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  JIM MARSHALL, INVENTOR OF HEAVY METAL, PASSES AWAY AGED 88
5th April 2012

jim marshall



Jim Marshall, the legendary founder of Marshall Amps has passed away aged 88.

The man who Bruce Dickinson once described as the "person who invented Heavy Metal" was an innovator and a pioneer and a massive influence on Metal and rock over the past fifty years.

A statement on the Marshall Amps website reads as follows:

"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.

"Jim's ascent into the history books as 'the Father of Loud' and the man responsible for 'the Sound of Rock' is a true rags-to-riches tale. Cruelly robbed of his youth by tubercular bones, Jim rose to become one of the four forefathers responsible for creating the tools that allowed rock guitar as we know and love it today to be born. The ground breaking quartet also includes the late, great trio of Leo Fender, Les Paul and Seth Lover – together with Jim, they truly are the cornerstones of all things rock.

"In addition to the creation of the amps chosen by countless guitar heroes and game changing bands, Jim was also an incredibly humble and generous man who, over the past several decades, has quietly donated many millions of pounds to worthy causes.

"While the entire Marshall Amplification family mourns Jim's passing and will miss him tremendously, we all feel richer for having known him and are happy in the knowledge that he is now in a much better place which has just got a whole lot louder!

"Rest in Peace & thank you Jim.

"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.

"An online condolences site will be available shortly which we welcome you to leave your messages on. An announcement will be made when this will be accessible."

Jim Marshall was born in Acton, West London, in 1923, into a family which included boxers and music hall artists. He started out as a drum kit retailer but began building amplifiers in the early 1960s. During World War II he was exempt from military service due to his poor health.

He became a singer, and then, due to the shortage of available civilian musicians, doubled as a drummer. In his day job as electrical engineer he built a portable amplification system so his light, crooning vocals could be heard over his drums.

"I was making 10 shillings (£0.50) a night and because it was wartime, we didn't have any petrol for cars, so I would ride my bicycle with a trailer behind it to carry my drum kit and the PA cabinets which I had made! I then left the orchestra to be with a seven piece band and in 1942 the drummer leader was called into the forces and I took over on drums."

In order to become more proficient on the drums and to better emulate his idol, Gene Krupa, from 1946-48 Marshall took weekly lessons from Max Abrams. In 1949 Jim started teaching other drummers, including Mitch Mitchell (The Jimi Hendrix Experience), Micky Burt (Chas and Dave), Mickey Waller (Little Richard) and Micky Underwood (Ritchie Blackmore).

"I used to teach about 65 pupils a week and what with playing as well, I was earning in the early 1950s somewhere in the region of £5,000 a year (eqv. 2012 to £108,000), which was how I first saved money to go into business."

From 1960, Marshall owned a moderately successful music store in Hanwell selling drums and then branching out into guitars. His many guitar playing customers (including Ritchie Blackmore, Jim Sullivan and Pete Townshend) spoke of the need for a particular kind of amplifier and Marshall saw the opportunity.

He set out to create a new valve guitar amplifier and used the Fender Bassman amp as a model. He hit upon 'the Marshall sound' with the sixth prototype. In 1965, the first combos and 100-watt models were created.

By the late 60s, rock artists such as Jimi Hendrix could be seen playing against a backdrop of Marshall 'stacks'. The mid-'70s saw the launch of the Master Volume Marshall amps and in 1982, the company introduced its now-classic JCM800 split channel amps.

Jim was honoured with The Queen's Award For Export in 1984.

An official Jim Marshall Memorial Facebook page has been set up and you can visit it by clicking here.


WACKEN WINTER NIGHTS IS HEAVY METAL WONDERLAND

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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.

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Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.



Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.

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MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.

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Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.

WACKEN 2018 TRAVEL PACKAGE ENQUIRY

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