The Jim Marshall Story Pt. 4
1987 marked the celebration of Jim's 50 years in music and 25 years in amplification, and was the catalyst for the introduction of the "Silver Jubilee" range of 50 and 100 Watt amplifiers, looking stunning in their chrome and silver vinyl and which became one of Jim's personal favourite models.
Marshall's long awaited JCM900 series were announced in 1990, universally referred to as "The amps that go to 20", and of course this particular feature was inspired by Spinal Taps' Nigel Tufnel whose previous Marshalls only went to "11"! Jim appeared alongside Nigel in the hilarious promotional video called "Twenty", basically a short sequel to the legendary film "This is Spinal Tap" and which is now highly prized by musicians and film buffs alike.
Outside of the music industry, Jim had devoted an increasing amount of time to many charities, including the Variety Club and the London Federation of Boys' Clubs.
"I'd done well from nothing, all these kids around the World were buying Marshall, so I thought it was about time that I started to put something back in for handicapped and underprivileged children."
Most recently, Marshall have marked their 30th Anniversary in 1992 with two new products, the 30th Anniversary amplifier which was designed to be the ultimate valve head and the JMP1 midi preamp which is easily the most technologically advanced amplifier yet built by the company. To top it all, they have once again won the "Queens Award for Export".
In one of life's little ironies, Marshall has now been contracted to build the reissue of the Vox AC30 which started production in early 1993. Tom Jennings, who back in the '60's had threatened to sue Marshall, must surely be rolling in his grave!
"The original AC30's had that particular sound that I could appreciate, even through we were in competition right from the word go with Vox, but the company changed hands so many times that the amplifiers no longer sounded the way they used to. So we've recreated that sound."
When Jim considers where he will take his company from here, he remains quite philosophical:
"Over the next five years we will expand; I've just bought another factory. I would say that all we will endeavour to do is to try and improve on what we have done in the past, and I don't mean purely on the money angle. You can't take it with you, you can only live in one house and drive one car at a time. It's the name that means something to me - because it is my name."
Jim Marshall died Thursday, April 4, 2012 in a London hospice at age 88. Jim's legacy lives on.
Marshall Factory Locations
(Extract from The History of Marshall by Michael Doyle)
In addition to the factory locations listed below, Marshall also owned many music retail shops around England, a lighting shop and an equipment hire company as well as various locations for the Cleartone Musical Instrument distribution company.
9/62 - 6/64
Jim Marshall & Son, 76 Uxbridge Road, Hanwell, W7
3/63 - 1/64
Jim Marshall & Son, 93 Uxbridge Road, Hanwell, W7 (Cabinets only)
1/64 - 6/64
30ft x 20ft shed in Southall, Middlesex. (Cabinets only)
6/64 - 6/66
28-30 Silverdale Road, Hayes, Middlesex
6/66 - 10/68
Lyon Road, Bletchley, Milton Keynes
10/68 - 7/84
First Avenue, Bletchley, Milton Keynes
7/84 - current day
Denbigh Road, Bletchley, Milton Keynes