“I first bought them in ’86 and they all had that black front and I thought they looked a bit too ‘heavy metal’ for me, not particularly to my taste, and we didn’t feel as a band that they were appropriate so I had someone refinish the fronts with vintage Marshall speaker cloth to make them look more 1970s.
Also on some tours like ‘Ceremony’ and possibly ‘Sonic Temple‘ I used dummy Marshall heads that were just sat on top of the amps and lit up with a little battery to look like they were on! The real amps were Marshalls JCM800s but I had them round the back of the set up because I didn’t think they were very attractive and didn’t match the look we were going for which was 1970s rock. If you look at the video of ‘Wild Hearted Son’ from ‘Ceremony’ that’s a good example of the vintage Marshall stack look. But the cabinets were 80’s and I’d made them look vintage. I’d also taken off the massive Marshall logos and had smaller ones put on. It was a bit anal retentive but that ‘vintage’ look is what I still go for today. You will occasionally see me on stage with the black fronted Marshall stack but that will be because they’re rentals which sometimes we need to do when on tour as it’s not always economical to take the full set up out on the road.
Recently Marshall have re-issued some of these cabinets with the black fronts and whereas the contents of the cabinet are good old style speakers the front grille is the more modern Marshall look that they’ve run since the mid eighties and that’s the look I hate, the look I paid to get rid of, too heavy metal. They do also make that 1960 cabinet with the more traditional vintage basket weave so I’ve bought a couple of them as they look the same as the ones that I had made up back in the day.”
Billy Duffy – December 2012
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Marshall 1960Tv Cabinet