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Slash Reacts to Death of Amp Pioneer Jim Marshall

Jim Marshall Slash Amp
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"Jim's passing marks the end of a very loud and colorful era," the former Guns N' Roses guitarist says.

Slash weighed in Friday about the death Jim Marshall, whose revolutionary Marshall amplifiers have been used by many of the biggest -- and most decibel-pushing -- acts in rock 'n' roll history.

"Not only did he create the loudest, most effective, brilliant-sounding rock 'n' roll amplifier ever designed, but he was a caring, hardworking family man who remained true to his integrity to the very end," the former Guns N' Roses guitarist said. "His work ethic was unequaled and his passion unrivaled."

Marshall died Thursday at 88.

"He took great care of me personally, as one of his loyal fans and Marshall amp enthusiasts, ever since we first met in the early '90s," Slash said. "At that time, he did the unprecedented: He had the first-ever Artist Model Marshall series designed for me when my Marshall amps were destroyed in a Guns N' Roses concert riot in St. Louis in 1991. We had been friends ever since."

A slew of legendary guitarists, ranging from Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton to Eddie Van Halen and Randy Rhoads, have sworn by their Marshall amps, which were introduced in the early 1960s and gained favor as bands sought to crank up the volume. In the 1984 mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, it was about a Marshall amp that Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest) famously boasted, "These go to 11."

"Jim's passing marks the end of a very loud and colorful era," said Slash, who will be inducted with his GnR bandmates into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 14. "From Pete Townshend to Kerry King, Marshall amplifiers have been behind every great rock 'n' roll guitarist since the beginning.

"This industry will likely never see the likes of Jim again," he added. "But his legacy will live on forever."

E-mail: erik.pedersen@thr.com