Jim Marshall, creator of the Marshall stack, died Thursday morning at the age of 88. Of all the men who pioneered rock music between 1964-67, including fellow innovators like Leo Fender and Les Paul, and musicians like Pete Townshend and Jimi Hendrix, it was Marshall who fathered LOUD.As fundamental as Gibson and Fender guitars were, they still needed something to plug into. Similarly, those feedback-laden soundscapes by The Who and Hendrix required Marshall amps to become fully realized. Once musicians learned to stack the stacks, stadium concerts and festivals became possible. Add lawyers, cocaine, and millions of dollars, and the rock ‘n’ roll industrial complex, for all intents and purposes, was born.
Previously on the Adios Lounge, I talked about Jay Farrar emulating the guitar playing of J Mascis. “The Wagon” is my favorite Dinosaur Jr. song in part because of its unassailable catchiness, and in part because of J’s guitar heroics. Here he is wailing in front of his signature Marshall stacks at the 1991 Reading Festival, pointing a way back to Hendrix, but also pointing a way forward for Farrar.
Dinosaur Jr – The Wagon (1991)
Thank you, Jim Marshall. May you (ironically) rest in peace.