Joe Carducci may have retired from his position as product marketing specialist at Gretsch Guitars in November 2020, but he will forever be in the hearts of all the Gretsch Guitar players and fans he’s met over his long and illustrious career.
His journey and passion for playing the guitar began back in 1964–as it did for many of the country’s youth–when he saw the Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan Show. According to Joe, watching George Harrison playing his Gretsch Country Gentleman guitar looked like a whole lot of fun to him and he proceeded to make his own guitar out of a paper bag and crayons in the image of that guitar. Fast forward a mere three years and Joe found himself in a band with some older neighborhood friends actually earning money playing at school dances. And he was only 12 years old!
In 1973 at the age of 18, Joe heard about openings at Fender Musical Instruments. Needing a day job to help pay the bills between gigs, he applied and was hired as an amp assembler. Over his 47-year-career at Fender, Joe worked in many positions and departments including the wood shop, quality control, wood fabrication, the neck department, paint department, buff and polish department, sub assembly, and final assembly. He also held the coveted position of final guitar inspector, one of only two, inspecting up to 200 guitars per day!
Forever in search of the perfect sound, Joe got a Gretsch Duo Jet which was his main guitar for 5 years. And it all came full circle for him in 2002 when the agreement between Gretsch and Fender was reached whereby Fender became the worldwide manufacturer and distributor of Gretsch Guitars. Joe began working exclusively with the brand, and from then until his retirement, he was the ever-energetic and enthusiastic ambassador of Gretsch Guitars traveling from consumer event to event, festival to festival, trade show to trade show, meeting and talking with Gretsch Guitar artists, players, and fans from all over the world. The Gretsch Guitar community will definitely miss seeing Joe’s smiling face.
We salute and thank you, Joe, for all you’ve done for the Gretsch brand and family! Enjoy your retirement!
For more on Joe, enjoy this 3-part interview by Greg Koch.