Crank it up! Joe Satriani, Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen and more celebrate Marshall Amps - 50 Years of Loud at Wembley Arena, September 2012

Posted: 5th March 2012
Joe Satriani

During the past half a century or so, certain brand names have been synonymous with particular instruments - Zildjian cymbals, Pearl drums, Gretsch, Rickenbacker or Les Paul guitars, Gibson basses and Korg synthesizers have, at some point, ruled their respective marketplaces at various stages and become iconic for their sound, craftsmanship and reliability. Thousands of musicians swear by their chosen brand, often endorsing the product for money (or at least the odd replacement guitar, drum or piano).

However, one important piece of the performance jigsaw is still required for turning those aforementioned instruments from humble studio relics into full-blown stadium-filling beasts in front of millions - the amplifier. And for when you absolutely have to blow the eardrums off every last muthaf***** in the front ten rows at any show, accept no substitutes - it has to be a Marshall, crafted and built in the UK since the early '60s and still going strong. Any rock and metal band worth their salt have strutted and posed in front of the infamous and notorious Marshall 'stack', heads banging and hair swishing in unison - you can't beat the feeling.

Founder Jim Marshall first sold amps in a small shop in Hanwell, Ealing in 1962 and first came up with a Marshall amp as an alternative to the expensive US Fender amps being imported at the time. Marshalls were capable of handling much of what was thrashed through them and were cheaper and louder - job done. Hendrix, Van Halen, Grohl, Blackmore - they've all rocked the heck of these things for decades.

In celebration of 50 glorious years of 'making it loud', Wembley Arena will be celebrating the British company's legacy and reputation with a special one-off show on 22nd September. Called 'Marshall Amps - 50 Years of Loud', the show will feature luminaries from the rock world performing 'to the max' with the ubiquitous Marshalls proudly behind and in front of them. Corey Taylor of Slipknot, Nicko McBrain of Iron Maiden, Doug Aldrich of Whitesnake, Black Label Society's Zakk Wylde, Paul Gilbert of Mr Big and The Cult's Billy Duffy will all form part of the live line-up, as well as two names often associated with Marshalls and guitars, Yngwie Malmsteen and a rare show from Joe Satriani.

This is a real treat for aficionados of the Marshall sound and tickets are likely to sell very quickly. Tickets go on sale from Friday morning at 9am, priced at £35. Remember - this is being billed as a one-off so, after grabbing your tickets, get yourself a nearby hotel sorted and get ready for some serious shredding in honour of the Marshall.

Paul Pledger