Posted: 5 April 2018
There are few people who defined the sound of a generation as much as revolutionary amp maker Jim Marshall. The legacy of this remarkable pioneer can be seen and heard every day in the music we listen to, produce and perform. RavenEye's Oli Brown joined us in Milton Keynes for our annual celebration of Jim's life, playing a special musical tribute through a JCM800 full stack. Click here for our full Instagram video.
Born on 29 July 1923 in London, Jim spent much of his childhood in hospital receiving treatment for tubercular bones. With his father’s encouragement, he took up tap dancing to strengthen his legs. His affinity for music was immediately obvious. Jim went on to successfully audition for a big band and was soon singing with a 16-piece ensemble. However, his fascination truly lay with the drums. After the band’s drummer was enlisted in WWII, Jim took up the mantel. In the years that followed, Jim became a successful drummer and teacher with students including Mitch Mitchell and Micky Waller.
On 7 July 1962, Jim achieved his dream of opening his own music store in Hanwell, London. Jim’s reputation as a drumming teacher attracted young musicians such as Pete Townshend and Ritchie Blackmore to the shop. They wanted a new breed of amplifier and that’s exactly what Jim and his team delivered. The Number 1 earned 23 orders on its first day in store and the rest, as they say, is history.
Despite his huge success as a businessman and manufacturer, Jim never forgot his humble beginnings. He made many charitable donations during his lifetime to causes close to his heart and the local community. The Royal National Orthapaedic Hospital in Stanmore, where Jim received much of his childhood treatment, was just one of the many organisations he supported. In 2003, Jim’s outstanding contributions to music and charity were officially recognised and he was awarded an OBE.