Jim Marshall changed the course of Rock & Roll by taking a great benchmark amplifier from Leo Fender and turning into the most important turning point in guitar history, the Marshall JTM45, this eventually led to everyone’s favourite model the Marshall Super Lead or the “Plexi”, still copied today by countless amplifier companies especially the late 60′s models.
When I started playing guitar back in 1988 there was only one guitar amp worth having as a young impressionable teenager and that was the Marshall JCM800, everywhere I looked I saw them, every magazine, every gig I went to, it was the backdrop to Rock and Metal. I remember going to see David Lee Roth on the ‘A Little Ain’t Enough tour’ and the back of the stage was a huge wall of Marshall cabinets and even though they weren’t actually real it was an awesome sight. Marshall Amps also feature in two Heavy Metal parody films, ‘This is Spinal Tap’ which had the legendary joke about Nigel Tufnel’s modded Marshall that with knobs that went to eleven and ‘The Comic Strip Presents… Bad News’ where rhythm guitar player Den Dennis proclaims “Bloody hell Vim, it’s a Marshall!”. This quote had a weekly outing at my band rehearsals when I was about 16 as the other guitar player in my then band had full Marshall JCM900 Stack. Even today with a huge array of amplifier companies and options available to guitarists the Marshall brand stands head and shoulders above all others and that is all thanks to the vision, dedication and hard work of Jim Marshall.
I will leave you with an image of Eddie Van Halen’s touring rig from 1986 which, while obviously outrageously excessive, shows the impact that Marshall Amplifiers had on guitar players to the point of tone obsession… and still do.
RIP Jim Marshall, The Father Of Loud.