Joe Desmond, a well-known industry figure with more than a quarter-century in pro audio and M.I. sales, passed away on January 16, 2008, after being diagnosed with liver cancer this past fall. A graduate of Boston University, this native Bostonian went West to California for his first job as a Guitar Center salesman. Moving rapidly within the organization, Desmond opened and managed stores in California and Illinois before starting his own company, which exported rare guitars to Japan. In 1987, Desmond went to work for Furman Sound in Northern California, and during his 17-year tenure there became a driving force responsible for bringing the company from fewer than $1 million in annual sales to a position as an industry leader.
Several years ago, he left Furman to found Joe Desmond & Associates (www.jdagear.com), a rep firm and import business located in nearby Rohnert Park, Calif., handling top suppliers such as Adamson, Aphex, BBE, Danley, ETA Systems, FBT, G&L Guitars, Nady Systems, One Systems, Raxxess, Rolls, SE Electronics, X2 Digital Wireless and others. Joining Desmond in the operations at JDA was his wife, Pam, whom he met at a NAMM Show in 1982, when she was working as an ad executive at BAM (Bay Area Music) magazine.
Desmond, whose hobbies included classic automobile restoration, was known for his warm smile and his ability to put his customers' needs ahead of his own. He is survived by his wife and two children, Jillian and Ben. Desmond will long be remembered by his many friends throughout the industry.