Saturday, 14 April 2012

Britain is no longer a country for and its old guitarists say "Goodbye" to Jim Marshall, the 'Father of Loud'

An obituary in 'The Daily Mail' was entitled :

'Father of the loud' falls silent: Jim Marshall, the man behind guitar amplifiers used by biggest names in rock dies aged 88

Jim MarshallWhen Jim opened a music store in 1960, his customers included some of rock'n'roll's most prominent guitarists who wanted a new type of amplifier he seized the opportunity and built it for them. His work would earn him the nickname the 'Father of Loud'.

Jim Marshall

What you possibly didn't know about Jim, that he :

*  was born in Kensington, West London and his father owned a fish and chip shop in Southall.

* had tuberculosis of the bones and encased in a plaster cast from ankles to  armpits during most of his school years and from the age of 13, took a series of jobs : worked for a builder's merchant, sold shoes and baked factory biscuits.

* at the age of 18 was 'medically unfit' for military service in the Second World War, taught himself 'engineering' and in 1946 became a toolmaker at Heston Aircraft.

* successfully auditioned to sing with an orchestra at a Southall Dance Hall,  joined a seven-piece band, took over as the drummer, his idol at the time was the big band drummer Gene Krupa.

* later recalled that as a drummer he : " taught Mitch Mitchell who joined Jimi Hendrix, Micky Burt of Chas and Dave, Waller with Little Richard and Micky Underwood who played with Ritchie Blackmore."

*  saved enough money to start his own business, building loudspeaker cabinets for musicians and found a keen market among bass players, fed up with being blotted out by noisy lead guitarists and looking for some powerful amplification of their own.

* after a year,  opened his own music store in West London, initially specialising in selling drumkits and recalled "the drummers brought their groups in, including Pete Townshend, and said "why don't you stock guitars and amplifiers ?", which I knew nothing about."

* on being told  told by musicians that they wanted amplifiers with a different sound from the then-popular Fender models, produced this first amplifier in 1962 with the powerful and throaty 'Marshall sound'.
John Entwistle in 1966.
* found top musicians clamouring for his amplifiers and their hard-driving sound, including Eric Clapton, for whom he created the 'Bluesbreaker' amp-and-speakers combo and PeteTownshend and John Entwistle (right) of 'The Who', whose lust for more volume led to the creation of his classic 100-watt amplifier.

* at Pete's request, developed the stackable loudspeaker cabinets, or 'stacks' that became a familiar part of the stage scenery for countless bands at the same time sold equipment and technical maintenance to Jimi Hendrix.

* saw almost everybody who rocked over the next 40 years, use his equipment : Jeff Beck, the Small Faces, Guns N' Roses, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, U2, Metallica and Nirvana.

BBC Report with Jim talking and homage from Paul Weller :

Paul McCartney's tribute to Jim :
“This goes to the family and the friends of…the great Jim Marshall, founder of Marshall Amps. Jim made it loud. We want to thank Man, we love you. Our tribute to you.”

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