Legendary Guitar Amp Pioneer Jim Marshall Dies at Age 88
Posted by Michael Mueller on April 5, 2012 at 9:07 AM
Legendary guitar amplifier maker Jim Marshall passed away early Thursday (4/5) morning at a hospice in England. He was 88.
Known as "The Father of Loud" for his powerful amps, Jim Marshall helped shape the sound of rock guitar as we've come to know it. The "Marshall sound" was born when a young Pete Townshend played Marshall's sixth prototype, the famed "#1," in the back room of a small music shop in West London, in 1962. It was also Townshend who first asked Marshall to pair his amplifier head with a speaker cabinet, thus creating the iconic "Marshall stack." From that moment on, a literal who's who of rock guitarists have performed in front of the iconic Marshall stack—Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Ritchie Blackmore, Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, Yngwie Malmsteen, Slash, Zakk Wylde, John 5, and on, and on, and on. It's safe to say—without any hint of hyperbole—Marshall Amplification is synonymous with the "sound of rock."
News of Marshall's passing has just begun to spread throughout the rock world this morning, particularly on Twitter:
"The news of Jim Marshall passing is deeply saddening. R&R will never be the same w/out him. But, his amps will live on forever!" - Slash
"A very sad day for the Marshall family. My thoughts and prayers go out to Paul and his family. Rest in Peace Jim Marshall OBE." - Joe Bonamassa
"Sad to hear about the death of the king of loud, Mr Jim Marshall" - John 5
Marshall Amps posted a tribute to its founder at MarshallAmps.com:
"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 groundbreaking 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."