B.C. Rich Fat Bob Prototype #1 Neil Young American Dream CSNY Video

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This guitar came to us from a local friend, Dave Vert, who built the guitar while working at BC RIch back in the 1980s. 

This is the first Fat Bob made, an idea developed to combine two of the coolest things - electric guitars and Harley Davidson motorcycles.  Dave said that they settled on the profile of the Harley Sportster tank as it lent itself the best to a functional guitar design.  He also said that the gas cap is an aftermarket Triumph part, and that he had to run around, grabbing as many as he could find to make subsequent builds.

This guitar not only has the distinction of being the first BC Rich Fat Bob model, it also was chosen to appear in a scene in the 1988 music video for Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's "American Dream". 

Dave explained to me that CSNY management reached out to BC Rich to supply some guitars for the video shoot they had planned in an old South Pasadena, CA residence.  Dave rounded up a handful of guitars and brought them to the set.  

Neil Young picked this guitar for the shoot, an apropos choice in a few ways.  The scene in the video is a dream sequence.  In the scene, Graham Nash cheating in bed with a young  woman, and Neil, dressed as a specter-like figure, plays the guitar and sings the lyrics as he haunts the American Dream of Mr. Nash.

Dave had some cool stories of his experience.  He and another BC Rich employee witnessed the recording of the video the day they delivered the guitar to the set.  They threw leaves into wind machines that blew across a scene, and they hid in the periphery, watching the guitar/dream scene bein filmed.  After filming, Dave tried to get a picture with Neil, with the guitar, but management said they were too busy as they were heading out to perform.  Dave saw Neil about to cross the road to the tour bus and caught up with him at the crosswalk - see the picture in the news clipping in the listing.

See the provenance included with the guitar, including the news clipping mentioned above that shows Dave with Neil, fresh from filming and still in costume, with the Fat Bob in hand.  Dave also included some other pics, including one with him, the Fat Bob and Leland Sklar - a shot from the NAMM show of that year.

The guitar is in excellent condition and plays really well.  It is loaded with the DiMarzio pickup that was originally selected for the guitar.  The body and neck are hand dated, and Dave's name is noted in several places, including the custom truss rod cover.  Dave explained that BC Rich was buying the Ibanez Edge tremolos for a time in the 80s until Ibanez eventually discontinued their wholesaling of the part.

A cool guitar with some unique history.  If you're really into Neil Young, also check out the two amps we have that toured with him for years.

  • Color: Black
  • Weight: 7lbs
  • Body: Alder
  • Body Date/Code: 7-4-87
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Maple
  • Inlays: Mother Of Pearl Stars
  • Frets: Original
  • Fret count: 22
  • Nut: Locking
  • Nut width: 1 5/8"
  • Scale: 25.5"
  • Radius: 15"
  • Neck thickness at 1st fret: 0.775"
  • Neck thickness at 12th fret: 0.852"
  • Action 1st String at 12th Fret: 2/32"
  • Action 6th String at 12th Fret: 5/64"
  • Total length: 40 1/4"
  • Body: 16 3/4"
  • Upper bout: 9 1/4"
  • Body depth/thickness outside edge: 1 3/4"
  • String gauge: .010-.046"
  • Hardware Color: Black and Skulls
  • Bridge Pickup/Brand: DiMarzio
  • Bridge Pickup Reading: 9.0k
  • Pickup Original?: Yes
  • Bridge: Original
  • Tuners: Original
  • Switch: Original
  • Pots/Codes: Original
  • Case: HSC
  • Notes:

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