RIP Jim Marshall: Interview with the Marshall stack cake baker

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Jim Marshall, the man behind one of the most iconic images in rock history, died on Thursday at the age of 88. His black Marshall amplifiers were corded to some of the greatest guitarists to pick up the instrument: Jimi Hendrix, the Who's Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton, and countless others.

And then there's the case of Michael Gaughan, who baked a life-sized Marshall stack cake.

The Minneapolis multimedia artist has spent the past decade or so colliding his musical loves with his artistic muse, and the results have ranged from numerous electric guitars made out of Jolly Ranchers, a portrait of his sister created from drumsticks, a four-headstock "quadchopper," and the aforementioned item that should be on the menu at every Hard Rock Cafe. View his creation in its entirety, and read an interview with Gaughan below.

What inspired you to bake the cake?

Michael Gaughan: It was in 2005. It was for a show. My sister and I have a band is called Brother and Sister -- like a rock 'n' roll band. Each show had different visuals and different activities. We thought it would be funny to pop out of a cake, especially an amp cake.

The cake must have been destroyed in the process?

Yeah.

What flavor was it?

It was sugar and food dye.

Did you own any Marshall amps?

I did own one, which I just sold last year. I like them a lot. I had no knowledge of the man -- just the iconography of that amp. You know, symbolizing loudness and toughness.

What does the Marshall amp mean to you?

Just because of my age, it's like an '80s heavy metal thing. If you're older than me, it's the Who, and less metal, more hard rock. The symbolism to the younger generation is more like Guitar Center or just an object. It's like the ultimate stage decoration. You'd judge a band by how many amps they had and how big they were. It's a stage visual even more than the practicality or the sound of it. It's tried and true.

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Plus:
Gaughan's current art project is a hip-hop/Chatroulette mashup in which he is the rapper Ice Rod and sets up the stage to look like a college dorm room. We previewed his Turf Club appearance back in February, and he'll be back there on May 4 before heading out on a cross-country tour. Check out the dates here.


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