On 5th April 2012 Jim Marshall “The Father of Loud” passed away having developed sound systems that have become iconic in the world of Rock “n” Roll. Born and raised in Southall, he started a small music shop in Hanwell from where in mid 1962 he began developing and supplying his own brand of amps with a new “raw and dirty” sound.
That uniquely British sound grew in conjunction with the emerging music scene that centred around Ealing. The March 62 edition of Jazz News, that advertised Alexis Korner’s Rhythm and Blues nights, contained adverts for J and T Marshall Musical Instruments.
Cyril Davies, a major inspiration behind many of the first golden generation of British rock was a customer, purchasing harmonicas from the shop run by the drum teacher Jim Marshall and his son saxophonist, Terry Marshall.
Young innovative guitarists would be regular visitors. Pete Townshend and John Entwhisle of the Who were key but all guitarists related to the Ealing Club would no doubt be visitors. Always mentioned are Blackmore, Ronnie Wood, Jeff Beck, Peter Green and many more. Eric Clapton would fall for the warm overdrive of the Marshall JTM 45 amp that Marshall’s would develop into the Bluesbreaker combo. This sound would become synonymous with the 1966 album John Mayall Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton (The Beano Album)
It was Marshall employee and drummer Mitch Mitchell who would bring Jimi Hendrix to Hanwell to purchase his amps. The Marshall stack is without doubt the sound of Rock!
A vibrant LIVE MUSIC scene in Ealing/Hanwell and a Blue Plaque at the site of the first Marshall shop must be a priority to celebrate: British Rhythm and Blues. and Blues Rock.
The “The Father of Loud” by Rich Maloof tells the story of Jim Marshall, founder of Marshall Amplification.
Along with Fender and Les Paul, Marshall Amplification has become an iconic brand amongst guitarists. Jimi Hendrix visited the Marshall shop in Hanwell, to buy his first British amps.
These “tools” would contribute to the legendary sound, that he honed here, in London.
Marshall sold guitars to Pete Townshend, Ritchie Blackmore, Hendrix, Ronnie Wood and even harmonica’s to Cyril Davies. Jim Marshall taught the drums and Mitch Mitchell who worked at the premises would later join the Jimi Hendrix experience.
The introduction of the book “The Father of Loud” reads as follows:
“It’s a simple story, really. A handful of Brash British youths needed a new sound for a new kind of music. They marched into a music store in their blue-collar town and asked the gentleman behind the counter to build them an amplifier with leg-shaking power and jaw-dropping tone. So he did”
The quarterly Magazine “Around Ealing” produced by Ealing Council published an excellent review of Marshall. Thanks to editor Richard Nadal for its reproduction here: