Presented is a rare black Tokai electric guitar that was used and owned by Stevie Ray Vaughan. It was both stage and promotionally used.
Tokai guitars and Steve Ray Vaughan have a very interesting and short lived history together. Back in the mid-80s, Tony Dukes, a friend of Stevie’s fellow Dallas musician set up a meeting with Stevie and Tokai. During this meeting, Tony actually got up on the desk and told Tokai how they would be fools not to have Stevie endorse their guitar. Apparently Dukes’ theatrics worked and Stevie was given almost a dozen Toaki guitars! Included were a couple of bass guitars, which went to Tommy Shannon and to Dukes. Later that year, Stevie had discussions with his management agency, Classic Management, who discouraged this endorsement. Tokai, apparently thinking they had already had a deal, produced a Tokai poster and started touting Stevie as their player.
After several months, the whole thing finally came to an end, but not before lawsuits were threatened by Classic Management and apparently by Fender Guitars. Almost all of the posters were destroyed, except for a few, very collectible ones that did get sent out. Stevie continued to used several of the guitars in the early to mid eighties, Rene Martinez (Stevie’s guitar tech) was told that Stevie took a key and scratched the Tokai name off a couple of the guitars. On one of them, he wrote, “This is not a Fender” where he scratched out Tokai (this is one of the guitars he scratched the name off). During the early to mid eighties, Stevie eventually traded all the guitars away to several different people. This particular guitar is the actual black Tokai guitar that is shown in a photo with him holding it in a Tokai promo poster.
The COA is from Tony Dukes and reads:
“The above mentioned guitar was one of the guitars given to Stevie in the endorsement deal. Stevie played it on stage and in the studio and it was featured on the poster (promotional). A couple of years later Stevie decided to use American-made (Fender) guitars instead of Japanese-made guitars and gave the Tokais away or traded them.”
Authentication: Tony Dukes LOA.