The world lost one of its true rock and roll pioneers today, when guitar amp innovator Jim Marshall died. Marshall, 88, passed away from complications due to cancer. Anyone who has been to a couple of rock shows has seen a big stack of Marshall amps. In the movie “This Is Spinal Tap”, character Nigel Tufnel famously proclaimed that his Marshalls could “go to 11”. Tributes started pouring out immediately with the news of Marshall’s passing.
Former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash tweeted: “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!”
Motley Crue bass player Nikki Sixx also paid tribute on Twitter, saying Marshall was “responsible for some of the greatest audio moments in music’s history – and 50% responsible of all our hearing loss.”
Spurred by a talk with Ritchie Blackmore and Pete Townshend at his amplifier shop, Marshall created what was to become the amplifier of choice for musicians ranging from Jimi Hendrix to Kurt Cobain. In 2003, British citizen Marshall was awarded the OBE for his services to music and for his vast charitable contributions, numbering in the millions of pounds.
In September, the Marshall Amps company will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a tribute concert featuring Iron Maiden, The Cult, Whitesnake and many more Marshall fans at Wembley Arena.