Jim Marshall, Creator of the Marshall Amp, Dead at 88

Jim Marshall, Creator of the Marshall Amp, Dead at 88

Jim Marshall, Creator of the Marshall Amp, Dead at 88

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April 5 2012 3:31 PM

Jim Marshall, Creator of the Marshall Amp, Dead at 88

Jim Marshall, founder of Marshall Amplification and creator of the amplifiers that provided a raw, overdriven, and loud sound to purveyors of early Rock ‘n’ Roll, has died of cancer at age 88 in London.

After deconstructing an American Fender amp in his London drum shop in 1962, Marshall was positive he could make a louder and cheaper amp. The resulting JTM 45 was a hit, and soon young rockers John Entwistle and Pete Townshend approached Marshall to create an amp loud enough that they could actually hear themselves over drummer Keith Moon.  

For them, Marshall created the classic two cabinet stack, which has become possibly the most iconic form of rock amplification—worthy of both praise and parody.

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Favorited by everyone from Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix to Angus Young and Slayer, Jim Marshall was known as “the Father of Loud” for single-handedly changing the sound of rock music from across the pond. His legacy? The shredding of generations of rockers. Not a bad way to be remembered. 

Chris Wade is a New York-based video and audio producer and an occasional contributor to Brow Beat.