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Marshall amps advertisement

I remember the day I answered Tull's ad in Melody Maker for a guitarist — along with about 80 other hopefuls.

We all had to audition in front of Ian Anderson while Clive Bunker the drummer laid down a 12 bar beat.

When Ian had heard enough he simply told Clive to stop by tapping him on the shoulder.

The sooner he tapped, the worse he thought you were.

By the time my turn came around I was a jibbering idiot. As I walked over to the amp the room was filled with the sound of coconut shells being knocked together. It was my knees.

I can't remember what I played now because my eyes were glued to Clive's shoulder. And when the tap came it was a lot sooner than I had expected. I went home, turned on the budgie, and talked to the telly. I was a total wreck.

I knew I had to do something. So I grabbed the phone and called Ian.

The first thing he asked me was why had I left so early. And that was when I started with Tull. The very next week we were off touring in Scandinavia. And the rest is history.

But, anyway, here I am. Of course I still get the odd attack of stage fright, but now I know one thing for sure.

I sound a lot better now than I did then. I've been using Marshall a lot lately, because over the years Marshall gear has continued to improve and there are not many pieces of equipment you can say that about.

These Marshalls really belt it out — with lots of top, a nice low frequency response and not too much middle. And that's without using boosters — because with Marshall you just plug in and it sounds good.

What's more, it has a compatability of reproduction both on stage and in the recording studio.

And it sounds just the way I like it — drivey and heavy.

Of course there's another basic advantage of using Marshall and lots of volume. It drowns out the sound of my knees.

Martin Barre has played lead guitar with Jethro Tull for seven years, contributing on all the albums from Stand Up to their latest — Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll, Too Young To Die.


Note: this Marshall advert ran again in March 1977, with a different photo (below).

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Thanks to Mike Wain for this article