The period around 1972 was very auspicious. The first original guitar design, the Seagull, was handcrafted in Bernardo’s shop. True to future form, the Seagull was visually distinctive as well as innovative. Its neck-through design (now a hallmark of B.C. Rich) featured a heel-less design – very rare for that time.
Bernie soon hired several talented designers to compliment his very talented craftsmen. Many of the distinctive shapes that would emerge from this expansion have become iconic shapes associated with guitars. Around 1976 came the Mockingbird, and then the further development of the Seagull, the Eagle emerged, and around 1978 came the Bich. Some of the most revered guitar players immediately took to the new direction of B.C. Rich.
With growing success, there was a need for a less expensive mass-produced B.C. Rich guitar. Around 1978 Bernie set up the B.C. Rico brand name to designate guitars that would be imported from Japan. This first attempt was less than successful when the Rico Reed Company sued over the use of the name. Regardless of the outcome, the decision had already been made to use the B.C. Rich name on imported guitars. Only a handful, perhaps a hundred or so B.C. Rico instruments ever made it to the US.
With the early 80s came the Warlock. Almost immediately the hair metal culture of the time took to the Warlock’s edgy and once again, unique shape. The Warlock, while nowhere near the latest shape developed, rounds out the first five classic B.C. Rich shapes.