his tourist friends who have heard "you can play a million songs with 3 chords) C,F and G7....

Aloha my Friend

10-22-2013, 09:50 PM
This video is such a lovely way to remember MGM, thanks for posting Andrew. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all Mikes friends & family, rest in peace MGM.

10-22-2013, 10:04 PM
Oh no... I'm so sorry!! I bought many ukuleles from Mike. And he was always ready with advice...

May he rest in peace!

10-22-2013, 10:26 PM
Sad sad news. I wouldn't know what to add to all the kind words people have already written about him. He was someone special for all of us in one way or another. Most sincere condolences to his friends and family. May he rest in peace.

10-22-2013, 11:00 PM
So very sorry to hear this sad sad news. It was always such a great pleasure to talk with Mike. We are grateful for everything he shared with us, his time, his knowledge and his talents, and especially his humor. We will miss him. Our most heartfelt condolences for his family and friends. Aloha Mike.

10-23-2013, 12:24 AM
Terribly sad news.

Rest in peace, Mike.

10-23-2013, 12:39 AM
A great loss to the community. He helped make the uke number one.

Sold me my first uke. I actually called him in Hawaii to talk about it first. I got the time zones wrong and called way too early for most folks. But he was cheerful, friendly and took the call with a laugh. Had a great chat. And I got a good uke from his advice - the one that started my own love for the instrument. I bought several from him over the years.

He will be missed.

10-23-2013, 12:40 AM
i just see this news in my facebook~~~~so sad to hear that~~~RIP :(

10-23-2013, 12:54 AM
He's going to give all those heavenly harp players some real competition!...
This made me smile. I owe my ukulele love to MGM. He got me started like many others. RIP

10-23-2013, 01:19 AM
Wow this is terrible news. The ukulele has lost one of its most emblematic figure. He embodied the ukulele spirit more than anyone else. I will miss him deeply. RIP.

10-23-2013, 01:25 AM
Rest In Peace, MGM. You may be gone, but, you won't be forgotten.

10-23-2013, 01:45 AM
Bought my Kanile'a Ku'uipo from HMS early 2012 and was proud to see that MGM had made a video with my future uke; it made it extra special for me.
He went the extra mile and sent me pictures of my ukulele to help me wait while shipping...

I'm really sad to hear this news, and my heart goes out at to his family, his friends, and all who knew him.

10-23-2013, 01:51 AM
Like so many others here, I bought my first "real" ukulele from Mike. Back in April of 2009 he sent me an amazing Kanilea super concert that opened my eyes to what a ukulele could sound like. I purchased four more from him over the years, he always taking the time answer any questions that I might have had.

Just as Jake and James Hill, albeit in a different way, he influenced many, many people to join in the joy of this wonderful instrument.

RIP Mike.

10-23-2013, 02:29 AM
Such sad news :( My deepest condolences to his close freinds and family, we will miss you MGM!

10-23-2013, 02:43 AM
RIP MGM. Flying all my ukes at half-mast today.

- FiL

10-23-2013, 02:59 AM
Mike has truly been an icon in my music and ukulele life..
I bought my first proper ukulele from his old MGM eBay.
Viewing his listings and youtube videos always made me feel like a keen little boy drooling outside the window of an ukulele boutique during Christmas..
I am proud to have owned so many ukes that passed through his store, and then later at HMS.

He will be truly missed. The ukulele world as it is today would not have been the same without him.
Rest in peace.

10-23-2013, 03:09 AM
God Speed my brutha. You will be missed here, and your life celebrated bra...

10-23-2013, 03:10 AM
I'm greatly sadden by the news. Aloha Mike, your smile and charm will greatly be missed.

10-23-2013, 03:19 AM
Rest in peace Mike. Minutes before I came here to find the news, I was watching his low g vs high g tuning to help me pick which I wanted. Wish I could have met him.

10-23-2013, 03:31 AM

about 5 minutes in he sings a good one...love you Mike

And that SMILE at the end seems to me to capture this amazing man! I don't know how many ukes I bought from MGM, but when I called - he answered. I bought my first uke after talking to him on the phone some 3+ years ago. I bought many more (still in denial about how many!) over these years & MGM sold me my KoAloha Sceptre. Again, I called after sending an email & Mike told me to call him as I wanted a p/u installed. He offered to take the uke over to the KoAloha shop to get the p/u installed & updated me in email as to the progress. The uke arrived perfectly setup & I'll never sell that one.

Andrew, I know that you were friends w/him & his passing hits you a bit deeper than those of us who only knew him from afar. Keep building your business on the Aloha spirit that MGM embodied & we'll all remember him together as he touched all of us so deeply.

Condolences to the family he left behind & great hope to see him in person in the Heaven he knew he was heading.


10-23-2013, 03:36 AM
Very deeply saddened by the news. I only knew Mike from his videos. He was just so very happy in his tutorials with an infectious smile. Rest in peace.

10-23-2013, 03:40 AM
It truly shows what kind of man he was and the wonderful community that we have here that people from thousands of miles away, people from different states, countries, across the world are so truly struck by his loss. Godspeed MGM, ull be missed.

Ambient Doughnut
10-23-2013, 03:49 AM
So sorry to hear this. I shall strum a tune to him tonight on the little pocket uke I bought from him a couple of years back.

A great guy and a great loss to the ukulele world.

10-23-2013, 03:56 AM
Really sad news. For me it was that shy but very genuine smile he always did at the end of every video.

10-23-2013, 03:57 AM
So generous, so kind, such an impact on this community. Rest in peace my friend. My condolences to your close family and friends.

10-23-2013, 03:59 AM
So sad to hear about Michael's passing! He was a larger-than-life personality with a great sense of humor as well as a pillar of the ukulele community for many years.

Living in Hawaii selling and playing ukes sounds like the easiest job ever, but anyone who knew MGM knew that he took his work seriously and went above and beyond the call of duty to make people happy and spread the joy of the instrument. Having a serious, recurring illness never took him out of commission for very long; he'd still share his knowledge and passion with us while he was in the hospital! I'll never forget when a long hospitalization threatened to bring down his eBay business, and he gave out his personal cell phone number so he could make things right with his customers. And his uke-themed walker when he was beginning to get his strength back after another run-in with illness. And the great lengths he went to just to keep us posted with insider information about upcoming ukulele developments. No matter how terrible he was feeling or how big his business had gotten, Mike was always approachable, accessible, and honest.

Mike made the ukulele shopping experience so much less frightening, especially when the current ukulele wave was just starting. Before MGM, if you lived anywhere other than Hawaii, buying a uke meant settling for the lone ukulele in your local music store (usually a toy or a cheap import with bad strings and action a foot off the fretboard) or taking your chances on something drop-shipped from a big music retailer on the internet. Mike always had the best selection, knew about everything he was selling, and he'd never sell you a piece of junk. Even $40 Makalas from MGM's store would show up at your door perfectly playable and with good strings (which were tough to find 4 years ago!) He pioneered the concept of a uke-centric store with an included set-up and a package of neat extras for about the same price you'd pay for just the ukulele from any generic internet retailer. Some other great uke stores have popped up over the years, following Mike's example, and now it has never been easier to find the right uke knowing that it will be playable as soon as you get it.

I bought my KoAloha tenor from him, used, in 2009. Not only did he give me a great price, but he also took the time to play it for me over the phone and answer all my stupid questions about it. It's my main performing uke and one of my favorites to play. Also got to meet Mike at a couple of NY Uke Fests over the years, and learned a great deal from his set-up workshop. To this day, I still find myself playing his little warm-up that he played in almost every sound sample video he made every time I try out a new uke.

My thoughts go out to his family and his many, many friends!

10-23-2013, 04:03 AM
I am so sorry to hear that.

I never had any personal contact with him, but I loved to watch his videos. He seemed so genuinely interested and warm and giving.

10-23-2013, 04:25 AM
sad to hear about mike. Thoughts go out to his family.

10-23-2013, 04:46 AM
Such sad news. Mike went above and beyond in helping in my early ukulele experience. He is missed.

Coconut Willie
10-23-2013, 04:49 AM
RIP brother MGM.....you will be greatly missed, but the music in heaven just got a whole lot sweeter.
Giant mahalos to you for all you have done for the uke community!!

10-23-2013, 04:52 AM
I just saw this over on Facebook, just now.

I am so shocked and upset. I got my little white Makala Dolphin from him, and it was perfectly set up. He was so nice about fixing it up just so, with low action and everything.

Deepest condolences to his family and friends. ::crying::


Skinny Money McGee
10-23-2013, 04:54 AM
Mercy sakes,, I was looking forward to meeting him one day soon. Rest in peace Mike. My thoughts and prayers go out to his whole family, which includes you all who were close to him.

Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate,
And though I oft have passed them by,
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.


10-23-2013, 04:54 AM
Very very sad :(..... Mike will be missed by the entire uke community. He touched the lives of countless people spreading the Aloha spirit with his smile and willingness to help EVERYONE regardless of their level of talent. RPI!!

10-23-2013, 04:58 AM
Making affordable instruments playable for so many people was such a labor of love. I met Mike at the Denver Uke Fest in 2012 after seeing about a hundred of his videos. He was quite a celebrity to me and the personification of all the good things about the instrument.

Thank you MGM.

10-23-2013, 05:26 AM
When I heard the news of Mike's passing, I was gutted. It really affected me and the rest of my day. I checked in on this thread and I wanted to be around other folks who were touched by Mike's generosity and spirit. When I met him 4 years ago at a festival in Cerritos, CA, I had just started playing. I wanted to get a low G string for my uke and I walked up to his booth and for some reason, it surprised me that he would have loose strings for sale. I think I paid 3 bucks for it. Flash forward six months or so and Mike was out here for another festival in Northridge. I knew him from UU by now and I knew he'd be at this little Hawaiian festival. Beeline to his booth to get a look at some beautiful KoAlohas and Kanileas. He let me play everything in his booth and steal some shade while I was there since it was such a hot day. My wife and Mike chatted it up while I had fun. Based on her ears and my big smile, she suggested I buy a KoAloha tenor. Mike played a little jazz on it (Don't Get Around Much Anymore) and I bought it. A couple of months after that he helped me buy a uke (dolphin) for my niece and helped my sister with her dolphin purchase. My Kala archtop and Kiwaya sopranos came through Mike's shop and after he moved to HMS, he helped my cousin and aunt. Not every purchase was seamless, but all of my experiences with Mike were easy and it always felt like we were friends while dealing with transactions, not buyers and sellers. I know there are a ton of stories like mine, but I wanted to share.

10-23-2013, 05:41 AM
I'm just at a loss for words. What a great guy, what a shame he's passed.

10-23-2013, 05:42 AM
Rest in Peace, MGM.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
10-23-2013, 06:13 AM
The ukulele world will not be the same without him.

Glad we had him during the 'early' ukulele renaissance.

He is, and will continue to be missed by all of us for a long time.

I'm glad he lives on in his many YouTube videos.

keep uke'in' everyone, that's what he'd want us to do.

10-23-2013, 06:21 AM
So sorry to hear about Mike. I bought my first serious uke from him - a Kala Acacia Tenor. Nicely set up too, as you might imagine! It started me on the long road of uke love, and I really appreciated his help picking it out and setting it up. I will miss seeing him on the boards here. Thank you MGM for all you did for me, for UU, and for spreading your love of ukuleles and aloha around the world.

10-23-2013, 06:21 AM
RIP Mike. We all feel the loss.

10-23-2013, 06:47 AM
My condolences go to his his family at this difficult time.
He is a presence that will missed by many and
many have been fortunate to have known him.

10-23-2013, 06:48 AM
I never met or spoke with him, but even as a super-noob I could tell he was a pillar of the uke community and an awesome guy all around. My sincere condolences to his loved ones. He will be dearly missed.

Aloha MGM, keep strumming in heaven and I know the angels will love you.

10-23-2013, 06:49 AM
Like many of you, I bought my first ukulele with Mike. I also got countless strings from him on his old eBay site over the years. Last year, when I bought my current Kanilea, it was at Hawaii Music Supply. Since I was staying in Oahu, he dropped it off in Kaneohe for me so Joe could install the pickup and it would be easier for me to get it there than the North Shore. Not only did he get the uke to Kanilea but he also delivered a hard case to my hotel in Waikiki since he forgot to bring it to Kaneohe with the uke.

The only time I ever met him in person was at HMS on a different trip. He recognized me by my blue Kamoa case and said, "you must be wickedwahine." I tried, in vain, to get him to confess to me which of the K brands was his favorite, but he would not spill the beans. :)

He really went above and beyond for me, and many of the rest of us, and his customer service was amazing. More importantly though he was a wonderful man, may he rest in peace.

10-23-2013, 06:55 AM
I bought my first quality uke from Mike. To me he will always be the definition of Live Aloha.

10-23-2013, 07:14 AM
Just saw this on FB from HMS . . . In Loving Memory (http://theukulelereview.com/in-loving-memory/). Mahalo Andrew, very fitting for the man who embodied and epitomized the Spirit of Aloha.

10-23-2013, 07:16 AM
Sad news -- what great guy. Aloha Mike

10-23-2013, 07:43 AM
Thanks for supplying me with the ukes that got me back into playing again Mike! RIP.

10-23-2013, 08:10 AM
I'll really miss MGM. From buying my first serious Ukulele, a Kamaka Concert I still have and will never sell. To ordering a Koolau custom with him when I was in Hawaii, and he recommended SideStreet Inn, which was one of my most memorable meals ever. My son also instantly fell in love with MGM, while he was touching up a soprano when we visited HMS. He kept talking about MGM referring to him as "Mr Hawaii", and copied what he was doing to shave the nut. I was planning on taking the Kamaka concert back to Hawaii to get it signed, its a shame I won't be able to do that.

Its really amazing how MGM went on with his daily life. I know I would be doing crazy things if I knew I was terminally ill, yet this brave man lived his last days doing what he does best. Spreading the love of music.60126

10-23-2013, 08:31 AM
I'm so sorry I never had the opportunity to speak to this wonderful man. His videos were an inspiration to this beginner. This thread shows what a beloved man he was to those fortunate to know him.

10-23-2013, 08:59 AM
Wow... there are already 17 pages of amazing memories and sweet comments. its been awhile since I had time to check the UU forums and post.

I learned of Mike's passing this morning while checking facebook; like others, I was shocked and am still stunned and very sad. MGM was a fabulous friend to all. I bought several ukuleles (a couple Koaloha's, an Ohana concert, and a Kiwaya tele-style uke) and uke strings from his MGM store on eBay. I was fortunate to meet Mike at a uke gathering.

I echo all of the previous posted sentiments and condolences. Mike will be missed much and by many. God bless MGM!!

10-23-2013, 10:27 AM
:( Mike will be greatly missed. My prayers go out to his friends and family.


10-23-2013, 11:23 AM
Mike, I will never forget your smile. Never.

10-23-2013, 11:27 AM
My condolences to his family, and also to the Ukulele Community. His friendly smile and always ready advise will be missed.

10-23-2013, 11:28 AM
So sad to hear this. Last time I talked to Mike face to face was at NAMM a couple years ago. We were at the Taylor booth checking out the new Koa Taylor Uke. We chatted about it for a bit, then he played a tune on it. He let me film it, if I can find it I'll post it. Although I was just learning how to take video on that camera so I think it is upside down. He was also very helpful when I got my KoAloha last year. He went to the factory at least twice looking for "the one" for me.

I look forward to talking story with Mike again one day.

Paul December
10-23-2013, 12:01 PM
I got my first uke from him, and found this forum because of it.

10-23-2013, 12:54 PM
I bought my 1st good uke from Mike at the store last year. I hadn't played in 30 years. He was kind and patient while I fumbled around looking for the right one. Been playing it everyday since I brought home. Thanks Mike.


10-23-2013, 01:02 PM
RIP MGM. Your influence was great. You shined your light.

10-23-2013, 01:11 PM
You only have to read the posts on this thread to realise what a big part of this community MGM was.

My sincere condolences to his friends and family.

10-23-2013, 01:27 PM
I just heard the news from the good folks at Hawaii Music Supply, as I was hoping to speak with him. I just wish I had picked up the phone two weeks ago, as intended, to at least speak with him one last time about life and as has been the case lately, the instrument he helped us develop. Wish I had gotten him one in time. Glad to have known you my friend.

10-23-2013, 03:41 PM
I live in Brazil, and MGM helped me to buy my first real ukulele. He really loved indicate koaloha ukes as the first real koa uke. I bought 3 with him in 2010. He was always very patient, a blessed soul. I REALLY learned to love the hawaii sound with him. I feel your loss as the most important loss since IZ is gone ...

10-23-2013, 04:20 PM
RIP Mike. We love you very much and you will be missed.

10-23-2013, 04:40 PM
“Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning. ” ― J.M. Barrie

Godspeed, Mike.

10-23-2013, 05:04 PM
No doubt he went to Ukulele Heaven....

10-23-2013, 05:36 PM
I can only offer my condolences to the family and friends of a man I never had the opportunity to meet, but who obviously had a positive impact on so many people around the world.

When I first started researching ukuleles on YouTube, Mike's videos were the first I found. Such a warm smile, laughing eyes and great hair! Aloha, MGM...

10-23-2013, 08:13 PM
I am So saddened to hear of MGM's passing. I didn't know him personally, but love watching his 'uke reviews' on youtube - and aspire to learn his quirky little tunes that he played with such ease. Condolences to all who knew him & loved him so much - he will be sadly missed in the uke world - Aloha, MGM


10-23-2013, 09:05 PM
Rest in peace, Mike. You were a true pillar of the ukulele community.

10-23-2013, 09:29 PM
My condolences to Mike's friends and family.

I'm glad I had the chance to meet and engage in some uke talk with him and the Souzas. His charm and uke knowledge resulted in me buying a Kanile'a that day.

10-24-2013, 12:38 AM
Very sad news :(

As many others, I got my first uke from him.

My condolences to the family and friends

10-24-2013, 02:17 AM
Such sad news. He was one of the best men I never meet! He'll be greatly missed.

10-24-2013, 02:21 AM
Condolences to all his family and friends. RIP MGM.

10-24-2013, 03:30 AM
So sad to hear this. I never knew him and I've only seen very few of his videos, but seeing a big inspiration and a dear friend to the entire ukulele community leave so soon, is incredibly sad.

10-24-2013, 03:46 AM
Aloha Mike,
May you forever Rest In Peace.

10-24-2013, 06:06 AM
I’ve been away for a few days, so I just heard the very sad news yesterday. I only met Mike once, but it had a pretty big impact on my life in many ways.

My first visit to HMS was something I had been looking forward to for quite a while. I walked in and was a bit overwhelmed by the selection, a probably common occurrence. I had been pretty devoted to playing my uke for a couple of years, so I thought I was ready to step up to a K-brand. I couldn’t even begin to decide, so Mike had me turn my back on him while he played a number of ukes, so I could pick one for the sound, rather than the look. That did the trick – I decided my goal was a Kanile’a Super Tenor.

The price was out of my range, so I left the shop with nothing more than a dream. But that dream led me to look for a used Super Tenor, which led me to UU, which led me to getting one of my own.

But that, in turn, led to lots of other stuff – a ton more knowledge about ukes and their music, making videos and more recordings, and more than a few friends developed on these boards. A significant portion of my uke life (and my overall life) came out of that one meeting.

The tributes here show that my experience was not isolated. Mike seemed to leave everyone more impassioned about ukes after meeting. And the joy that those ukes have given me (and others) is a big, big deal.

Some people give with a spirit that multiplies the good of their work. Mike was definitely one of those people. I am truly sad he is gone, but I try to be just as grateful that he was with us at all.

The Big Kahuna
10-24-2013, 06:45 AM
Where's the "like" button when you need it.

10-24-2013, 07:35 AM
Mike will be throughout our UU community, in every Uke that we bought from him and play... for many of us, it was our first uke, and most likely one of a few..

Needless to say The two ukes that I bought from Mike (one being the first one), I will never part. I also know that any time I play these, I will be thinking of this kind spirit as I strum away.

It's amazing when you stop and think, just how many ukes out there are in the hands of players, ukes that were sent from Mike with the Aloha spirit that he gifted to all of us... now That is something to ponder... all those ukes out there... what a proper tribute to such a kind soul... :shaka:

Some people give with a spirit that multiplies the good of their work. Mike was definitely one of those people. I am truly sad he is gone, but I try to be just as grateful that he was with us at all.

10-24-2013, 02:23 PM
Dear Group,
Michaels ascension has had a profound effect on me.
He set an example of how to deal with adversity that is unparralled.
When I emerged from a six week coma in 2009, Michael was there for me in a very big way.
Now i see, I must live my remaining time to the fullest.
Thank you Mike.
I will miss you very much brother.
urcuzzn- peter Lieberman-maker of maui music ukuleles

hawaii 50
10-24-2013, 07:01 PM
Dear Group,
Michaels ascension has had a profound effect on me.
He set an example of how to deal with adversity that is unparralled.
When I emerged from a six week coma in 2009, Michael was there for me in a very big way.
Now i see, I must live my remaining time to the fullest.
Thank you Mike.
I will miss you very much brother.
urcuzzn- peter Lieberman-maker of maui music ukuleles

Aloha Peter

thanks for sharing that part of the friendship you and Mike had...I spent 1 day a week with Mike for 6 months and he spoke of you as a good friend...but never mentioned how he was there for you when you needed him...

that is the Mike I knew...always cared about others first....
do the right thing now Peter...live your life to the fullest!

10-24-2013, 07:38 PM
I haven't been as active on the forums as I used to, but I heard the news and had to stop in to give my regards. I was lucky enough to meet him at the Denver Ukulele Fest a couple years ago, and he seemed to always have a smile on. The world is a little less bright today. :(

Uncle Leroy
10-24-2013, 07:55 PM
One heck of a great guy. MGM forever in our hearts.

10-25-2013, 02:15 AM
From all the posts since I've been a member, I guessed he was very ill and suffering. It is very sad news. It hurts. He was a very special presence and somehow, the uke community seems to bring out the best people, the friendliest, the most helpful and sweet. I am truly sorry.

10-25-2013, 08:42 AM
My thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones. I know how tough today will be, but hope it will bring them some peace and maybe some time to talk about happy memories. RIP, MGM.

10-25-2013, 11:26 AM
This has been running through my head all day:

Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing
Thanks for all the joy they're bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty?
What would life be?
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me


10-25-2013, 03:21 PM
It's been a few days since this news hit and it still feels as though there was a hole punched in fabric of the universe. I didn't know Mike personally but like many of you, I felt that I did. I would have been honored to have known him personally. There are a few people that cross your path, whether you are on speaking terms or you just exist at the same time, that are larger than life.

For me this week, there are two of those who no longer grace our world. For any of you who have spent much time in Kona, you may have enjoyed a meal at Teshima's up mauka at the Honalo crossroads. If you did, you may have met Mrs. Teshima. She took the place from a general store in 1929 to a restaurant in the 1940's which continues to thrive today. An unassuming grande dame but one nonetheless, she died this week at the tender age of 106. As a kid growing up in Kona, I loved going to Teshima's for Japanese. In later years she and my father shared birthday celebrations, born 2 days apart in 1907.

It is not my intent to take anything away from the condolences for MGM. Just sharing the passing of another great person.

10-25-2013, 08:17 PM
Will miss seeing MGM at HMS, so so sad to lose such a great person and such a wealth of knowledge and experience at such a young age. He will be missed.

10-26-2013, 01:53 AM
It's been a few days since this news hit and it still feels as though there was a hole punched in fabric of the universe. I didn't know Mike personally but like many of you, I felt that I did. I would have been honored to have known him personally. There are a few people that cross your path, whether you are on speaking terms or you just exist at the same time, that are larger than life.

For me this week, there are two of those who no longer grace our world. For any of you who have spent much time in Kona, you may have enjoyed a meal at Teshima's up mauka at the Honalo crossroads. If you did, you may have met Mrs. Teshima. She took the place from a general store in 1929 to a restaurant in the 1940's which continues to thrive today. An unassuming grande dame but one nonetheless, she died this week at the tender age of 106. As a kid growing up in Kona, I loved going to Teshima's for Japanese. In later years she and my father shared birthday celebrations, born 2 days apart in 1907.

It is not my intent to take anything away from the condolences for MGM. Just sharing the passing of another great person.

I'm sorry about the loss of your friend Mrs. Teshima. It does tend to make one feel off kilter when these things happen in waves. Maybe she's cooking MGM a great meal up in heaven right now.

10-26-2013, 06:48 AM
Mike raised the level of joy in my life.

We can all remember him every time we play a tune on one of the instruments he lovingly sold to us.

What a nice tribute it would be if we recorded a song for him on soundcloud or youtube, played on an MGM instrument.

Good-bye, Mike.

10-26-2013, 07:10 AM
I am so sad to hear this. By the time I discovered the joy of Ukulele, Mike had already been battling illness for a while. I never had the chance to meet or speak with him personally. I am thankful that his battle and suffering is over. I can almost hear the huge luau going on in heaven from down here. Strum on, Mike, strum on.

10-26-2013, 07:34 AM
Rest in peace Mike ...

10-26-2013, 04:50 PM
I discovered MGM through the overwhelming positive comments about Mike on this forum back in 2010. Mike helped me select first and only ukulele. At the time I had inquired about purchasing a high-end 6 string UKULELE that Mike had for sale via his ebay store.

As a newbie in the uke world, Mike’s sage advice to me was quote “Why would you start on a six string ukulele, they are special 4 coursed instruments with 2 notes doubled and made more for strumming... I strongly suggest you get a 4 string instead of a six unless you have a very specific reason for wanting a six first”.

After several e-mails, and a personal call from Mike while he was attending the Denver Ukefest, Mike sourced and promptly shipped my Kanilea K1 Tenor Deluxe to me in New Zealand shortly after he returned to Hawaii.

I still have that K1-T DLX and it’s even more special to me now after Mike’s early passing away.

Mike was a very, very special person who has brought joy to the lives of many and will be missed. My condolences go out to his family.

10-28-2013, 09:33 AM
Oh UU bruddahs & sistahs, I'm just beside myself now learning of this sad news. I've been away for a bit and just caught a thread about our dear friend, MGM. I couldn't believe it until I found this thread.

I'm sure he's up there sitting back with his slippers, strumming away with Bruddah IZ, Bill Tapia, John Koko and other greats, having a good old kanikapila.

Rest in peace, MGM. My deepest sympathies goes out to his family and friends.

10-28-2013, 09:59 AM
Bought this Kanile'a super soprano from Mike at the 2009 New York Uke Fest. Just the brief encounter of purchasing that uke from him left a lasting impression on me and I would often think of him, his generosity and honesty. Just a few months ago I was looking for a replacement saddle for an Islander. Mike went over to Kanile'a, got one for me and mailed it to me. Never responded to my email about how much I owed him for it. Few people like him around.


10-30-2013, 02:10 AM
I would like to try to organize a collaborative tribute video for our friend, Michael (MusicGuyMic) Aratani, who passed away recently. The song I've selected is "Michael Row the Boat Ashore." I've divided the song into sections and would like to assign a small group to each section. Here's the guide video. Please let me know asap if you're interested, and I'll assign you a part. Please note that the deadline for getting your videotaped part to me is November 9. Also, I think it would be really great if you could use a ukulele you bought from Mike.

Please send me a private message if you're interested....


11-03-2013, 06:43 PM
It is so sad to hear we loss a pioneer in the ukulele community. Earlier this year my kids recognized Mike in Windward Mall from the Youtube videos. He was upbeat and didn't show any signs of weakness. I am in shock when I heard of this through facebook and still cannot get over how well he looked just 5 months ago. Even though I didn't buy a ukulele from him, I will say that it was a privilege to meet the man behind the ukulele craze. He will always be thought of when I hear the sound of a ukulele. RIP Mike.

11-04-2013, 03:31 AM
Sitting in my office listening to IZ...a couple of Uke next to me(one of which I bought from him years ago)...thinking about Mike...

hawaii 50
11-15-2013, 05:29 PM
Come say goodbye to Mike(MGM) with all his friends...Nov 23 at "Thirty Nine Hotel" in Honolulu....bring your ukes!

Thanks Andrew,Joe and others....great thing to do for Mike.....

11-20-2013, 08:27 AM
Rest in peace, Mike. We will miss you.

11-24-2013, 05:08 PM
I bought a Uku from him and he told me to upload a video to youtube when i learnt it. Actually, i just can play a song completely and ready to upload and send him the link in order to fulfill my promise, but there's a big heavy message told me that he was gone, i cannot show him my achievement forever.
He is a good guy, I felt worth after i crossed over half the world and rent a car and drove 40KM to find him to buy my 1st uku. He taught me the first 3 chords, he gave me advise which uku fit me.
I was planing to Hawaii 2014 and buy some more uku from him, i will never have a chance to do that.
His smiles and laughing sounds will keep in my memory whenever i hold my ukulele



11-27-2013, 03:27 PM
sure do miss my buddy mike

12-12-2013, 09:16 AM
It's been a few weeks now.

I still find it hard to believe that Music Guy Mic has left us.


12-12-2013, 04:38 PM
He sure was a special fellow. Spirit like the water and air, fluid and light, waves and wind.

And, oh, he had a smile. I only spoke to him by telephone a couple times and never met Mike, but, I do miss him just the same.

12-12-2013, 05:01 PM
Thanks for sharing this link. I Guess. Milked is home now...

I still have my very first Uke I bought about 6 years ago... I got it from Mike back when he was the number 1 Uke seller on ebay.

It's been a few weeks now.

I still find it hard to believe that Music Guy Mic has left us.


12-13-2013, 01:18 AM
So many things that will be missed about Mike. I used to love it when he would post a new "Aloha Friday" video. It looked like those guys had so much fun doing what they did. Selling ukuleles to the world.

It takes me back to my early uke playing days. I miss those days. And Mike

01-10-2014, 08:32 AM
It's been a few weeks now.

I still find it hard to believe that Music Guy Mic has left us.


That was a really great you tube video of MGM......oh how I miss those Aloha Fridays!! :(

04-13-2014, 10:24 AM
I feel horrible that I have not been on the site much this last year, so I just saw this. RIP Mike, I had the great fortune of meeting you a few times, what a warm and generous man. I bought my Pineapple Sunday and my travel Ukes from him at his old ebay store.This community has suffered a great loss, I fell so sad for his friends and family, but at least they can be proud of the life he lead. Farewell again Mike.

10-21-2014, 11:34 PM
It's hard to believe it's been a year. We all miss you, MGM.

10-23-2014, 11:59 AM
so very sorry for your loss. Never an easy thing to deal with.

12-27-2014, 11:09 AM
It will be nine months ago tomorrow that my wife of 39 years joined the Heavenly Choir. She actually got to meet Mike before me. Since a thousand years are as a day, I guess she is just a few seconds ahead of me. I have a monogram that I made for him, but he moved on to a much better place made for him before I sent it. It just hangs in the lid of one of my roll away tool boxes in my shop. He has his name written in The Lamb's Book of Life......incomparably better!!!

01-13-2015, 10:59 AM
Sure do miss that Mikey

mm stan
04-21-2015, 01:50 AM
Very nice picture of Mike, Peter. .thank you for sharing

04-24-2015, 02:28 AM
Everytime I read notices like this on a forum, even though I didn't know the person it is sad. The kind words of those that did, makes me wish I had.
Really fine people are rare. Codolences to all who knew him and are grieved by his passing.

05-23-2015, 03:31 AM
Wow am sad to hear this I have been gone from the forum for a time
and it's a sad thing to come back and hear of his passing.

10-23-2015, 04:56 AM
It was 2 years ago yesterday, Mike passed. I never knew him personally, but enjoyed his posts and videos. The ukulele world still misses him.

10-29-2015, 08:25 AM
MGM was a wonderful person. I met him a few times at festivals.

As with many others, I bought my first ukulele from him.

I miss his videos and his posts on UU.

God just had a better place for him.