Jim Marshall, Guitar Amplifier Pioneer, Dies at 88

Jim Marshall, the inventor of the most recognized guitar amplifiers in rock history, died Thursday at a hospice in London. He was 88.

A statement on the Marshall Amps company website read:

It is with profound sorrow that we announce the passing of our beloved founder and leader for the past 50 years, Jim Marshall. While mourning the Guv’nor though, we also salute a legendary man who led a full and truly remarkable life.

According to Reuters, Marshall was born in London in 1923 and began his amplifier business in 1962. It was The Who’s Pete Townshend that originally suggested to Marshall – a drummer at the time – to sell guitars and amps alongside drums.

Marshall jokingly referred to the shop in Hanwell, London as a “rock’n’roll labor exchange” because a lot of groups were formed there. Legendary musicians like Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix were his customers in the ’60s, using the innovative guitar amplifier that Marshall invented.

Rolling Stone writes that Marshall earned the nickname of “the Father of Loud” and is considered one of the four fathers of Rock equipment, alongside Les Paul, Leo Fender and Seth Lover.

In his later years, Marshall became involved with numerous charities and in 2003 was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for his successful export of British-made goods and his various charitable deeds.

Following Jim Marshall’s passing, several well known musicians took to Twitter to offer their condolences.

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.”

Jim Marshall is survived by his children Terry and Victoria and step-children Paul and Dawn.

via ABC News