1966: Jimi Hendrix Takes Marshall International



Jimi Hendrix plays a guitar with his teeth onstage, wearing a floral shirt and striped pants, standing next to an amplifier.

Jimi Hendrix in Helsinki in 1967 playing guitar with his teeth.

It was an unlikely coincidence that they shared the same name – and a moment of serendipity that ensured that Jim Marshall and Jimi Marshall Hendrix crossed paths in the mid-‘60s.

Early on in his career, the soon-to-be-world-famous guitarist was exposed to the Marshall sound before performing at London jazz club Ronnie Scott’s. A prior act on the night had used Marshall on stage, prompting Hendrix to remark:

"I'd like to get some of this amplification, it sounds a lot better than what I'm using." - Jimi Hendrix

So impressed was Jimi Marshall Hendrix that he demanded to speak directly with the man “who has the same name as me,” and it wasn’t hard to set up a meeting – Hendrix’s drummer had been a student of Jim Marshall’s just a few years prior. But when Mitch Mitchell brought the guitarist along to meet the man himself, Jim had his suspicions. Here’s another musician who “wants something for nothing,” he thought. Luckily, his first impressions were proven wrong.

A young Jimi Hendrix playing guitar on stage with a Marshall stack behindd

Jimi Hendrix performs with his Marshall amplifiers at the Marquee in Soho, London, in 1967.

"I really like my old Marshall tube amps, there's nothing that can beat them. Nothing in the world." - Jimi Hendrix, 1967

Despite claiming that they looked like “a bunch of refrigerators strung together”, Hendrix ordered four double-sets of Marshall amps and paid full retail price for them. This was on the condition that Jim would provide service and support anywhere in the world, and would replace anything that broke. Jim never had to make good on the latter promise – his merchandise was faultless. But the agreement marked the foundation of a historic partnership. These amps would be the first of up to 100 that Hendrix purchased from Marshall between 1966 and 1970. They were shipped across the world as his star began to rise, becoming as integral to his sound and look as his left-handed Fender Stratocaster. From this point on, Marshall was truly international. “We became great friends,” Jim later said, describing Hendrix as the brand’s “greatest ambassador.”


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A group of men working in a factory.

1967: Demand Exceeds Supply for Marshall