This past week we lost a major legend of rock n’ roll, Jim Marshall, founder of Marshall amps.
The white Marshall logo on amps has been ubiquitous in rock since the sixties, and it goes without saying that every major rock guitarist has played through a Marshall, including Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townshend, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Eddie Van Halen, Slash, Jeff Beck, and Randy Rhoads, just to name a few.
Marshalls are the cornerstone of rock and metal guitar tone, and every heavy amp on the market is a variation on a Marshall in one way or another.
As the New York Times writes, Jim had his little music store in England that many musicians came to visit, and one day Pete Townshend of the Who came in saying he wanted something “bigger and louder” to play through. The rest is history.
Jim Marshall certainly lived a long life, he passed at 88 years old, and musicians everywhere are incredibly grateful for his contribution to music.
In a statement that ran on Blabbermouth.net, Slash wrote, “I consider myself very fortunate to have known the late Jim Marshall. He was such a fantastic individual. Not only did he create the loudest, most effective, brilliant-sounding rock and roll amplifier every designed, but he was a caring, hardworking family man who remained true to his integrity to the very end. He work ethic was unequaled and his passion unrivaled. He took great care of me personally, as one of his loyal fans and Marshall amp enthusiasts, ever since we first met in the early ’90s.”
Slash has used nothing but Marshalls since he started, and in his endorsement ad for the amps he said, “I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I won’t even consider trying anything else – something that consistent you just don’t f*ck with.” (The New York Times also mentioned that Jim Marshall refused to sell the company to anyone else: “it’s the name that means something to me – because it is my name.”)
At the end of his public statement, Slash also capped it off nicely by saying, “Jim’s passing marks the end of a very loud and colorful era. From Pete Townshend to Kerry King, Marshall amplifiers have been behind every great rock and roll guitarist since the beginning. This industry will likely never see the likes of Jim again. But his legacy will live on forever.”