Legendary guitarist Slash (VELVET REVOLVER, GUNS N’ ROSES) has released the following statement regarding the passing of Jim Marshall, the creator of the Marshall amplifier:
“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 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.
“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.”
Marshall died last week at the age of 88. A message posted at the web site of Marshall Amplification, the company he founded 50 years ago, stated, “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 included the late, great trio of Leo Fender, Les Paul and Seth Lover — together with Jim, they truly are the cornerstones of all things rock.”
The site described Marshall as “a legendary man who led a full and truly remarkable life.”
The cause of Marshall‘s death was not announced.
A former singer, drummer and music shop owner, Marshall eventually landed a job as an electrical engineer that helped him design a transportable amplifier to use at his own live shows. Consulting with musicians like THE WHO‘s Pete Townshend and DEEP PURPLE‘s Ritchie Blackmore, Marshall refined his invention and opened Marshall Amplification in 1962.
By the mid-1960s, he had created the classic Marshall Stack, consisting of one head containing the actual amplifier, on top of two stacked loudspeaker cabinets each containing four 12-inch loudspeakers arranged in a square layout. The setup has become an iconic symbol of rock music played as loud as possible.
Photo credit: Travis Shinn