The Strangest few days of my life

I write blog posts all the time, most never get published, but on Friday the 13th of April I wrote a post about it being a Friday the 13th, but more over it was riddled with large amounts of humour because among all things – it was my sisters 50th Birthday.

I still have the original post, but with a few highly distracting issues I failed to post it… As it turned out, she had her own issues and was looking after my mother during that weekend as she had to be taken to hospital for shortness of breath.

Unfortunately I wasn’t aware or made aware of this; only 3 ½ weeks ago I saw my mother and she was frankly looking great. She was back to her rhetoric which was great, seriously, she looked marvellous. She was bringing me up to speed on all the news, and telling me of other developments with her. I in turn told her of the events of this last year and why I had been unable to attend or keep up contact, generally answering questions only a mum can ask. While costs of my own travels were graciously covered by others, for much of the past 12 months I have been (like many) anchored to my dwelling and any real time news of this would have added serious stress to her. I said things were starting to improve and I’d be back more often. We also spoke of new friends and old and meeting them etc. She spoke of just how hard my sister had worked holding down a job and seeing she was sorted out and how my Aunt had done so much.

After a bizarre interjection from my sister demanding phone numbers she should have, I left planning to return on the 2nd of May and again after the 22nd. But this time was so different, she said “I do love you Sam”. I said “I know. You know I love you too right”.

So it was with an astounding shock that on this Thursday last I received an email from my brother that my Mother had died the previous Monday…

I am told that she went quickly and peacefully, a tear fell upon her cheek and she took a blessing.

So…. to a mum who when she switched on – was as razor sharp as they get, a person who knew human nature, who was there whenever I needed to pick up the phone, to simply chat, injured or even helpless. To a consistent (sometimes annoying) stubbornness, who in her later life loved nothing more than creating, helping (often in opposites) those whom needed it. Who with a weighted past longed for a greater peace and the touch of comforting love and to know… to know her kids were alright.

My mum, a mum of three…


A true Yorkshire Rose

Published in: on 21 April, 2012 at 21:41  Comments (4)  
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The Father of Loud

It’s with such complete sadness that I learned today that Jim Marshall has died.
I have been lucky enough to visit Marshall Amps at Bletchley and see this thriving family business at work, amazing products that have changed lives and few ears on the planet have not heard – all backed up with a passion and dedication to making the best they can.

Just walking down the lines of photos of every band you’ve heard of and all those you’ve forgotten is a staggering reminder of just what Jim Marshall and his family achieved.

I don’t have the words, what do you say about someone who had as much influence on modern music as Les Paul did – yet still a drummer at heart. So I repeat here what the Marshall website has posted…

It is with profound sorrow that we announce the passing of our beloved founder and leader for the past 50 years, Jim Marshall. While mourning the Guv’nor though, we also salute a legendary man who led a full and truly remarkable life.
Jim’s ascent into the history books as ‘the Father of Loud’ and the man responsible for ‘the Sound of Rock’ is a true rags-to-riches tale. Cruelly robbed of his youth by tubercular bones, Jim rose to become one of the four forefathers responsible for creating the tools that allowed rock guitar as we know and love it today to be born. The ground breaking quartet also includes the late, great trio of Leo Fender, Les Paul and Seth Lover – together with Jim, they truly are the cornerstones of all things rock.
In addition to the creation of the amps chosen by countless guitar heroes and game changing bands, Jim was also an incredibly humble and generous man who, over the past several decades, has quietly donated many millions of pounds to worthy causes.
While the entire Marshall Amplification family mourns Jim’s passing and will miss him tremendously, we all feel richer for having known him and are happy in the knowledge that he is now in a much better place which has just got a whole lot louder!

Rest in Peace & thank you Jim.

Your memory; the music and joy your amps have brought to countless millions for the past five decades; and that world-famous, omnipresent script logo that proudly bears your name will always live on.

Marshall Factory Tour 

with the Son of Loud

Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap 


Nigel Tufnel 

The Marshal Stack Guitar

Nigel Tufnel  with Marshall Amps


I guess I should add something…
Right at the beginning of writing this blog back in February 2008, the first post I wrote was “Why I will never own a Marshall”.
It is in this, that from the outset it was fairly obvious I love Marshall Amps.
From the hours if not days spent in the guitar shops of Denmark Street, to coveting expensive things I’d never own because my playing standard simply isn’t high enough – none of it meant anything without the knowledge that the sound of the instrument would one day ring its tone through the speakers of a Marshall amp.

Over the years, there has been many pretenders to the throne, some quite good, others really quite bad – but nothing ever has really challenged a Marshall. I even owned a Roland JC120 once and that never cut it.
Back in the 60’s Jim Marshall never set out to be a big maker of amplifiers, he was asked to make them, and his name grew because of demand and the end product both created a legendary sound and he backed everything up with personal service and guarantee – you know, the way things used to be done!

Today Marshall gives no less than a three-year warranty on their gear and their support is outstanding, even their merchandise is high quality and low-priced unlike everyone elses.
Yes, they are a commercial entity, their equipment isn’t cheap – but then it is still put together for the most part by hand and the inside signed by the guy that built it.

I’m a very proud owner of a Marshall Amp, music isn’t music unless it comes out of a thing called Marshall at some point in its life and that my friends is simply that…

Jim Marshall almost by sheer coincidence changed music forever, and while many great people have had statues created in their image as a mark of respect – Jim’s own products will be his testament in history. Wherever there is a gig, a guitar, bass or keyboard player…. The name Marshall will not be far away.

Published in: on 5 April, 2012 at 17:58  Comments (1)  
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April 1st :-) (extended)

As April Fools go, I’m not always that good unless I plan something a long time ahead. It’s also the reason it’s probably a good thing I’m not a pilot :-/

So imagine the smile I had when I received an email from 5.11 Tactical on a Sunday of all days… 5.11, if you don’t know, they make tactical but normal looking everyday clothing for the most part – great if you’re a contractor of any type, even better if you’re in law enforcement etc needing to dress more “covertly”. They make those jackets you may see of NCIS with the fold out name flap on the rear. The Irony is there is one guy I know who’d buy this in a heartbeat!

So without further ado, click on the image below and enjoy the video at the bottom of the page 🙂

But Wait there is more!!

Google Tap (is that LL Cool J?)

And this from YouTube… The Entire YouTube DVD Collection 😀

Published in: on 1 April, 2012 at 12:24  Comments (3)  
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