There is only a few resource about origin of the B.C.Rich Guitars. The most popular resource is Vintage Guitar Magazine Archives. However, it is including so many wrong information about not only the YEAR, S/N and Import models but also the REAL history. We have to let you know the correct information. At least, Rich Bich was not there in '76/10 (for Joe Perry). There are NO 74XXX and 75XXX S/N models. Each of them were 6 digit S/N before '76. Further more, The imported models "B.C.RICO" debut was in '80's because there are so many B.C.RICO WAVE guitars. So there are so many wrong information in this article. I'm not the B.C.Rich People, but even I can say these wrong information at least. Is that a REALLY reliable article? Why can you believe that? We have to let you know the "TRUTH".
What is the truth? So, Mr. Bernie Rico Sr. is the great man. He was in the great success as the president of B.C.Rich guitars company with some great guitars. Well, Are all of great guitars such as Rich Bich, Mockingbird designed by Bernie Rico? The answer is NO. There were so many employee and great designers in the B.C.Rich company in those days. The most famous B.C.Rich guitar Rich Bich as the top of the line was designed and produced by one of the great designer, Mr. Neal Moser.
I was so lucky that he was post some comment to my (this) website's BBS. So I could reach to Mr. Neal Moser. Bellow was his comment.
The Rich Bich Guitar was not designed by Bernie Rico. I designed the Bich when Bernie was in Japan working on the NJ deal.
The prototype #1 has a maple neck painted dark maroon and the sides are African Black Walnut.
The serial # is ( PROTO 9 - 77 ) September 1977. They were introduced at the 1978 Winter NAMM.
I was also instrumental in the Seagull redesigns into the Seagull Jr., Pointless Seagull, Seagull 2 into the Eagle.
I also named the Mockingbird, which was designed by a gentleman named Johnny GoGo, who worked at Whittier Plaza Music in Whittier California.
I also designed the electronics. I worked with
BC Rich from 1974 to 1985.
I sent e-mail to him with some questions. Here
is an reply. Here are the "TRUTH".
I am in the process of writing a book on the
early days of BC Rich between the years 1974 and 1985. I was in charge
of design and assembly set-up for 11 years. I'm the guy that did the
final set-up on 98% of all the guitars that went out of BC during
those years. It was also my job to hand assemble and maintain the
Rock Star endorsees guitars. If you see a picture of a rock star playing
a BC between 74' & 85', I put it together. Most people don't understand
that Bernie ran the business affairs 95% of the time. Mal Stich ran
the office. We had a wood shop that hand built the neck-thru bodies
and my department did the assembly and set-up.
I left BC in 1985 and joined forces with Lee Garver and we put together Neal Moser Guitars which became GMW Guitarworks. I'm the " M " in GMW. We've been building guitars now for 17 years. Check out the web site. http://www.gmwguitars.com
Here is a picture of me at the 2002 NAMM Show.
Here is a picture of Rick Derringer sitting at my bench at BC playing the Prototype #1 Bich. This was around Nov., Dec., Jan., of 77' 78'.
To answer your questions
Yes, This is the "TRUTH".
Unbelievable? O.K. Here is the evidence. This is the centerfold of
the November 1978 Guitar Player magazine. It was a BC Rich ad.
You can read the Neal's B.C.Rich Book, soon!
Here is his biography. You would know some more his correct information.
2002/Aug/28 Added 2 more Q&A( Thanks Neal for the answers!)
Q1. The Rich Bich Supreme has the Brazilian Rosewood fret board without binding. The other Supremes have Ebony fret board with binding. Why is there difference?
A1.Good Questions. Because I like Brazilian Rosewood fret boards and I hate binding. It's that simple. My reason for Rosewood: When you do work on your own guitar you want it to be easy. It is much easier to change the fret wire on Rosewood than it is Ebony. My reason for no binding: When a neck is bound it does not allow the fret wire to reach the edge of the board. That gives you less playing area and sometimes in time the frets will move a little and the fret tang will catch the strings, I don't like that. I like wide necks. I had control of how they were built.
Q2. Especially early Bich guitars, there are almost 3 pcs body construction with no stripes. What are the stripes meaning ? Is that depended on tonality reason or only looks reason?
A2. The first run was 50 guitars. They all had diamonds and no stringers. The standard model had diamonds and no stringers. The Supremes had Clouds and custom orders could have any combination. Some Biches were made with clouds, binding and stringers. Some even had binding around the headstock. All of it is cosmetic. Looks good.
Vintage B.C.Rich Maniacs!