The B.C. Rich Brand Turns A New Page

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Hanser Music Group Announces a New Licensing Deal For B.C. Rich Guitars

The Hanser Music Group, owner of the B.C. Rich brand of instruments, recently announced a new worldwide licensing agreement with Praxis Musical Instruments.

“First and foremost, we are huge fans of the B.C. Rich brand, and are excited and honored to have Praxis Musical Instruments chosen to carry the brand legacy into and beyond its 50th Anniversary,” said Brian Martin, VP of sales and marketing for Praxis Musical Instruments.

TTK1FrontWe here at TheToneKing.com are certainly pleased to hear this.  As you probably know, we’re a little bit fond of the B.C. Rich brand.  Who can forget the TTK-1 Mockingbird, a guitar that TheToneKing.com community helped design?

It’s also hard to believe that B.C. Rich has been around so long.  B.C. Rich was founded by Bernard “Bernie” Chavez Rico in 1969, the same year as the Woodstock Festival and the release of The Beatles’ Abbey Road.  The first B.C. Rich guitars came out of the Rico family guitar shop, based in Los Angeles.  The first small handful B.C. Rich guitars evoked the classic LP-style shape, but in 1972 Bernie devised the Seagull model, the curves and points of which gave a preview of things to come.

As production continued into the 1970s the body shapes we all know and love, like the Mockingbird (1975) and the  Bich (1977), hit the scene.  The Warlock would join the crowd in 1981 and the Widow, brainchild of W.A.S.P.’s Blackie Lawless, followed in 1983.  Other body shapes, both radical (Ironbird) and traditional (Gunslinger) would also prove captivating to players, especially in the heady days of ’80s hard rock.

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In 1987, Class Axe entered the picture when Bernie Rico inked a marketing deal with company.  This deal lead to additional licensing deals and eventually the complete absorption of the B.C. Rich name by Class Axe.  Bernie Rico went on to other guitar-building pursuits.

Quality dwindled noticeably during the Class Axe era and, in 1993, Bernie Rico came back into the fold, acquiring the B.C. Rich name back from Class Axe.  Bernie worked diligently to bring back the glory days of the B.C. Rich name until his passing in 1999.  Bernie’s son, Bernie Jr., then took the helm, eventually turning the name over to Hanser Music Group in 2001.

Despite all the twists and turns, typical for any company that has been around for decades, B.C. Rich guitars and basses have never started from the edgy, radical silhouettes that make them immediately identifiable in world full of the typical single- and double-cut body shapes.  We hear at  TheToneKing.com are looking forward to seeing how B.C. Rich’s new licensing deal will contribute to the brand’s storied history.

*Source for the quote:

  • http://mmrmagazine.com/91-upfront/2888-hanser-music-group-announces-licensing-agreement-of-bc-rich-brand.html

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