Clapton, Mayall, and the Marshall 1962LE Bluesbreaker

Marshall 1962LE BluesbreakerOkay, so, the real story first, followed by the one we made up that 1. sounds vaguely plausible, 2. we just think works nicely as an anniversary anyway. In fact, given the history of the Marshall 1962 Bluesbreaker, we actually think that our anniversary story works a little bit better…

The Marshall 1962LE Bluesbreaker is one of a limited run of 100 amplifiers – of which only 50 were available on their own – released in 2012 to celebrate Marshall’s 50th anniversary.

With only a handful available to the UK, they were difficult to get hold of, but Marshall have found a couple more, and we’ve got one one in its box ready to be the pride and joy of your guitar rig.

Now, on with the 2015 golden anniversary!

A great line up leads to classic album

When you combine a British blues legend responsible for recognising the talents of many outstanding musicians, a great band, an iconic guitar hero and a comic from Dundee, the result is something pretty special. With the extremely limited edition Marshall 1962LE Bluesbreaker, you can put a piece of that legend in your own guitar rig.

If you’re not familiar with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, then let’s just take a quick look at some of the players who’ve been in the band: Jack Bruce, Mick Fleetwood, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, Walter Trout, John McVie, Eric Clapton…

John Mayall is responsible for so much of the history of British blues, and clearly had an ear for picking a good player or two…

Eric Clapton and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers

With the Marshall 1962LE Bluesbreaker, Marshall celebrates the 50th anniversary of the year Eric Clapton joined the Bluesbreakers.

John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers came into being in the early 1960s. After being signed, losing their contract and being signed again, Eric Clapton joined the band after leaving The Yardbirds and one of the defining line-ups of British music came into being to produce an outstanding album that still sounds great today.

If you don’t mind the subtitles, this John Mayall documentary is well worth an hour of your time…

It was around this time when Clapton’s solos with the band resulted in that now famous piece of graffiti: ‘Clapton is God’. With a reputation like this, capturing the intensity of Clapton’s solos was going to be key to the recorded output being a success, which is why the original intention was to record a live album. When the recording quality didn’t turn out to be good enough, it was off to Decca studios.

The Beano Album

With songs inspired by the likes of Dennis the Menace, Billy Whizz and The Bash Street Kids, the Beano album was a concept album into the life of being a comic character.

That, of course, is completely untrue, but it would have made an interesting story, and surely there is a concept album in there somewhere. No, of course the real reason is that the album Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton is nicknamed the Beano album is simply because Eric Clapton wanted to be uncooperative during the photoshoot so thought he’d read a comic.

If you had any doubt about some of that live intensity disappearing in the studio, then this version of Steppin’ Out ought to put your mind at ease:

A key part of that incredible sound came from Clapton’s amplifier: a Marshall combo with the wick cranked up…

The Marshall 1962LE Bluesbreaker

Apparently, and this is mentioned in the Wikipedia page so it must be true, Eric Clapton wanted a combo amplifier that he could take to gigs in his car. Jim Marshall obliged by packaging a Marshall JTM45 in a handy combo form with onboard tremolo, first as a 4×10″ and then as a 2×12″. These amplifiers -based on the lead and bass versions of the JTM45, became the 1961 and 1962 models.

However, after their use on this piece of blues history, they became known as something else: the Bluesbreaker.

If you want a run-down on the features of the 1962, watch on…

Now, to celebrate the golden anniversary of Clapton joining the Bluesbreakers, we are proud to present the Marshall 1962LE Bluesbreaker. Limited to only 15 in the UK, this amplifier is as close as you can get to Clapton’s amp from that time without spending tens of thousands on an original amp from the 60s.

With all of that 1962 tone and just the features you need to get a great blues or rock tone – without any of the ones you don’t – this truly is an incredible amplifier.

A classic album, a classic amplifier, great players. Doesn’t get much better than that really, does it? Right, off for a wee lunchtime stroll: I’ve got Ramblin’ On My Mind

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Fynn Callum

producer, guitarist, engineer & dj
From indie guitarist to deep house producer via Northern Soul dj; mix engineer, producer and gear enthusiast. Jaffa Cake aficionado.

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