|Jerry Garcia's Wolf Guitar|
On May 31st an event auction was hosted by Brooklyn Bowl for Jerry Garcia’s Wolf guitar. The auction was done by Guernsey's Auctions.
|Garcia playing Wolf|
|Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead|
The recipient of the money is the Southern Poverty Law Center.
|The Wolf Guitar|
The bid was then matched by another anonymous donor, making the total gift an amazing $3.5 million. This is the most money generated from a guitar auction.
|Joe Russo's Almost Dead|
The event also featured drummer Joe Russo leading an all-star cast, which included his own Grateful Dead tribute band known as Almost Dead.
|The Wolf Decal|
Through the years Garcia had several modifications performed on the instrument. The last time Jerry used the guitar was in February of 1993. He passed away 2 years later. He can be seen playing it in the Grateful Dead Movie.
|The Wolf guitar in original form|
Irwin tells the story that he was in the back of the store putting pickups on that particular guitar. Irwin says a couple of guys from the store came to the back room and told him that Jerry Garcia wants to buy your guitar. He thought they were joking.
|Wolf with 2nd pickup arrangement|
Irwin had just started building guitars at Alembic. This was a company run by Ron Wickersham, an electronics and sound expert that previously worked for Ampex, Rick Turner, a luthier and guitarist, and Bob Matthews, a recording engineer. The company started in a rehearsal room for the Grateful Dead, so there was an immediate connection between Alembic and the band.
As the story goes, Doug Irwin was recently hired by the Alembic company and was building electric guitars for them and he also built some for himself.
Garcia asked him to build him another guitar. Irwin took a cue from this and created The Wolf, which he sold to Jerry Garcia in 1972 for $850. Garcia played this guitar for more than 20 years. Garcia asked Irwin to optimize Wolf with three single coil Stratocaster pickups.
As stated, this guitar was made of purple heart wood and curly maple. The fret board was ebony with 24 frets; longer than Fenders, which at the time only had 22 frets. The first version had a peacock inlay made of abalone, but in subsequent years Irwin changed this to an eagle.
A blood-thirsty cartoon sticker of a wolf adorned the body. This gave the guitar its name.
|Garcia and the Wolf Guitar|
In fact it was Irwin who created both plates for the guitar. The pickup selector is the five position strat type.
|Wolf Guitar Controls|
There is also a mini switch to toggle the effects loop on or off. The electronics are accessible from a plate on the guitars back side and they are shielded. The tuning machines are Schaller’s and made of chromed nickel as is the bridge.
Wolf was the first guitar Irwin built that had the D shaped headstock that he used on other guitars he made as his trademark.
|Both Wolf Headstock designs|
On the headstock was the inlay of a peacock done in mother-of-pearl. While at a concert the guitar fell about 15 feet off of the stage and this caused a small crack in the head stock.
Doug Irwin took this as an opportunity to replace the head stock with ebony veneer and a mother-of-pearl inlay of an eagle, which by now had become Doug Irwin’s signature.
|Garcia with Wolf Guitar|
Click on the links below the pictures for their sources. Click on the links in the text for further information.
©UniqueGuitar Publications (text only)
I spotted this today on the Facebook page for ugly guitars. The poster calls it the Mongrelcaster. There are no other pictures or information.
It's my new favourite offset-tele syle guitar. Congrats on standing out without being too wacky or disgustingly odd. It's somewhat reminiscent of an Eastwood Senn model . Modern and classic.
Does it remind you of another guitar?
© 2016, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.
American Songwriter caught up with Martin Ambassador Taylor Goldsmith and his band Dawes for the C.F. Martin & Co. Presents: Dawes.
The band performed two acoustic tunes off of their latest album, "We're All Gonna Die." The performances of "Roll With The Punches" and "Roll Tide" took place at the Ryman Auditorium before the band's two night stand on April 28th and 29th.
Martin Ambassador Taylor Goldsmith's Martin guitar of choice is the OM-28E Retro. You can purchase the OM-28E Retro by finding your nearest authorized Martin dealer, finding a certified online Martin dealer, or exploring the buy from factory program.
Putting binding around the edges of the soundboard, especially a soundboard made of a soft wood, helps prevent dings and chips along the edges. To my design aesthetic binding the soundboard is also like putting a frame on a picture.
I usually do not put binding on the backs of my dulcimers unless someone really wants it. I don’t think it is necessary to bind the back since it is usually made of hardwood. Also, should the dulcimer ever need major repairs an unbound back simplifies removing the back of the dulcimer to gain access to its innards.
In the photograph above are the hand tools I use when preparing the dulcimer for binding.
In the upper left is a shop-made binding scribe. It consists of a scalpel blade glued and taped to a piece of wood the thickness of the binding that is again glued to a piece of wood that serves as a handle. I use this tool to gently score the binding channel on the soundboard. After the channel is scored I deepen the scored cuts with the scalpel and knife.
I use a simple router jig to remove some of the bulk and then finish up the binding rebate with the small chisel and file. I also use the chisel as a scraper, using my fingers as a depth stop to guide the cut.
After taking the photograph for this post I noticed the fingerboard did not look quite right. I realized I had left out one of the fret slots! It has since been cut and all is right with the world.
Forgetting to cut a fret slot is not a big deal as it is easy to add at anytime. What is a big deal is cutting a fret slot where one is not supposed to be.
Guess how I learned that lesson?
USDA Plants Database, Engelmann Spruce
I apologize for not having posted anything on this blog for a while, as all of you know life can get in the way of doing things.
The New Mexico Guitar Festival is next month, June 15-17, and I will be attending as a vendor.
Much of my time these last few weeks has been spent finishing the two guitars that I want to take to the Vendors Expo at the festival: this 1961 Hernandez y Aguado style guitar, with an Engelmann spruce top and ziricote back and sides and a 1963 Hernandez y Aguado style guitar that is made entire from locally sourced wood. I'll post about that guitar in the future.
Tomorrow, I will level and re-crown the frets on this spruce/ziricote guitar, grind down the nut and saddle, attach strings and set up the playing action. I can't wait to hear this guitar!
Here are some photos documenting the building of the spruce/ziricote guitar.
From left to right: spruce/ziricote, redwood/black walnut, redwood/Indian rosewood.
Here's a video of Stephanie Jones, a wonderful young guitarist from Australia. Click here to watch videos of Ms. Jones playing all five of William Walton's Bagatelles!
Those who have taken lessons before usually understand from the get-go that a commitment to practice is vital to advancing on the guitar. However, it has become apparent that some guitar teachers have a much more casual attitude about lesson planning. In some cases it’s obvious that they did no planning at all, based on the random things the student knows. Or perhaps that teacher subscribes to the square-peg-in-a-round-hole way of teaching, offering a totally linear and rigid course that doesn’t take into account what the student really wants to learn. This really bothers me. What it leads to is frustration for the student (which most likely is why they stopped their lessons) but from my standpoint it sometimes leads to unrealistic expectations. Sometimes I even have to say: If I had a magic wand I could wave over your head and turn you into a fabulous player, I would! But not before I waved it over my own head!
Interestingly, I often find that self-taught players more readily accept a direction-based course of study catered to their interests than those who have tried private lessons for a period of time. This may be because those with experience with another teacher are so used to a teaching method that differs from mine that they have a hard time accepting that I have different ideas about technique and focus than what they originally learned.
The “balance” is a huge part of my lesson planning. For a newer student with previous experience that means factoring interests and expectations with challenging them to the point that they see advancement as soon as possible. There are plenty of other things I must consider too of course like physical ability, how to present the material in a way that they can understand – something that varies widely; even “smart” people can be flummoxed by things like music theory – and even the quality of the guitar they are using. But a student who has previous experience with another teacher is with me instead because he or she hopes I can advance their playing faster or better than their previous teacher. I won’t deny that this is intimidating for me at times! But in a way, it feels good too because I like a challenge.
I’ve found over the years that it’s very important for me ask questions.
Are you playing for personal enjoyment only, or do you hope to perform?
Do you think you want to play with other people?
Are you willing to try to sing while you play? (This is a tough one – many people are fine with that but some are terrified at the prospect. I explain that the most timid singer or even someone who’s never done it outside their shower can always lock their bedroom door and try it! Value judgements are not allowed, ha!)
Do you listen to current music, older stuff, or some combination?
What I’ve found is that most people really haven’t considered those things all that much except in a very general way. But those elements of learning the guitar are VERY important. I don’t fault them for being that way. After all, playing the guitar is supposed to be fun and qualifying one’s expectations in terms of what is required can sound more like work than fun. That is another part of my “balance” that I mentioned earlier.
Years ago when I was in the retail world I had a boss who instructed me early on to NEVER diss the competition. It only makes YOU look petty and egotistical. It was a valuable lesson and I try to live by it, even when a new student shows up with random material given to him or her by a previous guitar teacher. Although I always want to know who their previous teacher was, I never ever bad-mouth that person. The most important lesson I’ve learned is that when this happens, it is vital to explain exactly why we will be doing things differently and how what I’m proposing will make them a better player.
As with most things in life, it comes down to keeping an open mind.
Peace & good music,
Greg Allman passed away today due to complications from liver cancer. As a member of The Allman Brothers band, he was mainly know for playing the Hammond organ, but even when his brother Duane was alive.
|Melissa on a Washburn guitar|
Greg occasionally took up a guitar for a few songs. Perhaps the most notable of these was called Melissa. This song was originally performed on an acoustic guitar that belonged to Duane that was tuned to open E.
|Duane and Greg Allman|
Greg and his Duane started life in Nashville Tennessee, but grew up in Florida.
Their first real band was called The Escorts. The band was good enough to be the opening act for a Beach Boys concert.
|The Allman Joys|
The Escorts became The Allman Joys, which mainly played cover songs. During this time Greg purchased a Vox Continental organ.
In order keep the band together and avoid being drafted into the armed services, Greg Allman shot himself in the foot. In 1967 they were renamed Hour Glass.
|Allman Brother's Band|
In 1969 the group was finally named The Allman Brother’s Band.
|Allman's motorcycle after the crash|
Tragically Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1971. Following this, the bands bass player Berry Oakley also died in a motorcycle accident.
|Brothers and Sisters|
|Greg Allman and Cher|
Greg Allman went on to form the Greg Allman Band. He also married Cher and remained with her for a decade.
|I'm No Angel|
Allman recorded several albums and had a hit single called I’m No Angel. The Allman Brother’s Band regrouped in the early 1980’s. In 1989 The Allman Brothers Band got back together and continued to perform through 2014.
|Low Country Blues|
Greg Allman released a solo album called Low Country Blues in 2011, and his final album, Southern Blood, will be released this year.
Allman is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and is on Rolling Stone Magazine’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.
|Greg Allman Autobiography|
In 2012 Greg Allman published his autobiography called My Cross To Bear. Though Greg was mainly known as the singer and organist for the Allman Brothers Band, he did step up front and play guitar. Much is written about Duane’s guitars and equipment, but not so much is written concerning Greg’s guitars.
|Greg Allman with Les Paul Custom|
One of the earliest photo of Greg Allman playing a guitar is from 1975. In it he has a black Les Paul Custom.
|Greg Allman with Gibson SG|
The Allman Brother's Laid Back album came out around 1973 and it had a song called Queen of Hearts. From about that same time he is shown here with a Gibson SG, that may have belonged to Duane.
|Greg Allman with an SG|
Here is a 1974 picture of Greg playing a different Gibson SG. Butch Trucks was the drummer for the Allman Brothers Band. His son is Derek Trucks. I'm sure Duane and Greg's fondness for SG's must have influenced him.
|Greg Allman with Veleno Guitar|
Here is another picture of a young Greg Allman playing a Veleno guitar. Those guitars were made of metal and had a mirrored finish.
|Allman with Veleno guitar|
Here is another photo of him tuning the Veleno up. Note the unusual headstock and metal neck.
|Greg Allman - Stratocaster|
Allman is seen here with a black Fender Stratocaster. It is possibly a late 1960's model.
|Allman and Cher - Ovation acoustic|
Here he is seen singing with Cher and playing an Ovation acoustic. In the mid to late 1970's Ovation's were the go-to stage guitars, since the piezo pickups were the best.
|Gibson SST 12 string guitar|
Here Greg is seen singing Melissa and playing a Gibson SST 12 string.
|Allman with a Martin D-35|
He can be seen from this video playing a Martin D-35. Click on the link under the picture and you will see that Greg Allman was an excellent Blues guitar player.
|Allman with a Guild|
This clip from a TV show show Allman playing Come and Go Blues on a Guild D-40.
|G. Allman Washburn signature models|
Greg Allman had an endorsement deal with Washburn guitars. Here are the two models the company produced. The black guitar has "Melissa" inlaid in mother-of-pearl on the fretboard.
|Greg Allman with Gibson J-200|
In recent years Greg Allman used a Gibson J-200 at his concerts.
Greg Allman struggled for years with addiction to alcohol, heroin and other drugs. He spent many years in rehab and became sober. In 2007 it was discovered he had hepatitus C. He underwent a liver transplant in 2010.
He died at his home in Savannah Georgia surrounded by his family and friends.
Please click on the links below the pictures for the sources. Click on the links in the text for further information.
©UniqueGuitar Publications 2017 (text only)
|1961 P Bass|
A bass guitar owned and played by Motown legend James Jamerson will be up for auction later this month. This is the instrument was not the original that Jamerson played during his years with Motown’s Funk Brothers, as the label’s go-to session bass player. It is apparently a second bass that he owned. It is a 1961 Fender Precision Bass.
|'57 Black Beauty|
Jamerson’s first electric bass was a 1957 Precision Bass, refinished in black, with a gold-anodized pickguard and maple fretboard, which he nicknamed "Black Beauty". That bass was a gift from his fellow bass player Horace "Chili" Ruth. It was eventually stolen.
|Jamerson with '62 Funk Machine|
|Jamerson with 1962 Fender P Bass|
Jamerson had carved the word “Funk” on the the heel of the instrument. He typically set its volume and tone knobs on full. Sadly this bass was also stolen sometime in 1983 at a time when he was in the hospital and dying.
|1961 Fender P Bass|
Jamerson left Detroit and moved to Los Angeles when Motown Records moved their headquarters to California. Apparently the bass was forgotten by Jamerson.
This bass is being offered by Heritage Auctions, with bidding starting on May 29th. The official dates are June 17th and 18th. There is a $12,000 premium. Click the link to register.
The bass is completely original. Only one of the La Bella strings has been replaced.
Jamerson is one of the best known and most influential electric bass players of all time. He was inducted posthumously into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. His playing can be heard on at least 30 Number 1 hit recordings and more than 70 R&B hit recordings.
Jamerson started his career by playing in Detroit clubs and later found session work with the Motown Record Company. He began by playing string bass, but switched to electric bass during the 1960’s.
|Funk Brothers, Jamerson in the back|
As mentioned before, James Jamerson was part of a core group of Motown Session player that came to be known as The Funk Brothers. In addition to session work, he sometimes toured with the artists. Though the musicians did not receive credit on the singles or albums for their work until sometime in the 1970’s,
|Jamerson with Marvin Gaye|
Jamerson’s playing can be found on such hits as Just Like Romeo and Juliet, You Can’t Hurry Love, My Girl, Shotgun, For Once In My Life, I Was Made To Love Her.
|Jamerson in the studio|
That is him playing the bass lines on Going to a Go-Go, Dancing In The Street, I Heard It Through The Grapevine, What’s Going On, Reach Out, I’ll Be There, and Bernadette. When Motown ended in 1973, Jamerson performed on such songs as Neither One Of Us, Boogie Down, Boogie Fever, You Don’t Have To Be A Star, and Heaven Must Have Sent You.
|Jamerson with '62 Funk Machine|
It was suggested to Jamerson that he switch to brighter sounding roundwound strings, but he declined.
|Jamerson with Funk Machine|
In an interesting 2015 article from the Talkbass forum titled, James Jamerson's Funk Machine - Wrong Year, the editor of Bass Magazine and a reader discuss the fact that the famous Funk Machine may not be a 1962 Fender Precision bass, but rather a model created between 1964 and 1967, based on the transition logo decal, created in 1964, and the pearloid dot fret markers.
|Bridge Cover Foam Mute|
|Jamerson on upright bass|
When playing upright bass, he used his index finger to pluck the strings. On electric and acoustic bass, he favoured utilizing open strings. This technique helped give his playing a fluid feel. He subsequently got the nickname; The Hook.
On studio recordings James Jamerson plugged directly into the mixing console. He adjusted the console so his sound was slightly overdriven. The tubes in the mixer gave him a little compression.
|Jamerson with Ampeg B-15 amp|
When he played in clubs he used an Ampeg B-15 amplifier with an older Kustom speaker cabinet loaded with twin 15” speakers and covered in blue Naugahyde. He always played with the volume control turned up fully and the treble control turned only half way up.
When you want everyone to know that Martin is yours, you can do so by adding some personality of your own to it. Just like a favorite tattoo or the quirky clothes you wear, you can do the same for your guitar.
You may not know this but you can add almost anything you want to personalize your instrument in the Martin Custom Shop. From something as simple as having your name inlaid into the fingerboard, quoting a favorite verse, to full blown artists’ renderings inlaid with gems and gold. If you dream it, we can make it.
How is this all possible? We have to ask the inlay specialists. There are two employees working in the Martin Custom Shop, Sean Brandle and Brent Williams, who specialize in producing the inlay work. Whether creating their own artwork from scratch or recreating works given to them, these guys can do some amazing things when it comes to inlaying guitars.
Sean and Brent have both been working at Martin Guitar for six years. Sean was formerly a graphic designer before he started working with the Martin team. While at Martin, Sean first learned rim assembly operations and then moved into the Custom Shop where he was able to get his creative juices flowing. Sean has designed several art pieces of his own that are being made right now. Brent also learned other operations throughout the facility, including rim assembly and pearl inlay, before transferring into the Custom Shop. One of the reasons these guys love their jobs is because every day is different.
Each guitar they work on is like creating a piece of art. One of our esteemed dealers said, “They are making the museum pieces of the future." I have to agree, some of the work they are doing is really amazing! Sean and Brent said the most rewarding part of their job is when a customer comes to the factory to pick up their guitar. They get to see their vision come to life and witness the extreme gratitude the customer has. It’s not every day you get to meet the artist that created your piece.
Sean and Brent have been working with many new materials to inlay guitars. The most traditional inlay has been mother of pearl. But Brent’s favorite material to work with is wood. He uses many species of wood to create his scenes. He discovered a special sand shading technique that he applies to each piece that really brings his projects to life. Other inlays that are used include reconstituted stone, blue and green paua pearl, rare coins, and even a request for the owners’ ashes to be turned to diamonds. Below is a fingerboard inlaid with many exotic woods to create a desert scene.
Many people have asked Sean and Brent how these amazing pieces are made. They can’t give away all of the secrets, but they said some are done the old way by hand with a coping saw and a pencil grinder, a small type of dremel tool. While some are now using today’s technology with finely tuned CNC equipment to assist in making very intricate cuts. Sean and Brent’s vision for the future is to help design products that will become cherished customs. Some other pieces that they have worked on recently include this:
Custom Eagle Inlay
Ace of Spades Fingerboard Inlay
Custom Lion Head
Custom Ornamental Bridge
Ready to get started on your own piece of art? Contact your local authorized Martin dealer to begin the custom guitar making process.
Steve Hess is a twenty-three year veteran who has had guitars around his entire life. Steve is a third generation employee of Martin Guitar, having his father and grandfather both retire after many years of service. Steve has worked with guitars throughout his life. Steve spent six years at Martin learning the fine art of customer repair work. He then moved into the Quality Assurance department and has held several management roles. Steve is currently the manufacturing manager of the Custom Shop. He enjoys travel, meeting new people, and getting to share the Martin brand with guitar enthusiasts. Steve said one of his favorite things is when a person asks where he works and can proudly say, “Martin Guitar!" People are instantly blown away and jealous.
Stone Sour’s new single “Song #3″ recently cracked the Top 25 on Billboard‘s Rock Airplay chart, and now comes an accompanying music video.
Directed by Ryan Valdez, the clip begins with lead singer Corey Taylor walking onto a movie set. After donning a Wayne’s World looking long blond wig, Taylor hops onstage with his Stone Sour bandmates, who are all dressed in white. Several more wardrobe changes occur throughout the performance of the soaring track, which will appear on their upcoming June 30th seventh studio album Hydrograd.
Check out the video below …
Though this Sankey Guitars Bast model is far from my usual taste, I find that I'm drawn to it's looks. It could be that they scorched and burnished to body, which is made of douglas fir, and then when the reliefs were carved the true wood is exposed.
The seven piece neck is made of layers of ebony, cocobolo, and purple heart. This was done for stability in the Californian desert climate, but it also looks fantastic.
The Bast also sports a polyphonic pickup and preamp allowing for strong piezo acoustic sound and hexaphonic midi. On top of that there is a standard magnetic pickup as well.
© 2016, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.
In 1994, the crew of the Columbia Space Shuttle STS-62 boldly went where no guitar has gone before with the launch of a miniature Backpacker “Space Guitar” which was sent to orbit around the earth.
Now in 2017, Martin Guitar is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Martin Backpacker! Available only in 2017, the limited edition Backpacker is constructed with sapele top, back, and sides. The Martin Backpacker is strung with Martin Acoustic strings and is the perfect for summer travel.
Explore the 25th Anniversary Martin Backpacker here. You can also purchase it by finding your nearest authorized Martin dealer, finding a certified online Martin dealer, or exploring the buy from factory program.
The 2017 CMT Music Award nominees have been announced and three Martin Ambassadors are nominated!
Nominations include: Dierks Bentley and Elle King’s “Different For Girls” for Video of the Year and Collaborative Video of the Year, Thomas Rhett’s “Star Of The Show” for Video of the Year and Male Video of the Year, and Thomas Rhett along with Nick Jonas and Danielle Bradberry for CMT Performance of the Year.
The CMT Music Award show will air on June 7th.
Martin Ambassador Dierks Bentley's Martin guitar of choice is the D-28, while Elle King opts for the OMCPA5 Black, and Thomas Rhett reaches for his Custom Martin guitar.You can purchase these guitars by finding your nearest authorized Martin dealer, finding a certified online Martin dealer, or exploring the buy from factory program.
I have basic patterns for my dulcimers but the the exact shape and size of each dulcimer varies slightly from one dulcimer to the next. I have embraced a fairly free-form style of building and use very few jigs, forms, and fixtures.
By building free-form I feel like I am sculpting a dulcimer rather than making a bunch of parts and assembling them. The frame of the dulcimer (sides and end blocks) and the fretboard become the reference points for laying out the rest of instrument. I can make small changes to the shape and size of the dulcimer by feel and eye and work with it until everything seems right to me.
The thickness of the top and back and the bracing pattern are determined in a similar manner.
Free-form building is not the most efficient way to make dulcimers in a timely manner. If I made all the parts to a set pattern and assembled them in fixtures I would make more dulcimers in less time but I wouldn’t enjoy the process very much.
These photographs are of a baritone dulcimer in progress. The final shape of the dulcimer is traced on the soundboard and the soundholes are laid out using a template. I have also laid out the placement of the position markers on the fingerboard. A scraper serves as a short straight edge for drawing the layout lines.
|Bernardo C. Rico|
Bernardo Chavez Rico aka Bernie learned about guitars from his father. Bernardo, or Bernie, was an accomplished Flamenco guitarist.
His father, Bernardo Mason Rico had purchased the store from Candelas Brothers guitar shop. The Candelas Guitar store is a legend all to itself. The store was re-christened Bernardo’s Guitar Shop.
Although Bernardo Senior was not a luthier, he was a business man. And he hired luthiers and craftsmen to do the work. It was from these men that Bernie learned his craft. The shop offered Flamenco and Classical guitars along with other stringed instruments.
|'71 Rico acoustic|
Around 1968 Bernie made his first electric solid body guitar and topped it with a Fender neck.
|1974 Rico Bass|
|1974 B.C. Rich Seagull|
Within four years Rico and a fellow employee named Bob Hall came up with the original Seagull design. By 1974 this became their first offering. Another employee named Mal Stich, inadvertently answered the phone one day by saying, “B.C. Rich”, instead of “Bernardo’s Guitar Shop”. The name stuck. Bernie Rich’s goal was to make a production line guitar with custom shop quality.
By 1977 the retail price was just under $1000 USD. But they were scarce.
The music store I frequented back in those days had 2 B.C. Rich guitars; the Seagull and the Mockingbird. Both guitars were excellent.
|'74 Seagull with Gibson pickups|
At first the pickups were made by Gibson. This is because B.C. Rich guitars were originally distributed by L.D. Heater, which was a subsidiary of Gibson. This allowed them to obtain Gibson parts. However due the fact that Rich was utilizing coil taps and phase reversal on each model each Gibson pickup needed to be dissembled to be reconfigured to use four wires then put back together.
Eventually Gibson realized their pickups were being used by a competitor and put a halt to the practice.
Later models used Guild pickups, until Rich contacted Larry DiMarzio and asked if his company could produce a four wire model. From that point on B.C. Rich guitars and basses used DiMarzio pickups.
|1976 B.C. Rich Eagle|
|'77 B.C. Rich Advertisement|
|1982 Rich Bich|
|Rich Bich Electronics|
|1978 Rich Bich 10 string|
The reason for the large V shaped cutaway was due to the fact that this guitar was offered as a 10-string model. The wedge was designed to hold four Grover tuning pegs so that the upper four strings had double courses. These four strings had their end pieces strung into 4 metal grommets in the center of the headstock that were then attached to the pegs on the bottom of the guitar.
|Bottom view of '78 Rich Bich|
This upside-down concept was copied in later years by Steinberger (although his design was much different) and other manufacturers.
|Trey Azagthoth Ironbird|
The B.C. Rich Ironbird was designed by Joey Rico in 1983. It was in-my-opinion, a heavy metal version of the B.C. Rich Mockingbird. This instrument had a small cutaway on the upper bout and an exagerated, and pointy cutaway on the lower bout. The bottom of the guitar had two offset and pointy terminal points. The headstock was made rosewood. This guitar was popular endorsed by Trey Azagthoth of Morbid Angel.
|Trey Azagthoth's |
|B.C. Rich Acrylic|
An interesting feature of the Acrylic guitars is the neck joint. This was called IT (invisibolt technology) which allowed the neck to be bolted inside the body, to give it the appearance of a neck-through, however the neck was actually a bolt-on type.
|BC Rich Warlock prototype|
|1988 BC Rich Warlock|
The Warlock II came out the following year.
|BC Rich Wave|
The BC Rich Wave guitar was designed by Martin Evans and made for only a brief period of time. It was reminiscent of the Mockingbird, but with exaggerated features such as a small wave-like cutaway on the instruments bottom.
|BC Rich Stealth 7|
The unique B.C, Rich Stealth guitar was designed by Rick Derringer. It featured twin Dimarzio pickups, a reverse headstock and the usual features found on earlier models. Subsequent production Stealth guitars deleted most of these features and came with only a bridge humbucking pickup.
The B.C. Rich Widow bass was designed by Blackie Warless. It resembled an insect with its twin symmetrical upper and lower horns. The bottom section of the body needed an additional block section to hold the bridge saddle unit.
Some significant events for the company occurred in 1984.
|1984 BC Rich US Series Mockingbird|
The Korean connection led to the introduction of the U.S. Series. These were essentially Korean manufactured guitar kits, with bolt-on necks, that were shipped to California for assembly.
This was the year that the Condor was also introduced. This was a lovely guitar with a flamed maple top on a mahogany body. It was made in Japan.
|BC Rich Fat Bob bass and guitar|
This guitar had an odd triangular shape, with a single Dimarzio pickup, a six-on-a-side headstock, and a Floyd-Rose tremolo.
In 1987 Bernie Rich entered into an agreement with Randy Watuch’s company called Class Axe. This allowed Class Axe to market and distribute some of Rich’s guitar lines, thus leading to some foreign made models.
By 1989 Rich had turned over all of the licensing rights.
That year B.C. Rich guitars moved from California to New Jersey. The guys that were working at the L.A. shop continued to make handmade guitars under the logo LPC Guitars. This venture failed.
|BC Rich Virgin Guitars and Basses|
In 1993 Bernie Rico returned to making handmade guitars when the licensing agreement ran out. Ed Roman of Roman Guitars of Las Vegas purchased the left over stock from Class Axe.
He relocated the shop to Hesperia California.
By 1995 Bernie returned to making acoustic guitars, including the B-41C.
In 1995 the Ignitor and the V were added to the line up.
|1998 Victor Smith Commemoritive|
In 1998 the Exclusive, the Victor Smith Commemorative Model, and the Beast were added.
The following year, B.C, Rich added a seven string version of the Warlock.
On December 3rd of 1999, Bernie Rico died of a heart attack.
The company was taken over to his son Bernie Jr. Under his direction control of the company, B.C. Rich, was sold given to the Hanser Music Group in 2001. They began making guitars under the Rico Jr. name.
|Bernie Rico Jr.|
Asian manufactured B.C. Rich guitars are still being distributed by Davitt and Hanser, as a subsidiary of JAM Industries.
Metalcore heavy hitters Miss May I have dropped another new official music video, this time for the title track of their upcoming June 2nd album, Shadows Inside.
Along with multiple shots of hands reaching towards an evil looking mask, the footage primarily features live performance by the band and is often dark and jarring.
“Not only does this song open up our new record, it also sets the tone for the record,” explains singer Levi Benton. “This album is all about changes throughout life, good and bad. It’s about the past that lives within everyone; their ‘Shadows Inside.’ The lyrics talk about how great new things can give light to your past and put you in a better place.
“We have quite a few videos and we’re always trying to change things up. With this video for ‘Shadows Inside’ we not only wanted to recreate the cover of the record in real life, but we also wanted the performance to be abstract. We had black lights and used old lens effects from the ’90s to achieve a very classic look and something totally different for us.”
Watch the clip below and pre-order the new album here.