Parris and Rob Buckley having a little fun with the Bich, Photo courtesy of: Parris Mayhew
Jon K. from Pittsburgh, a historian with a serious interest in vintage guitars, hooked us up with a great piece here. He asked Parris Mayhew about his classic BC Rich that he used throughout the Cro-Mags...and got this response from Parris. Big thanks to Jon! -Gordo DCXX
I bought that guitar in 1980. I was 16. I lined up every guitar in Sam Ash, when Sam Ash was a single store on 48th street in NYC and not a Wal-Mart of guitars. Well not every guitar, but I hand picked about 30 guitars and lined them up outside an isolation booth. Then I spent the better part of the day weeding the ones out that just didn't cut it. I was driving the salesmen crazy.
By the end of the day there were 2. Both Biches. One wood grain and one fire engine red. Not coincidentally, because Dr. Know played a woodgrain Eagle and I had recently seen a picture of Joe Perry on the cover of guitar player magazine with a red Bich. Which was uncharacteristic since Joe was a Les Paul man. So there I was and I just couldn't see myself with a red guitar, so I picked the woodgrain. I put down a $200 deposit on $1200, thinking I would get a job. But I was a kid and time ran away and after 3 months I had a week to pay it off. I enlisted my grandmother. I explained and she chipped in the significant balance. Thanks Mary.
Parris with the Cro-Mags at CBGB, NYC, Photo courtesy of: Parris Mayhew
I took it home and blasted for a few days, but noticed I was having trouble keeping it in tune. Initially I thought it must be me, my lack of experience, or new strings...after all this guitar costed $1200, there couldn't be anything wrong with it. But it was just a lemon. After all, these guitars are made of wood and wood changes and has its own character, and sometimes they just suck.
So 8 days later I went into Sam Ash with my grandmother and the woodgrain Bich and set it down in front of the salesman and said "It won't stay in tune." He picked it up, tuned it and strummed a chord very noncommittally and handed it back to me. "It seems ok to me." I said "I am returning this." He said "It's been 8 days, we have a 7 day return policy." I said "It won't stay in tune, I am not getting ripped off." He nastily said "Tough." My grandmother, white haired and dainty, blasted off "You're a real creep."
I had the guitar in my hands. I walked up to a rack of brand new Les Pauls and turned the Bich around and gripped it like a baseball bat. I looked at that asshole and said "You are gonna take this guitar back. Or I'm gonna start smashing guitars and we'll see how many I can destroy before you can stop me."
I left the store with a Red Bich, and I have had it ever since. "A guitar is for life." That is what my father told me when I was a kid. He was right.
A Parris Mayhew/Cro-Magnum/Bich collage, Photos courtesy of: Parris Mayhew
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Posted by DOUBLE CROSS at 7:56 PM