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Jim Marshall: more than a brand


We’ve almost forgotten that there was a man behind this name. Of course, all young, rock guitar players plugged or dreamt about plugging their jack in a Marshall amplifier. But Jim Marshall has been overtaken by his creation, by the Marshall amplifier’s fame, to such an extent that Marshall became more than a brand in our collective imagination, more than a product, but almost a synonymous for “amplifier”. You don’t play on a Marshall amp, you play on a Marshall.

Here’s Jim Marshall’s success. Beyond his fame, his idea overcame its brand status to become a symbol of our rock and metal scene. That’s why the death of Jim Marshall (aged 88) moved the world of rock. He contributed to transform this world in the 60s’, allowing thanks to his creations artists such as the Who, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Cream to give birth to hard rock and metal. That’s why we wanted to give the floor to the artists (and some others) to pay him a tribute. We got many immediate answers.

Mus (ARKAN) :

« We’ve just lost a pillar in music, and mostly rock and metal history. His departure for the land of the greats reminds me with a lot of feelings about my first Marshall amp. I’m gonna make it blast out during the next rehearsal as an homage. ».

Armellino, Yann :

« I didn’t had the chance to get to know the great Jim but, just like a lot of guitar players, I didn’t miss the amplifiers with his name. I still remember the awesome sound you could get from the famous JCM800 that still is to these days an absolute reference. Jim is gone but his amps won’t get turned off any time soon… ».

Arjen Lucassen (AYREON, STAR ONE, GUILT MACHINE) :

« That’s so sad… The world of rock would have sounded and looked VERY different without the unique Marshall sound and look. I must say I always felt very safe with the Marshall amps and huge cabinet towers behind me! Even if after many years of touring they only said ‘arsnall’ I remember, ha! Thanks Jim, you played a very important part in our rock history, we salute you. ».

The Duke (THE BUFFALOS)

« The Marshall sound is to Rock’n Roll what the good-time girl is to the Lord: its most beautiful incarnation. Rock In Peace Jim. ».

Corbier :

« Jim Marshall kicked the bucket! If he didn’t invented the amp, he’s still clearly its popularizer. It’s obvious that he brought this indispensable tool to a level of finishing and quality that generations of musicians from all cultures and backgrounds praise. He should be thanked for this, and his name should shine for ever in the firmament of jazz, rock and pop.”.

Brian Tatler (DIAMOND HEAD) :

« Sad to hear about the passing of Jim Marshall. He was a pioneer of guitar amplifiers and cabinets, without him rock and metal would sound very different, one of the all time greats. I have used Marshall amplification as part of my sound for over 30 years. Many thanks. ».

Mark Jansen (EPICA, MAYAN) :

« I never met him personally but of course played his amps. Even though Mesa Boogie is my favorite amp on the road, Marshall is a good 2nd right behind. It never lets you down is strong and has a great sound.n ».

Stan Aron (FAITHLESS MESSIAH) :

« Jim Marshall defined what a rock amplifier should be, so we all must turn up the sound to 11 to his memory.”.

David Boutarin (F.M.R.) :

« Everyday we lose brothers and sisters. Today, a father’s gone.Instead of the traditional minute of silence, I think it would be more appropriate to make larsens cry out out of despair. Their creator will recognize them, wherever he is… RIP Mister Marshall.”.

Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal (GUNS N’ ROSES) :

« RIP Jim Marshall. Forever grateful to you for making guitars sing & scream & touch my soul and change my life. ».

Jack Ruetsch (KARELIA) :

(Note from Jack : message written after seeing Korini live in Colmar with Eddy… and his Marshall.) « Even if it’s not his amps I burn out today, I remember my guitar player debuts and the magical sensation of power that my first riffs played on a Marshall got me like it was yesterday. It’s a part of the dream you make yours, and that’s actually also when you suddenly realize you’re running on stage – well, in your bedroom – full of pride, in front of a crowd going crazy – uh, your mirror and GI Joe toys –, doing a sick solo that drives all the girl mad of desire and admiration – OK, OK, a ridiculous pentatonic scale on old, barely tuned strings… Oh, nostalgia… Jim Marshall contributed more than anybody to create THE rock’n’roll and metal sound. All his life, he remained attentive to what musicians needed to improve its amps to such an extent they became a reference. A rock’n’roll symbol, an image now eternal as showed the success of the Marshall fridge out this year. You will surely find it sitting proudly in every self-respecting studio and rehearsing place! R.I.P. Jim.”.

Patrick Garcia (KELLS) :

« Who never played on a Marshall combo? I think every guitar player owned one at some point, it’s the first affordable amplifier of good quality. It’s thanks to this man, Jim Marshall, that guitar amplifiers are what they are nowaday, and that walls of Marshall amps in concerts became legendary! A great man passed out, leaving an indelible mark behind him ».

Laura Pleasants (KYLESA) :

« There’s no doubt that Jim Marshall had a major impact on rock n roll. Marshall stacks not only sound great but are iconic. They ARE rcok n roll. RIP, Jim. « .

Michael Schenker (MSG, ex-SCORPIONS, ex-UFO…) :

« I’m so sorry. I knew Jim, we were’nt very close, but i’ve designed an amplifier for him. He created a monster. I guess we all have to go, but he was one of the most important persons on this planet and of this era, especially this musical era. « .

Norbert « Nono » Krief (TRUST) :

« I had the luck to meet Jim Marshall several times. The first one was in London in 1981, and it was like I just met the pope! Boundless and universal thanks to Jim Marshall, father of all (electric) guitar players of the world!”.

Michel Chavarria from Lâg guitars with Jim Marshall.

Michel Chavarria (LAG Guitars) :

« I’m shattered…
Jim Marshall was already a legend when he was still alive, now he just became immortal because his amps will keep on blasting pure rock’n’roll sound on stage and in studio…
We met several times on international fairs, I think he was more than happy to see his demonstrator Chris George play an Imperator Custom Bédarieux because this guitar works really well with the Marshall brand’s image… I’ll still remember him as an amazing designer who liked the good things in life. He also gave me his love for a special whisky that I still drink in moderation, an amazing single malt, the Macallan 18…
I have in my office a Marshall am Class 5 WHITE, a single copy, that’s been offered to me for the 30 years of LÂG. Tonight, as a tribute for Jim, I will play it loud and I’ll remember…”

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