The Marshall amp has not only supplied the beautifully raw, growling guitar to some the best rock music ever recorded, but also the backdrop to some of the most memorable – and loudest – gigs.
I remember, as a teenager, poring over the free magazines I picked up at the guitar and drum shops where my brother bought his sticks. They always featured a guitarist leaning against a huge stack of Marshall amps with some outlandish instrument slung across his shoulders (Gibson Flying Vs were a particular favourite). I think it was through these pages that I learned about the Friday Night Rock Show, which I stayed awake to listen to pretty much every week. I did so via headphones connected to a long extension lead that wound under my pillow, down the back of my bed, and around the edge of the room to the stereo that sat on top of my chest of drawers – I was so convinced my parents wouldn’t approve of the glorious, dirty noise Tommy Vance brought to my ears, but couldn’t risk them finding out and disconnecting me. The music fuelled my dreams, which usually revolved around either fronting such a band myself (long hair, leather trousers) or relaxing after a long day’s work as a roadie, sitting on that stack of Marshall amps, drinking Jack Daniels and waiting for my rockstar boyfriend – tall, lean, bleachwash skintight jeans, poodle haircut (much like a young Jon Bon Jovi) – to arrive and steal me away on some wild adventure.
The dreams didn’t amount to anything, but the music is still very much with me.
Thankyou Jim. Rest in LOUD.