Slash Pays Tribute To Jim Marshall
Slash has eulogised the life of Jim Marshall, the brains behind Marshall amplifiers and known as ‘the father of loud’, who died on April 5 at age 88.
The guitarist said in an official statement:
“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 ever designed, but he was a caring, hardworking family man who remained true to his integrity to the very end. His work ethic was unequalled and his passion unrivalled.
“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.
“At that time, he did the unprecedented; he had the first-ever Artist Model Marshall series designed for me when my Marshall amps were destroyed in a Guns N’ Roses concert riot in St. Louis in 1991. We had been friends ever since.
“Jim cared for all his customers like they were his family. He would do whatever it took to make sure an artist was completely satisfied and he made sure his staff did likewise. It was very important to him that Marshall quality and customer care was paramount.
“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. Marshall Amplification is one of the most enduring, iconic brands of contemporary music history.
“This industry will likely never see the likes of Jim again. But his legacy will live on forever.”
Born July 29, 1923 in Kensington, London, Marshall had a tough start in life, suffering from tuberculosis of the bones which meant that he was in plaster-cast from his ankles up to his armpits during most of his school years.
Having recovered from his illness, Marshall joined an engineering firm during World War Two. He later became a proficent drummer, tutoring Mitch Mitchell (Jimi Hendrix Experience), Mick Underwood (Ritchie Blackmore/Ian Gillan) and many others.
Making use of his engineering background, in 1960 Marshall started building bass and PA cabinets in his garage – “The bass guitarists used to complain that they were being out-gunned all the time by the lead guitars and they asked me for help,” he said.
Demand for Marshall’s visceral-sounding amplifiers grew steadily and in 1964 he opened his first proper factory in Hayes, West London, with 16 people making 20 amplifiers a week.
Since that time long ago, Marshall’s products have become the amplifiers of choice for rock musicians worldwide – whether they’re members of arena-striding supergroups or humble covers bands.
Marshall once said: “Most of the people in the worldwide Marshall family are musicians and I’ve always said that musicians should rule the world. After all, music is the most common language in the world. We probably wouldn’t have wars either – just battles of the bands!”
Watch Spinal Tap’s Nigel Tufnel in a pair of promo clips for Marshall’s JCM900 series below – referred to as “the amps that go up to 20″. (Because 11 simply wasn’t good enough!)