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Jim Marshall, the inventor of the Marshall Amplifiers, passed away on April 5 at the age of 88. Marshall, along with Leo Fender, Les Paul and Seth Lover, has been listed as one of the four forefathers of rock music equipment.
His son relayed that Jim Marshall died in a hospice in England on Thursday morning after a period of severe illness. The Marshall Amps website gave the sad news in an online tribute:
“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.”
Starting as a drummer, Jim Marshall used his earnings from drum teaching to open a music shop which was eventually destined to change the face, and sound, of rock music forever. It is in this shop that he learned about the lack of affordable amplifiers on the market, which were a necessity for upcoming musicians.
Upon the request of Pete Townshend of ‘The Who’, he combined a pre-existing Marshall Amplifier head with a cabinet, giving birth to what is known as the ‘Marshall stack’. The ‘Marshall stack’ has become a central part of the hard rock movement ever since. Legendary musicians like Jimi Hendrix, chose the Marshall stack to enhance their music, enjoying the raw, loud sound that they generate. Every famous rock band has used them at a certain point in time; they have become one of the trademarks of hard rock’n’roll.
Many musicians expressed their sorrow through social media; for example Joe Perry, guitarist and co-founder of Aerosmith, wrote on Twitter: “Great sorrow hearing bout the great Jim Marshall passing. Everytime we plug in and make people smile, we owe him debt beyond counting!!!” and Slash, guitarist and ex Guns’n’Roses’, who wrote: “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! \,,/”