Aptly named after two of music’s greatest rock/bluesmen (Jimi ‘Marshall’ Hendrix and Johnny ‘Dawson’ Winter) Marshall Dawson Okell was born on April 13th, 1979, into a Rock n Roll arena, with a guitar case for a crib. His father Glenn was a Melbourne based rock-n-roll guitarist and Marshall’s greatest lifetime influence, nourishing his son’s musical appetite with the sounds of Hendrix, Winter, Muddy Waters, Little Feat and AC/DC. Nestled amongst the roaring sounds of his father’s amplifiers, the young Marshall found his groove and a musical sensation was born.
Growing up on the NSW far North Coast, Marshall’s stomping ground embraced the pumping surfing scenes of Lennox Head, Byron Bay and Ballina, where he fostered a strong connection with his local environment and the community.
Pre-destined for a life on the stage, Marshall’s first band, ‘The Immortal Flames’, was formed at age 11, with successive groups including punk and hard-rock bands, ‘Noosphere’ and ‘Spirit’. By the time he had reached his 19th year, Marshall had already established himself as a seasoned musician, having supported hundreds of older bands and played nearly all of the live music venues in the region.