Business, Economics and Jobs

Jim Marshall, 'Lord of Loud' guitar amp pioneer, died at 88


A customer tries out a guitar and amplifier in a shop in London, England. Jim Marshall, the creator of the legendary Marshall guitar amp, died Thursday at age 88.


Dan Kitwood

Jim Marshall, a guitar amp pioneer dubbed "the Lord of Loud" for his role in creating rock 'n roll sound, has died at age 88 in London, BBC News reported

Marshall founded his company Marshall Amplification in 1962, and was known for his groundbreaking amplifier designs. He stands alongside guitar makers Leo Fender and Les Paul as one of the music equipment pioneers who shaped the sound of the modern electric guitar, according to BBC. 

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"We salute a legendary man who led a full and truly remarkable life," said a statement on the company's website. "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." 

Marshall, who began his career as a drummer and drum teacher, used his savings to open a music store in west London in 1960, the Guardian reported. He soon found that there was a gap in the market for a more affordable version of American guitar amps, and created his own.  

He counted rock n' roll legends Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Pete Townshend of The Who, Eric Clapton, and Jimmy Page as clients, and is often credited with developing the “amp stack” that allowed rock bands to create their powerful, distinct sound, the New York Daily News reported

"For me it's the exactly right amp for the job," said musician Paul Weller, the former frontman for Jam and Style Council. "I don't know if anyone's particularly improved on it, to be honest."

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Marshall died died in a hospice Thursday morning, his family told the Daily News. He had suffered from cancer and endured a series of strokes. 

“My wife and I were with him when he passed away,” his son Terry Marshall told the Daily News. “He got cancer toward the end of last year, and had surgery for that, and it came back. He was in a terrible state the last five or six weeks. He’s in a much better place now.”

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

[View the story "Jim Marshall remembered by Rock 'n Roll legends, fans" on Storify]