Turn it up to 11 for The Guv'nor
The annual Father of Loud day returns next week, celebrating the man who gave rock '˜n' roll volume.
On Tuesday Marshall Amplification will mark the fourth anniversary of the passing of company founder, the pioneering Jim Marshall.
And how better to do it than let the amps do the talking?
Marshall’s guitar-man Chris George will be plugging in and sounding out for a ‘minute of loud’ at the Marshall pillar at MK Rose, at 11am.
In anticipation of the FoL day, the global brand has been inviting fans to share their memories of meeting the man they called the Guv’nor.
Jim never stopped pressing the flesh of those who supported his business – from bedroom musicians to global superstars, he was gracious to one and all.
Jim was a regular at trade fairs where fans would queue en masse to meet him, and even in his later years he was never far from a stage, looking on as his amps provided the backline for stadium fillers.
Just like the brand he created, Jim was something of a superstar for music fans, and Marshall Amplification has been working to compile a video tribute that will go live on their website on Tuesday, featuring memories of some of those meetings.
I was lucky enough to meet Jim fairly regularly over the years, but still remember vividly being shown to his office for my first interview with him.
“Would you like a drink?’ he offered, “Coffee? How do you take it?”
“White, no sugar,” I answered.
Jim presented me with a black coffee. With sugar.
I was too polite to amend the order!
That day, in between mouthfuls of sweetened caffeine, Jim regaled me with stories of a sometimes difficult childhood, and the time he spent singing and tap-dancing.
He shared memories of meeting the musicians he helped on their way to success, including one who shared a name with him.
You’ll know him as Jimi Hendrix.
Jim was an astute businessman at the top of his game, but he was also a generous man, and one who used his success to make a difference locally.
In 2003, he donated a staggering one million pounds to Milton Keynes charities.
I have been known to enjoy the occasional drop of whisky, but some bottles are too special to open, like the one Jim gave me at an event in Stony Stratford.
Jim waved in my direction, and whispered into the ear of a colleague who was dispatched to the boot of Jim’s car, and returned clutching a bottle of 2007 Single Highland Malt Whisky.
The label sported a Marshall Amp, which he signed for me.
It’s the only bottle of whisky guaranteed to remain unopened in my house!
“Jim’s legacy continues to sound loud in every amplifier that bears his name, and in the memories we all have of him,” said Jon Ellery, Marshall Amplification managing director.
“His contribution to the industry was immeasurable, and we are proud to recognise his achievements every day. But the Father of Loud day lets us take things up a notch, which is what Jim would have wanted.”
> Before Tuesday’s event gets underway, a nod to The Guv’nor will also be given at the fourth annual Hanwell Hootie Music Festival, on Saturday.
Jim, sowed the seeds of his business in Hanwell, in 1962. While running his shop there, early customers included Pete Townsend, Ronnie Wood and Jimmy Page.
When it began in 2013, just over a dozen bands played across three venues that made up the Hanwell Hootie, but the figures have increased at great pace – last year 65 bands held court at 12 venues.
This weekend more than 80 bands will command across 13 venues and it is now confirmed as the largest free one day music festival in London.
Fancy escaping the Keynes in favour of the Hootie?
It kicks off at 4pm on Saturday and you’ll find all you need by tapping to http://www.hanwellhootie.co.uk/