A Seemingly Unlikely Source...
Bernie Rico, Sr
It seems unlikely that someone whose background was basically Flamenco
and Classical music would design outrageous Heavy Metal guitars. This,
however, is exactly the case with BC Rich electric guitars. Bernardo "Bernie"
Chavez Rico was an accomplished Flamenco player, who from the early to mid-1960s
constructed Flamenco guitars exclusively.
In the late 1960s Bernie began trying his hand at manufacturing electric guitars.
These early electrics(and basses) were insired by Gibson's Les Paul electric guitars
and EB-3 bass guitars. It was recorded that 10 of each were produced. Today very few
of them still exist and it isn't certain that the number of guitars said to be produced
The Birth of BC Rich electric guitars...
It's difficult to precisely pinpoint events in the history of BC Rich.
Production and official release dates usually do not coincide and many
prototype models were usually made prior to production. As is true of most artisans,
Bernie's work was driven more by passion than concern for a time clock.
Bernie founded BC Rich around 1972. At first, Bernie produced very high end
acoustic guitars. He branched out into electric guitars after being asked to
repair the broken neck of Bo Diddley's legendary Gretsch. BC Rich electric guitars
was born. Around this time, Bernie introduced his first original design, the Seagull.
In addition to being very successful, the Seagull hinted at the BC Rich designs to come.
Although not as radical as later designs, the Seagull featured a single cutaway with
small points on the body. The Seagull also featured a true neck-thru-body design which
is common to very high end electric guitars.
In the mid 1970's, BC Rich introduced the Eagle
, a design similar to the Seagull. The
Eagle is still in production as of this writing.