Rambling about Marshall Stacks again

 

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I discarded 90% of my worldly goods when I moved to Berlin  but the Marshall Stack came with me.  Death Valley Surfers  had a New Year’s Eve show there at the end of 2000, and it came along in the van  (along with the other 10% of my worldly goods.)  I’d never envisioned the Stack not being a  part of my life,  but my life changed.  Gig requirements in my new home shifted from “band van” to “small car” or even “take the bus” shows.  My last-century  sound equipment was becoming more decorative than functional. It graced the minimally furnished front room of my first  Berlin flat, but it didn’t get around much.

Marshall Stack and Ms Ruby Freeman

Marshall Stack and Ms Ruby Freeman, Berlin 2003

Eventually  a move to a third floor apartment with no lift overtook all other considerations. Goodbye, Stack.

I was doing mainly salon and bar shows where a  compact and minimal setup was the way to go. After one or two experiments with a Beringer and a custom made Michael Bender (cult Berlin amp inventor),  I went for  a double act of sturdy new generation VOX-es.  They had precious little of the magic  I remember from the AC 30 I played in the seventies (though the little pink one scores  10 for cuteness)

Big Vox and Little Vox

I didn’t give Marshalls much more thought to be honest, until I made a trip to Liverpool with my partner in 2005. We chanced to see a poster in a  guitar shop, advertising none other than Jim Marshall,  signing copies of his new CD that day . The total lack of fanfare was unbelievable. I’ve seen better publicity for a church jumble sale.  Naturally we went in and he signed two posters for us. As can happen with meeting famous people, I could think of buggerall to say.  This was compounded by my guilt  for having ditched his creation the year before . But somehow I did manage  a couple of pleasantries, and will never forget the impression he made – courteous, unassuming and a total gentleman  – I’ll also never forget  my astonishment on hearing his CD  which was a million miles from the rock monster sound he’d created, more like granddad singing in the bath. Bless him.

Gentleman Jim Marshall, Liverpool 2005

Gentleman Jim Marshall, Liverpool 2005

Finally,  a photo  of the Stack on active service – at a  Joyryde recording at  Alaska studios, London in 1993.  I think the corrugated iron was there to make it even louder.  Scientific explanations  welcome.

Marshall Stack at Alaska Studios 1993

 

 

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Kathy X – All The Way

All the Way celebrates my band Kathy X playing some damn fine songs for over a decade! Loosely categorised as psychobilly but basically anything we felt like playing

2002 – I’d been living in Berlin for a year or so. I had a demo and was trying to get gigs in the clubs there for my non-existent band. At the same time I was trying to lure musicians into my non-existent band with promises of non-existent gigs. This philosophical dilemma was eased somewhat when a mutual friend introduced me to Mr Rob Raw (above) at a record hop in the Franken Bar and solved when I encountered Mr Dave Crome – then pursuing two lively young women and pausing briefly to take the drumstool at a jam session – in the now-extinct “Floez”

shortly afterwards were rocking out at the Berlin 2002 Tattoo Convention….Mr Crome obeyed the siren call of his native Philadelphia, returning there in 2006, but we soldiered on and now his successor Dr Duck occupies the hallowed Kathy X drumstool and plays on the first six tracks of this album. Physical and ethereal versions of All the Way HERE

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