Tacoma Chief Healing

joe-vitale-phantom_101408_4266.jpg Wayyyyy back in 1996 or so I wrote a fiery article about trying to buy a particular guitar. I was frustrated and maybe angry at the time. I wrote the article to rant, and to reveal a few marketing lessons.

But apparently I also planted a seed that today, thirteen years later, grew fruit.

In short, back in 1996 or so I saw an egnaging ad for the Tacoma Chief guitar. I wanted it.

But the ad lacked a phone, fax, email, or even an Internet website. There was no contact info at all.

And when I tried to find the guitar in music stores, there weren’t any Tacoma Chiefs in sight. When I called the Tacoma company, they shooed me off.

It was a great lesson in how not to do advertising or marketing.

I wrote up that lesson and posted it on my website.* It was also printed in a few business magazines. It became a great teaching tale. If you Google “Tacoma Chief guitar” right now my article is usually one of the first five search returns.

Over the years people would sometimes thank me for the article, and sometimes complain about it.

One time the new president of the Tacoma guitar company called me. This was probably five years after my article came out. He said my writing was unfair to the company.

I was surpirsed.

I explained that the article was a marketing lesson for him. I did it for free. I usually charge to teach people how to market their business. I suggested he thank me by sending me a guitar.

He declined.

I forgave him, though.

I forgot all about the Tacoma Chief guitar, as well as my article, until a sweet lady wrote me a week ago.

As I wrote in my early book on Internet marketing, CyberWriting (long out of print), you can sense the nature of people right from their email.

I liked this lady. She had a cool sense of humor. She said she had an original Tacoma Chief from arond 1997 and wanted to know if I wanted to buy it.

I have more than enough guitars. But I felt I had attracted this woman and her offer because of my article thirteen years ago. It seemed having it would bring closure to a wound of long ago.

I asked the lady to make an offer. She did. It was fair. I didn’t negotiate or squabble. I bought it.

It arrived today.


I wonder what you may have unfinished in your past, too.


Let go, forgive, and one day you, too, may receive a Tacoma Chief guitar — or something even better.

Ao Akua,


* You can see the 1996 article that caused all this at www.mrfire.com/article-archives/ancient-articles/tacoma-chief.html 

Note: Top photo by master photographer Rodney Bursiel. Bottom two by my Blackberry Curve. Last one is of Pat O’Bryan playing the Tacoma Chief. He made it sing.


  1. Mike Perras-Reply
    November 1, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    Hey Joe

    Man! Don`t compare yourself to Tony Robbins. His stuff was great in the day. This is now and Mr. Fire has been on fire! Finished ZERO limits in two days and am wrapping up The Attractor Factor now. So totally on the money Joe! A complete pleasure to read and to re read again!.

    Did I read, Expect Miracles might be you`re last book. WOW, I sure hope not, you have more fans Joe than you`ll ever know.

    This may sound odd, but I expect we`ll actually talk by phone this week.

    With Gratitude Always,


  2. November 1, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    Hi Joe,

    Well.. well.. there it was just like you said it would be. Your article, on top! Great article, great marketing lesson. What not to do. Perfect.

    Interesting how thing wait a long time to complete the cycle. You must have just recently cleared something within. Do you know what it was?

    The guitar is beautiful and I’m sure she sings beautifully for Pat and you. Great lessons here. Thank you for your insightful way of sharing here.

    Enjoy the Chief. Sounds like he is a medicine man.

    Love and Joy,


    P.S. Is Pat missing the wide open spaces and gorgeous sunsets?

  3. November 2, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Wow thought provoking as always.
    Thanks goodness we grow and evolve in our thinking as we are open.
    Forgiveness heals a mountain of pain..

  4. bob-Reply
    November 2, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Actually, Tacoma Guitars now has a nice and pretty substantial website. However, their dealer listing page is currently not available. I also noticed at the bottom, the site’s copyright is credited to Fender. So apparently, they are now owned by Fender Guitars. Hope that doesn’t mean Tacoma is in limbo. Anybody interested in a Tacoma Guitar should probably get in touch with Fender (as in pronto).

  5. November 6, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Hi Joe,

    This is a hoot…two weeks ago I heard a guy playing a Tacoma baritone guitar. Not knowing anything about the brand, I googled it, saw the line of guitars, and found two sellers, one on ebay, the other craigslist.

    The craigslist guy didn’t say his had an electrical problem until we got to the table, so I felt nervous with him. The ebay listing stayed at $110 all day long, and I won the auction in the final seconds for $355. I thought this was a great deal, since the list price was 1,395.

    Or so I thought…turned out I actually bought a MisChief…the Indonesian version of the Chief C1CE. It arrived the day after the election, and I was itching to get a new song of celebration started. But lo and behold, the guitar has many flaws in the body that were not described, so now I am negotiating with the ebay dealer to make it right.

    Why do I tell you all this…because your story popped up just now when I went back to the drawing board and googled Tacoma Chief. It gave me a good laugh. They no longer make these guitars, from what I can tell, even though Fender did take over. If you decide you don’t really need to keep yours, give me a ring. I may still be floundering around in the search. I would love it if you decided to gift me with the one that came to you. Unlike you, I let go of my other guitars when my own body didn’t want any more pressure on my strings for a while. Last one was a beauty…a Taylor 514C given to me by the family of Charles Schulz, who drew the Peanuts comic strip.

    Let me know how it goes with your new baby.


  6. December 5, 2008 at 2:56 pm


    What an amazing story about the power of wishing! Wishes are my business, as you know, and it has been wonderful over the years watching you become not just a master of wishing, but also a powerful teacher of the finer points of wishing!

    You have given the world an enormous gift bringing Ho’oponopono to the people. Wishing is a very serious thing in Hawaiian culture. It is so wonderful that everyone now knows what they always have- that our thoughts are powerful energy, unaffected by things like time and space.

    Ho’oponopono itself must have been born of someone’s heartfelt wish to make things better and what better wish could there ever be! I am quite sure that you must have been born of just such a powerful wish because look at how you have made the world a better place for so many! Your light is bright and your generosity of spirit is an extraordinary example of the original Christmas Mission.

    Thank you for tirelessly yearning for, and publicly acting upon, inspirations about how to help people radically help themselves!

    You have eyes that twinkle and dimples that are merry; is it any wonder then that you are infused with the spirit of Christmas! Your place on the Nice list is secure!

    May you have a blessed holiday season!

    Santa Claus

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