Today, Marshall Amplifiers announced the passing of their founder and bearer of their namesake James Marshall. Marshall amplifiers have colored the sounds of everyone from AC/DC to ZZ Top. They have become synonymous with the sound and the power of loud rock and roll music. The iconic image of the Marshall stack is recognizable as the roaring wail it creates. The list of musicians for whom Marshall amplifiers have provided the backbone of their sound reads like an all-time-best-of list, and that is no coincidence. The Marshall amplifier is one of the most sought after, copied and esteemed guitar amplifiers in the world.
The Marshall amplifier gave birth to Pete Townshend’s power pop jangle with The Who, Eric Clapton’s voice-like electric blues with Cream, Duane Allman’s country/rock hybrid with the Allman Brothers Band, Slash’s dirty and mean streets of Los Angeles tone with Guns ‘n’ Roses, and perhaps most famously, the psychedelic shaman of the electric guitar himself, the original user and abuser of the “Marshall stack,” Jimi Hendrix.
Marshall amplifiers are the great equalizer of rock and roll. From dirty basement clubs with a dozen people in the audience to tens of thousands of people packed into the biggest stadiums in the world, chances are good that if you walk away with a ringing in your ears it’s because someone turned their Marshall up to “11.”
The Marshall sound is inimitable their look is classic. Without shadow of exaggeration or embellishment, it can be said that Marshall amplifiers are the voice of rock and roll electric guitar. Without Jim Marshall’s amps the sound of rock and roll would not be the same. The Marshall amplifier is the muscle of rock and roll.
Let’s pause for a moment of silence to remember ‘the father of loud,” Jim Marshall.
Now, let’s turn it up. That’s what Jim would want. He would want us to turn up the amps, and lost in the sound of the almighty Marshall amplifier.
James Charles Marshall.
1923 – 2012.
By Damian Master
Frank Werner, owner of On Stage Services, was fortunate to have met Jim at the 2002 NAMM show.