After enabling rock legends like Jimi Hendrix and Motley Crue to deliver their stage performances, Jim Marshall, the creator of rock’n’roll amplifiers, died at the age of 88, says Reuters. According to his son, Marshall died in an English hospice after suffering from cancer and severe strokes.
Rock musicians were all saddened to hear that one of history’s greatest inventors, Jim Marshall, died on Thursday. Marshall is responsible for creating the first rock’n’roll amplifier which enabled artists to perform on stage. The first amplifier was introduced in 1960 and it was ever since used by the Who, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, as well as Peter Frampton, AC/DC, Motley Crue, Guns N’Roses and Nirvana. The instruments that were inspired by Marshall’s design are easily recognizable because they have the name “Marshall” written in white on top of the box.
During the last years of his life, Marshall had been struggling with various health problems. He was suffering from cancer and his heart had been weakened by severe strokes when he passed away on Thursday. His son told the press that the inventor was kept under medical surveillance at an English hospice because he needed special care.
Musicians took to Twitter to express their condolences to the Marshall family. Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx wrote on his account that Jim Marshall was responsible for “the greatest audio moments in music’s history and 50% of all our hearing loss”. Slash, on the other hand, was very saddened by the news; however, he acknowledged that Marshall’s amps will live forever.
Jim Marshall was born in London in 1923 and spent great part of his childhood in hospital because of tuberculosis. Later on, he educated himself in engineering and had many music-related activities as a band singer and drummer. During World War II, Marshall worked as a tool maker for aircraft manufacturers and when the war was over he opened a drum shop in London and started giving music lessons. One of his band colleagues encouraged him to add guitars and amps to his inventory and this is how he started his collaboration with guitarist-electrician Ken Bran and engineer Dudley Craven to achieve the amplified sound that he envisioned.