Fender is saddened to learn of the passing of instrument amplification pioneer Jim Marshall, 88.
Marshall, a drummer and drum teacher, opened a successful West London music shop in the early 1960s and parlayed it into a guitar amplification empire spurred by frequent contact with local customers such as Pete Townshend and John Entwistle, “Big” Jim Sullivan and Ritchie Blackmore. Through them, Marshall realized there were no loud, reliable U.K.-made amps comparable to expensive and high-quality U.S. imports such as those made by Fender. Marshall then designed his own powerful and distinctive-sounding amps, and pioneered the large and exceedingly loud head-cabinet configuration that came to be known worldwide as the “Marshall stack.”
Marshall amps were used and popularized by high-profile ’60s guitarists such as Townshend, Blackmore, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and many others. They became a permanent fixture in rock music for decades to come and remain so today; influential and high-profile modern-era devotees include players such as Michael Schenker, the late Randy Rhoads, Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Slash and many others.
Marshall was a beloved figure in the worldwide rock community, and he was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2003 for his contributions to music and various charitable efforts.