Published Apr 05, 2012Practically every legendary rock guitarist under the sun has used a Marshall amplifier at some point in their career, and now, the man responsible for those iconic pieces of equipment has died. Jim Marshall, known to some as the "Father of Loud," passed away this morning (April 5) in Milton Keynes, UK. He was 88.
The exact cause of death is unknown, and Reuters notes that Marshall's representatives could not confirm reports that he had cancer and suffered a series of strokes.
Marshall began his career as a singer and drummer before owning his own music store in London during the '60s. He founded Marshall Amplification in 1962 after deciding to create an affordable alternative to the popular American amp models at the time.
Early adopters of Marshall amps included Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. The Who's Pete Townshend was also a loyal customer, and it was at his request that an amp head was combined with a cabinet, thus creating the Marshall stack.
Marshall Amplification posted this tribute on its official website:
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.