Remembering Clay Nakasone: tribute to a TRULY "GOODGUY"

Clay Nakasone was many things to a lot of people in the music community. But his friendly and approachable manner, unshakable positive attitude and unwavering good nature was influential to all who came across him in and outside of the music business.

Please feel free to share your thoughts, messages and stories about our friend, colleague and mentor in the comment box at the bottom of the page.


Sunday July 24th (1pm - 4pm)

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Contributions from the staff at GOODGUYS

My first formal introduction to Clayton Jay Nakasone was in 1979, when he hired me for a sales position at the soon to open Easy Music Center in Mapunapuna. Two things about him impressed me immediately: His easy going sincere nature and his always perfect hair.

Soon Clay was promoted to Division manager and I to Store manager. Although life at Easy was mostly satisfying, it became increasingly frustrating as our ideas, suggestions and strategies were largely ignored. I, myself, came close to quitting on more than one occasion, but was always convinced to stick it out by my Buddy Clay.

Finally, in 1999, we decided to take the biggest leap of faith of our lives and Goodguys Music & Sound was born. Through the last 17 years, our small business has had its share of ups and downs and weathered times of economic downturn. It was Clay’s experience, knowledge and keen business sense that kept us going.

One of his many gifts was the ability to draw customers in and welcome them as though they were family. Regardless of social status, he treated everyone with respect and in turn received respect and admiration from all. The same is true of his many business associates, many of whom have called and written to convey their personal condolences and remembrances.

Clay was more than my business partner and mentor, he was also my role model and best friend. There will never be another Clayton Jay Nakasone. In many ways, and as I’ve been told more than once, Clay was the ultimate “GoodGuy”!
-Bryan Aoyagi-

Mr. Clay (as he was affectionately called) was kind, forgiving,trustworthy, and respected by everyone he came into contact with, in and out of the musical community. He never had a bad word to say about anyone and most importantly, he led by example and not by micromanagement and badgering. He was more of a friend to me than a “Boss”. If I had to sum up my relationship with “Mr. Clay” in one sentence, it would be this: “HE MADE ME WANT TO BE A BETTER PERSON”
-Vernon Sakata-

In the Mid 70’s a college friend said to me… “Hey I know a cool guy that works in a music store on King St. You should meet him”. That cool guy was Clay Nakasone… the nicest and kindest man I have ever come across. Upon knowing I enjoyed playing tennis, he invited me to join his pals at Kaimuki H.S. tennis courts on Sunday. I did just that and was welcomed with open arms not only by him, but by his “Hilo gang”. That was the start of many years of friendship filled with the feeling of living life to it’s fullest… to treat people with kindness… to love what is in front of you… this is how I remember Clay as being… a really really “cool guy”. I miss him deeply… R.I.P. Clay… your friend, Bob.
-Bob Nishida-

Clay was always truly a "GOOD GUY" I remember talking to Clay during the break after leaving Easy Music and before starting "Good Guys",when he told me the name of the new store I said to myself "Wow that's a lot to live up to, but if anyone could do it Clay could" and Clay and Bryan did just that! Clay was the nicest guy, If more people had a friend like Clay, this world would be a much better place. I laughed so much when I was around Clay. He was a great friend, and a kind-hearted man. If you were Clay's friend you'd be a friend for life! Anyone close to him knew this. If Clay had any faults I never saw them. And so for now Clay, Aloha till we meet again someday. Miss you friend.
-Randy Dang-

A sentence, paragraph or essay wouldn't be enough to pay tribute to the man who made me a believer in having a Good Attitude can help you deal with many things in life. In the beginning I took this as Clay being just overly idealistic. But in time Clay's optimism began to grow on me and many times I was unaware of it happening. In what I consider a short time of knowing Clay he treated me like someone who knew him for much longer. Thank you Clay for the countless life lessons that changed me permanently for the better. I miss you dearly and it breaks my heart to not have you here but I want to forever remember the man who shook my hand at the end of every work day with lots of love and a good attitude!
-Chris Mew-

Chris Mew5 Comments