“The first time we went to Frankfurt [Musikmesse musical instrument trade show], we had really nice guitars and people came up to us and said, ‘Hey, that’s a copy of the Aria guitar.’ We were, like, ‘You’re kidding, right?’” The company’s first Japanese guitars were labeled B.C. Rico and did not fea- ture the NJ series designation. Trouble appeared soon after when Rico Reeds (makers of saxophone and clarinet reeds) sued B.C. Rich for patent infringement on the name. “We were, like, ‘Wait a minute! Rico is the guy’s real name.’ But instead of spending money on a big litiga- tion and lawsuits, we just [substituted] an ‘h’ at the end of the name,” recalls Stich. B.C. Rich continued to produce more unique-looking guitars such as the Ironbird, the Wave, and the Fat Bob, which was shaped like a Harley-Davidson motorcycle’s gas tank. However, to capi- talize on the resurgence of the Fender Stratocaster’s popularity in the mid ’80s, B.C. Rich introduced the ST series—a straightforward double-cutaway that was
The first pivotal point in B.C. Rich’s rise to widespread recognition came in 1976, when sound engineer Bob “Nite Bob” Czaykowski picked up a koa-bodied Mockingbird for Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry. “All of a sudden, B.C. Rich was on the map,” says Stich. “In my opin- ion, if it wasn’t for Nite Bob, B.C. Rich would have been another flash-in-the- pan guitar company.” The wild shapes of B.C. Rich guitars also attracted the attention of the produc- ers of This Is Spinal Tap. Stich put some guitars together for the production, and in so doing, unwittingly became respon- sible for adding a new phrase to popular music’s cultural lexicon. “There was a meeting in my office to loan the guitars and basses. I was playing with a volume knob Larry DiMarzio gave me that went o 11. I showed it to them and explained Stich with a custom-finished Mockingbird (top), and with future-star Lita Ford playing a red- stained Mockingbird in 1980 (bottom).
a noticeable departure from the company’s legacy of flashy shapes.
Brad Paisley is currently touring with...
custom guitar effect pedals
hand built in the U.S.A.
Brad Paisley on the Wampler Pedals Brad Paisley Signature* “Paisley Drive” overdrive.
“...we actually recorded this (pedal) in the studio, you know, trying it out. I turned up a
Trainwreck Amp that I've got and compared the sound of the distortion and it was very, very
similar. Andthat'saverygoodtestbecauseanytime apedalcanmimicagreatoverdriven
amp then you're on to something...”
* 100% of all artist royalties are donated to W.O Smith/Nashville Community Music School