RIP Dr Jim Marshall OBE (1923—2012)

(Image credit: Frank Maechler/dpa/Corbis)

The man, the myth, the legend: Dr Jim Marshall OBE, founder of the Marshall Amps brand has died, aged 88.

You can read the full Jim Marshall news story over on the main MusicRadar page, but here TG's editor, Stuart Williams, pays his own respects.

Jim Marshall gave us much more than just an amplifier brand.

From the early days in his shop in Hanwell, London, to realising the globally iconic brand that Marshall has become today, he delivered the sound of rock guitar.

Jim's designs didn't just change the way guitarists think about being heard: they invented it. Classic models and ranges like the Bluesbreaker, Super Lead 100, JCM800, TSL and JVM have shaped the tonal landscape of guitars for 50 years, starting with the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend and Jimmy Page and continuing throughout the decades with Angus Young, Randy Rhoads, Slash, Zakk Wylde and every generation of guitar hero since. The list really is endless.

Jim brought us the concept of the 'stack' amp, as well as the 'British sound' with his EL34 valve-powered designs, a tone and imagery that has become the aspiration of every guitarist, and one that every amp manufacturer attempts to recreate.

As I said above, Marshall is so much more than a tool for making our guitars louder, it's a name that has planted itself into the deepest reaches of popular culture, become synonymous with rock 'n' roll, and represents a lifestyle choice for anyone that's ever cranked their amp up and rung out a powerchord. All of this, and more than could ever be compiled into the space available here, we owe Dr Jim Marshall.

On behalf of myself, Total Guitar and our readers, I'd like to extend our sympathies to his family and everyone at Marshall Amplification.

To the Guv'nor, the Godfather of Loud, the man that made it possible to go to 11, we salute you. Thanks, Jim!

Matthew Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar,, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.