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Paul McCartney Reunited With Long-Lost Bass Guitar Stolen Over 50 Yrs Ago.

paul mccartney bass

The search for Paul McCartney’s stolen bass guitar has finally come to an end, thanks to three lifelong Beatles fans.

“Following the launch of last year’s Lost Bass project, Paul’s 1961 Höfner 500/1 bass guitar, which was stolen in 1972, has been returned,” Paul’s website announced. “The guitar has been authenticated by Höfner, and Paul is incredibly grateful to all those involved.”

The former Beatles member bought the left-handed violin bass while he was on tour in Hamburg, Germany, in 1961. It was his main instrument while the band skyrocketed in fame, and it can be heard in some of the Beatles’ earliest recordings.

paul mccartney playing lost bass
(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

In 1963, Paul McCartney bought a new Höfner bass, and the original became his backup. Around 1970, it went missing. Paul never stopped mourning his lost treasure. So in 2023, three Beatles fans decided to hunt it down.

A former marketing manager and electric guitar developer for Höfner named Nick Wass teamed up with husband and wife journalists Naomi and Scott Jones to form the Lost Bass Project.

This past October, the trio learned that a thief had taken the bass from a truck in the famed Notting Hill neighborhood in 1972, which debunked a theory that someone stole it while Paul was recording Get Back in 1969.

Paul McCartney’s Bass Was Collecting Dust in an Attic on the English Coast

Ian Horne, who previously worked as one of Paul McCartney’s sound engineers shared the tip. He said the Höfner was being stored with some other equipment in a rented padlocked truck during Paul’s Wings era.

“I knew it was Paul’s original Höfner bass that had been stolen. And I knew what it meant to him,” Horne wrote in an email, per CBS. “Trevor [Jones, McCartney’s other sound engineer at the time] and I did all we could to find it, but it was gone.”

paul mccartney bass
(Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

“Eventually, we had to go to Paul’s house in Cavendish Avenue and tell him that the gear had been stolen from the back of the truck,” he continued. “We went into the room and told Paul. He told us not to worry, and we kept our jobs. He’s a good man, Paul. I worked for him for six years after the bass went missing. But I’ve carried the guilt all my life.” 

Somehow, the Lost Bass Project was able to track down the exact person who stole the instrument. From there, the members learned that the owner of a local pub purchased it. Each lead led to another, and eventually, the bass was found.

“As a result of the publicity someone living in a terraced house on the south coast of England remembered an old bass guitar that was in their attic,” the Lost Bass Project shared. “They got this out and realized just what they had. Within days it was back with Paul McCartney!”

The Lost Bass Project declined to share the names of the thief or the previous owners as it promised confidentiality to anyone who came forward.

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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