Throughout the 1960's, Bernardo Chavez Rico built flamenco guitars in Bernardo's Guitar Shop in Los Angeles, California. B.C. Rich considers its birth to be in 1969, when Rico first attempted to build electric guitars. He built ten basses inspired by the Gibson EB-3 and ten guitars inspired by the Gibson Les Paul. Rico's first original guitar design came in 1972, with the Seagull. 1976 saw the original Mockingbird and Eagle designs, and the Bich came in 1978.
As the popularity of Rico's guitars grew, he decided to begin manufacturing a line of less expensive guitars in Japan. This line was originally called B.C. Rico. This name was given to make a distinction between the US-made and imported guitars, but was dropped due to a lawsuit filed by the Rico Reed Company. Only about a hundred of these are believed to have made it into the US. These Japanese (and later Korean) made guitars were subsequently known as the NJ series, which originally stood for Nagoya, Japan, the place where they were manufactured. NJ still serves to distinguish an imported line of B.C. Rich guitars and basses, along with the more affordable Platinum and Bronze series.
There was also a very inexpensive Rave series in the 1980's, as well as a higher-quality L.A. Series. The B.C. Rico and early NJ guitars and basses were of neck-through body construction, and were very well made instruments. The present imported guitars are mostly basic bolt-on neck construction (except for the current NJ Classic and N.T. series). B.C. Rich also created an innovation known as I.T. (Invisibolt Technology) which bolts the neck extremely deep into the body rather than the typical neck joint.
By the mid-1990s, B.C. Rich's guitars were widely used in heavy metalâ€”partly because the instruments' unusual designs were deemed more appropriate for the threatening image many metal performers wanted to project. The popularity of B.C. Rich instruments among metal musicians continues to the present.
Since 2003, for the imported models, B.C. Rich used their own brand of pickups, known as B.D.S.M. (Broad Dynamic Sonically Matched). These pickups were an improvement from the generic pickups factories provided. However starting in 2006, B.C. Rich primarily uses Rockfield brand pickups. Due to the broad selection of features B.C. Rich is selecting pickups that match the guitar's design and player's requirements. Unconventional body styles and designs that take different shapes than early electric guitars, who were inspired by the design of acoustic guitars.
Body Art Collection
Eagle Supreme Condor
Kerry King Wartribe 1 Warlock
Mockingbird Custom Shop
Mockingbird Ice Acrylic
Stealth I Series
Warlock Ice Acrylic
Bass GuitarsBich Bass
Bich Supreme 8-String Bass
Mockingbird Heritage Classic Bass
NJ Series Bass
Platinum Series Bass
Seagull / Seagull II Bass