RIP Dr Jim Marshall OBE

It’s a very sad day for guitarists. Dr Jim Marshall OBE, founder of Marshall Amplification, has died. I’ll always remember how proud I felt bringing home my Marshall amplifier. And Jim’s introductions to Marshall manuals always felt like you were being welcomed into a special club. One that I’ll always be proud to be a part of. Rest in peace, Dr Marshall, and thank you.

Marshall Amplification has posted the following:

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 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. 

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. 

An online condolences site will be available shortly which we welcome you to leave your messages on. An announcement will be made when this will be accessible.

In 2001 Dr Marshall told Joe Matera about his legendary association with Jimi Hendrix. “I suppose the best one is of course, in regards to my greatest ambassador and that was Jimi Hendrix. He was playing at Ronnie Scott’s in London and Mitch (Mitchell) was on drums with him, but the group that was playing there at the time were all using Marshall and he said “I’ve got to meet this Jim Marshall because my name is James Marshall as well”. So Mitch brought him into my shop and Jimi said to me, “I’ve got to have Marshall amplification”. And I thought, “Christ!, another American wanting something for nothing!”. But fortunately he said ” I don’t want anything given to me. I want to pay the full retail price but what I do want is service wherever I am in the world”. I thought, “Christ, that’s going to be a tough one” because we were only dealing with France, Germany and Canada at the time. They were the only places I had distribution, but his roadie at the time, came and spent two weeks in the factory learning how to change the bias and change the tubes or valves if they went down and do simple soldering. And we were never called out once by Jimi Hendrix. He actually purchased 4 complete stage set-ups to have in different places in the world so he would not have to transport any too far. And that’s one of the best stories of the company.”


7 thoughts on “RIP Dr Jim Marshall OBE

  1. I was 15 years old and I was saving up all of my money for a Mesa Boogie guitar amplifier. Any guitar player from back in the day knows the Mesa Boogie catalogs were a work of art and the stuff dreams were made of. The beautiful full color pictures and descriptive copy made you salivate. I poured over those pages, dreaming of the day when one of those beauties would be mine, and I was almost there… I had $700 saved.

    And then I walked into Wayne Music. There sitting along the hallway wall was a 100-watt JMP Marshall top and matching 4×12 cabinet with 25-watt black back Celestion speakers. I lost my mind. “MOM!! MOM!! This is what I want. This is it!!! I gotta have it!!.’ My Mom tried to talk me in from the ledge ‘But Den, you’ve been saving for the Mesa-Boogie amp, you almost have enough money.’ ‘Yeah, I know Mom but this is a Marshall!’. They wanted $750 so my Mom gave me the difference and we left the store with it, me wedging it into the back seat of my Mom’s maroon Ford Fairmount.

    I remember the next day I had my friend over to show him the amp, my Mom and her friend Fran were in the kitchen, about 15 feet away from where this EL-34 powered behemoth sat in our TEENY TINY living room. I asked, “Hey Mom, I can I just show this to Anthony for a second? I promise I won’t play it long.”. She of course said it was fine. That’s the kind of Mom she was. So….. I grabbed my 1965 Gibson SG Jr and plugged in. Turning the amp on, even with the guitar volume down you could hear how incredibly loud it was just idling. I turned my guitar’s volume knob up and ELECTRICITY filled the shoebox sized room. I took my pick and with my left hand muting all of the strings I simply ‘chunked’ on the strings. It was like a freight train came barreling through. It seemed as if every one of the NUMEROUS knick knacks on the piano, television and shelves (my Mom had a thing for tchotchkes) bounced in the air. My Mom’s friend Fran who was an elderly woman (or just always seemed that way) looked as if she was ELECTROCUTED!! She was lifted out of her seat, twitching. I swear I saw her beauty shop hairdo have lift off.

    Thus began my love affair with Marshall amps. Thanks Jim Marshall, you were a force to be reckoned with and made all of my childhood dreams come true.

    R.I.P.

  2. It’s a sad day indeed. My thoughts go out to his family. I’ve never had the privilege to own one of his amps, only dream. I tried out the guitar I bought from the guitar shop through one and it was pure class.

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