1987 Slash, Marshall, and an appetite for amplification



Slash performing on stage in front of his signature Marshall amps.

Slash plays in front of his signature Marshall amplifiers.

Marshall celebrated 25 years in business in 1987 with the release of a stylish new amplifier series. One of Jim Marshall’s personal favourite models, the Silver Jubilee featured silver vinyl cladding, chrome-plated panels, and more gain and bite than any Marshall amp released prior. It would also become closely associated with one of the era’s most recognisable guitarists – Guns N’ Roses’ Slash. His adoption of the model from tours in 1987 onwards would help to cement the brand’s place in hair metal history.

A proud ambassador for the brand throughout his career, Slash’s love affair with Marshall actually began in the studio – one of our amps was instrumental to the recording of the band’s landmark 1987 debut album, ‘Appetite to Destruction’. Sources differ on whether it was a Marshall 1959, a JMP Super Lead, or a JCM800 that was used, but legend has it that Slash became so enamoured with the rented device that he attempted to buy it out from the lending business. When permission was denied, he reportedly claimed that it had been stolen in an attempt to avoid returning it.

"Marshall is the only amplifier that delivers that sound I love. There is absolutely no other amp that comes close." Slash

It’s no surprise that he felt compelled to resort to desperate measures. The album – one of the highest-selling of all time – captures some of the most influential guitar tones ever put to record. Tracks like 'Sweet Child o' Mine' and 'Welcome to the Jungle' became instant anthems for a generation of long-haired head-bangers upon release, and have remained fixed in the public consciousness ever since.

Guns N’ Roses and the 1987 Silver Jubilee Edition amplifier.

Guns N’ Roses and the 1987 Silver Jubilee Edition amplifier.

Jim Marshall came to Slash’s rescue on several occasions thereafter – as the guitarist would fondly recall in later years. "Jim took great care of me personally, as one of his loyal fans and Marshall Amp enthusiasts,” Slash told the LA Times in 2012. “He did the unprecedented – he had a brand new amp designed for me when my Marshall amps were destroyed at a Guns N' Roses concert in St. Louis in 1991. We had been friends ever since.” In 1996, Slash’s own Marshall model – the 2555SL – was designed to the exact specifications of his 1987 Silver Jubilee 2555, and produced on a limited run of 3000. It featured the signatures of both Slash and his friend, Jim. The guitarist later got a second signature model, in 2010 – with the AFD100 designed to recreate the tones of that iconic Guns N’ Roses debut album.

The outside of the Marshall factory in the late eighties

The Marshall factory


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