The Story of Marshall Amps on BBC 4

The story of the Marshall Amp

The Marshall Amp the sound that built rock!

If you’re looking for real turn it up to 11 TV then tune into BBC4 this Friday at 10 pm for the story of Marshall Amps.

We all know the story of Marshall Amps, or so we think.  Founded in the UK in 1962 by Jim Marshall the name of Marshall amplification has become synonymous with guitar driven rock music.  But this new documentary, Play it Loud: The Story of the Marshall Amp, to be shown on BBC 4, will reveal the history of possibly the greatest name in amp history.  Told from the viewpoint of those whose careers were founded on the sound that the Marshall generated the program promises to provide a unique insight into the amp that changed the sound of rock.

The story of Marshall Amps, showing as part of the BBCs guitar season, features contributions from rock legends Pete Townsend, Lemmy and Slash as well as from those who created the Marshall look and sound.

Spurred on by guitarists who didn’t want hi-fi they wanted distortion Jim Marshall and partner Ken Bran took the Fender Bassman as their template and went onto create the loudest amp in the world.  As Pete Townsend enthuses in the documentary “guitarists wanted to be as loud as the drums” and with Marshalls behind him he could go even louder, ear bleeding loud!  According to Pete Townsend, Marshall warned him “they’re not meant to be stacked”.  Well for Townsend and The Who that was like waving a red rag to a bull and stacked they were giving the band the sonic and visual impact that they were looking for.

The story of Marshall Amps promises to be a fantastic program and well worth watching, setting the recorder for or catching up on the BBC iplayer.

Play it Loud:  The Story of the Marshall Amp can be seen on BBC4 at 10 pm on Friday 28th November.


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