Guitar amp pioneer Jim Marshall, 88, has taken the stairway to heaven


It’s a sad day for rock-n-roll. Jim Marshall, creator of the music-changing Marshall amp, has died. He was 88-years-old.

Known as “The Father of Loud,” Marshall created amps that became an icon of the the rock world, in both name and sound. Originally a successful drummer and drum teacher, Marshall began his industry-changing career in 1960, when he set up a music shop in London. It was there that he met Pete Townshend, now-legendary guitarist and songwriter for The Who. Townshend, a customer of the shop, convinced Marshall that there was a need for less-expensive guitar amps. And thus, the “Marshall stack” was born.

Since then, nearly all rock musicians, at one point or another, have used Marshall amps. The white “Marshall” name has become near-ubiquitous on stage at concerts around the world, especially for rock groups, who appreciated the heavy distortion made possible by Marshall amps.

“The news of Jim Marshall passing is deeply saddening,” wrote former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash, on Twitter. “R & R will never be the same w/out him. But, his amps will live on FOREVER.”


On its website, Marshall Amps wrote the following tribute to its founder:

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.

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 groundbreaking quartet also includes 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.