Jim Marshall, Guitar Amp Innovator, Dies at 88

on April 05 2012 10:39 AM

width=628 Jim Marshall, the innovator behind the Marshall brand of iconic guitar amplifiers, died Thursday morning in London. He was 88 years old.

Marshall's son, Terry Marshall, told the Associated Press the English pioneer of the modern guitar amplifier died in hospice care after a battle with cancer and several strokes.

Nicknamed the Lord of Loud, Marshall's place in rock 'n' roll history is safe.

Marshall's groundbreaking approach to guitar amplification changed the way electric guitars were played after their introduction in 1960. Without the volume and relatively low cost that Marshall amps provided, the guitar sounds of Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townsend, Jimmy Page, Thurston Moore, Slayer's Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman, J. Mascis and Jack White might have been radically different. Moore even cites the amps--in reference to Mascis--in the lyrics to Sonic Youth's Teenage Riot.

As much as the sound of the Marshall amp became necessary to rock 'n' roll, its unmistakable half-stack look became just as iconic. In the 1970s, the Blue Oyster Cult began performing against a wall of Marshall amps. Slayer has been known to tour with a wall of 24 Marshall stacks. Even French discohouse group Justice performed against a wall of the amps (though they performed without guitars) during their

A statement on the company's 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.

Marshall started out as a drummer before turning to amps in the late '50s. When he realized that British guitarist didn't have the gear necessary to achieve the sounds they envisioned, Marshall sought to solve the problem.

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