100 FOR 100


Posted: 20th April 2023

Our history is built on alternative music created by artists. Without these genre defining guitarists pushing the boundaries of what can be done, welding a wall of Marshall amps behind them, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

As we celebrate Jim Marshall's 100th birthday we’re showcasing 100 artists, 10 a month for the rest of the year. Artists, who have made the music scene what it is today, breaking through defiantly into the industry that Jim helped shape.

Read time: 7 mins

Joan Jett

Born in September 1958, Joan Jett is an American rock singer, musician, composer, actor, and record producer. Jett began learning to play the guitar aged just 14 and was always determined to make a name for herself in the rock scene.

Moving to Southern California, Joan’s musical career started to develop when she founded her first serious band, the Runaways. Foreshadowing her entire career, the Runaways weren’t your typical Rock band for the time. Composed of Joan on guitar and vocals, Sandy West on drums, Cherie Currie on lead vocals, Jackie Fox on bass guitar and Lita Ford on guitar, the public didn't seem to know what to do with five girls who sang about sex, rebelling and partying. Despite the critics, in the US the Runaways continued to produce more music and soon released their second album ‘Queens of Noise’. An album that was very well received in Japan and ended up scoring the band three gold records. A few years later in 1979, the Runaways decided to call it quits and Joan Jett chose to follow her musical dreams as a solo artist. The following year alongside producer Kenny Laguna, Joan founded her own record label, Blackheart Records. This accomplishment would make Joan the first female artist to own and have direct control over an independent record company.


Image credit: Joan Jett - 1994 - 01, Jmabel, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Lauran Hibberd

Isle of Wight born singer songwriter, Lauran Hibberd first picked up a guitar aged 14 and soon discovered her passion for music. 

Lauran’s early releases, including her ‘Favourite Shade Of Blue’ EP, featured some folk elements, but by the end of 2017 she began releasing a series of singles that displayed a punchy indie-rock influence.  

After her breakthrough track, ‘Call Shotgun’ was first played on BBC Radio 1 Lauran went on to sell out headline shows, as well as appearing on the BBC introducing stage at Glastonbury, and getting the chance to perform at the Isle of Wight festival. Lauran has also supported a host of artists including Clean Cut Kid, Hippo Campus, Girli, Anna Burch and The Hoosiers on the European legs of their tours.

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash was an American country singer-songwriter. He was known for his instantly recognisable deep, calm bass-baritone voice and the distinctive sound of his Tennessee Three backing band which was defined by their train-like chugging guitar rhythms.

It wasn’t only Johnny’s backing band who played the guitar and was something that Johnny was also well known for. He was an accomplished guitarist, and he knew how to use his instrument to compliment his songs. In the early 1970s, Martin Guitar was commissioned to design an all-black lacquered D-35, a guitar that Johnny Cash would go on to play on stage for the next 20 years.


Image credit: Johnny Cash: Christmas In Scotland 1980, Sounds Film Festival via

Luke Combs

Three time Grammy Award nominee, Luke Combs is an American country music singer and songwriter. Luke was born and raised in North Carolina, where as a child he began to play and perform, most notably at Carnegie Hall. After studying for five years at Appalachian State University Luke decided that music was his true passion and dropped out to pursue a career in music. In 2014, Luke released his first EP ‘The Way She Rides’ followed by ‘Can I Get an Outlaw’ which was released later that same year.

In more recent years Luke Combs has updated the traditional country-rock guitar style and the genre by mixing tradition with hints of modern R&B. The fusion of these genres has made Luke stand out from anyone else in the genre and has allowed him to set records for Spotify streams in country music and top multiple charts including the country charts and billboard top 200. 

Maybelle Carter

"Mother" Maybelle Carter was born May 10, 1909 and was an American country musician, she was a member of the original Carter Family act from the late 1920s until the early 1940s and then a member of the Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle group after this.

Maybelle helped create the group's unique sound with her innovative style of guitar playing, her playing style involved her using her thumb to play the melody on the bass strings and her index finger to fill out the rhythm. She was one of the first people to use this technique that would later be named after her and known as the Carter scratch. The use of this particular technique would go on to help her to turn the guitar into one of the lead instruments in music going forward. 


Image credit: Carter Family : A.P, Sara and Maybelle jean-christophe salad

Gaetan Judd

Graduating from BIMM London in 2018, Gaetan Judd has already had an amazing start to his career and has worked and performed with artists including Burna Boy, Samm Henshaw and Ray BLK. His unique take on soul-driven rhythm has led to Gaetan becoming a well-respected and incredibly talented player capable of enhancing any track. This has led to performances around the world, and festivals such as Glastonbury, Rock Werchter, Reading & Leeds and many more.  

Gaetan is a talented session guitarist, songwriter and producer who originally started playing in church at a young age. It's impression can still be heard in his music today. 

Billy Corgan

Billy Corgan is best known as being the lead singer, primary songwriter, guitarist, and only permanent member of the rock band The Smashing Pumpkins. Billy formed The Smashing Pumpkins in Chicago in 1988 along with guitarist James Iha, followed by bassist D'arcy Wretzky and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin. The 1990s saw strong album sales and large-scale tours for the band which propelled them into increasing fame growing throughout the 1990s before their break-up in 2000. Following the bands split Billy Corgan decided that he would start a new band called Zwan who later also decided to split which was followed by the release of his own solo album.


Image credit: Billy c, CC BY 2.0, , via Flickr

Jackie Venson

Jackie Venson was born in Austin, Texas in 1990. She was heavily influenced by her father, who was also a professional musician and made her own way into the guitar world in 2014 with her debut album called ‘The Light Of Me’. Since this release in 2014, Jackie has gone on to release a total of four studio albums keeping the sounds of arena blues rock alive into the 2020’s. 

In recent years, Jackie has released multiple live albums and even experimented with her psychedelic rock side project ‘Jackie the Robot’ which she continues to work on and something that we can expect to see more of soon.

Lemmy Kilmister

Motörhead is more than just a band, it's an institution.. a lifestyle. The band was formed by the one-and-only Lemmy Kilmister in June 1975. Motörhead went on to spend the next four decades carving their, deservedly, sizeable chapter in heavy metal's history books. Following Lemmy’s passing in 2015, and with nearly 30 albums under their bullet belts, the band announced that they had disbanded. 

Armed with a lethal backline of Marshall amps, Motörhead's live shows were pure mayhemic majesty that was any true metal fan’s dream. Foo Fighters frontman, Dave Grohl  probably put it best when he said “ F**k Elvis and Keith Richards, Lemmy's the king of rock 'n' roll no one else comes close.”


Image Credit: Motörhead at Wacken Open Air 2013 , CC BY-SA 3.0, Jonas Rogowski,  via Wikimedia Commons

Adam Hann

Adam Hann is the lead guitarist in the indie rock band The 1975. Adam has been with The 1975 since they first formed in 2002, it’s been the first and only band that he’s been a part of. He grew up and attended the same school with bandmates Matty Healy, Ross MacDonald and George Daniel where they have music together since the early 2000s. Before they started performing 80s inspired music as The 1975, they performed covers under a plethora of different names.

Since their debut EP, Facedown in August 2012 the band have gone on to Headline Reading and Leeds Festival as well as selling-out hundreds of arenas around the world.