Twenty Tens

2012: A Blow-out at Wembley Marks 50 Years of Marshall



Silhouette of a person watching the live show at Wembley

Performers at Marshall’s 50th-anniversary concert at Wembley Arena in London included Yngwie Malmsteen and Slipknot’s Corey Taylor.

Jim Marshall was 88 years old when the brand hit its golden anniversary. His ambitions remained as great as ever – but Marshall also took the opportunity to craft something a little bit smaller than usual for the occasion. Fifty years of Marshall was marked by a series of miniature, one-watt amps – each replicating one of five famous models that Jim had put his name to since completing the very first in 1962.

With the brand now producing up to 200 amplifiers a day, a more grandiose celebration was in order, as well. With the help of members of mighty rock acts like Iron Maiden, Slipknot, Slayer and The Cult, plus legendary axe-swingers like Yngwie Malmsteen and Joe Satriani, Marshall took over London’s Wembley Arena for a musical blow-out in September 2012 to commemorate an incredible milestone.

"This is truly a celebration of a British icon." / Nicko McBrain

A 2012 image of Jim Marshall and the team.

Jim Marshall and team.

“This is truly a celebration of a British icon” said Iron Maiden drummer and master of ceremonies Nicko McBrain ahead of the event. “Jim Marshall and the team have shaped the sound of rock music for eternity... so we're bringing together beyond-legendary artists for a moment in history. Expect pure rock 'n' roll madness amplified to the max by Marshall!"

The celebration was a great success. A three-hour collage of historic metal, blues, and classic rock tracks – from Motorhead’s ‘Ace of Spades’ to BB King’s ‘Rock Me Baby’ – were thundered out live from walls of Marshall stacks to an audience of thousands. The promise of “high volumes” affixed on warnings strewn about the venue was undeniably fulfilled.

An image of Yngwie Malmsteen performing at the Marshall 50th anniversary concert
A portrait of Jim Marshall on a drum kit.
An image of the Marshall 50th anniversary concert stage.
An image of a wall of Marshall amps on stage for the 50th anniversary concert.

50th Anniversary concert, 2012.

Sadly, the event would also end up being a tribute to the man who started it all. Jim Marshall passed away in April the same year – on the same day that brand admirer Kurt Cobain had died, 18 years earlier. A workaholic through and through, Jim was still working 10-hour shifts well into his ‘80s. It wasn’t until his health took a knock that he’d truly allowed himself a step back from the business.

A decade from our founder’s passing, Jim’s memory lives on in our work – not least via his commitment to quality, his attention to detail, and his iconic handwritten brand that still adorns so many Marshall amps today

A collage of images of Jim Marshall.

Jim Marshall.


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An image of a Marshall speaker being unveiled from under a gold cloth