It’s with such complete sadness that I learned today that Jim Marshall has died.
I have been lucky enough to visit Marshall Amps at Bletchley and see this thriving family business at work, amazing products that have changed lives and few ears on the planet have not heard – all backed up with a passion and dedication to making the best they can.
Just walking down the lines of photos of every band you’ve heard of and all those you’ve forgotten is a staggering reminder of just what Jim Marshall and his family achieved.
I don’t have the words, what do you say about someone who had as much influence on modern music as Les Paul did – yet still a drummer at heart. So I repeat here what the Marshall website has posted…
It is with profound sorrow that we announce the passing of our beloved founder and leader for the past 50 years, Jim Marshall. While mourning the Guv’nor though, we also salute a legendary man who led a full and truly remarkable life.
Jim’s ascent into the history books as ‘the Father of Loud’ and the man responsible for ‘the Sound of Rock’ is a true rags-to-riches tale. Cruelly robbed of his youth by tubercular bones, Jim rose to become one of the four forefathers responsible for creating the tools that allowed rock guitar as we know and love it today to be born. The ground breaking quartet also includes the late, great trio of Leo Fender, Les Paul and Seth Lover – together with Jim, they truly are the cornerstones of all things rock.
In addition to the creation of the amps chosen by countless guitar heroes and game changing bands, Jim was also an incredibly humble and generous man who, over the past several decades, has quietly donated many millions of pounds to worthy causes.
While the entire Marshall Amplification family mourns Jim’s passing and will miss him tremendously, we all feel richer for having known him and are happy in the knowledge that he is now in a much better place which has just got a whole lot louder!
Rest in Peace & thank you Jim.
Your memory; the music and joy your amps have brought to countless millions for the past five decades; and that world-famous, omnipresent script logo that proudly bears your name will always live on.
Marshall Factory Tour
with the Son of Loud
Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap
The Marshal Stack Guitar
Nigel Tufnel with Marshall Amps
I guess I should add something…
Right at the beginning of writing this blog back in February 2008, the first post I wrote was “Why I will never own a Marshall”.
It is in this, that from the outset it was fairly obvious I love Marshall Amps.
From the hours if not days spent in the guitar shops of Denmark Street, to coveting expensive things I’d never own because my playing standard simply isn’t high enough – none of it meant anything without the knowledge that the sound of the instrument would one day ring its tone through the speakers of a Marshall amp.
Over the years, there has been many pretenders to the throne, some quite good, others really quite bad – but nothing ever has really challenged a Marshall. I even owned a Roland JC120 once and that never cut it.
Back in the 60’s Jim Marshall never set out to be a big maker of amplifiers, he was asked to make them, and his name grew because of demand and the end product both created a legendary sound and he backed everything up with personal service and guarantee – you know, the way things used to be done!
Today Marshall gives no less than a three-year warranty on their gear and their support is outstanding, even their merchandise is high quality and low-priced unlike everyone elses.
Yes, they are a commercial entity, their equipment isn’t cheap – but then it is still put together for the most part by hand and the inside signed by the guy that built it.
I’m a very proud owner of a Marshall Amp, music isn’t music unless it comes out of a thing called Marshall at some point in its life and that my friends is simply that…
Jim Marshall almost by sheer coincidence changed music forever, and while many great people have had statues created in their image as a mark of respect – Jim’s own products will be his testament in history. Wherever there is a gig, a guitar, bass or keyboard player…. The name Marshall will not be far away.