Paul McCartney's Lost Bass Returned After Five Decades

Via The Guardian:

A guitar bought by Paul McCartney for £30 in 1961 has been returned to the former Beatle after a global search to find the distinctively shaped Höfner bass.

The instrument, bought by McCartney before his rise to stardom and reportedly his favourite, was last seen when the Beatles were recording their final album to be released, Let It Be, 54 years ago.

A search to find the missing violin-shaped bass, a German-made Höfner 500/1, was launched last year, and on Tuesday a student, Ruaidhri Guest, shared a picture on social media claiming to be in possession of the elusive instrument. Guest said he had inherited it, adding that it had since been returned to its original owner.

“To my friends and family I inherited this item which has been returned to Paul McCartney. Share the news,” he posted on X. 

McCartney’s bass – which could now be worth as much as £10m – became synonymous with the versatile musician during the early days of the band. It was bought when the then unknown group were touring nightclubs in Hamburg, Germany, in the early 1960s.

A representative for McCartney said: “Following the launch of last year’s Lost Bass project, Paul’s 1961 Höfner 500/1 bass guitar … has been returned.

“The guitar has been authenticated by Höfner and Paul is incredibly grateful to all those involved.”

McCartney has previously said he “fell in love” with the instrument because, unlike many electric guitars, it had a symmetrical shape. “For about £30, I found this Höfner violin bass,” said McCartney, 81. “And to me, because I was left-handed, it looked less daft because it was symmetrical. I got into that. And once I bought it, I fell in love with it.”


It looks like The Guardian got a few details wrong in its report. According to the Lost Bass Project, which made a mission out of finding Macca's lost instrument, the bass was stolen  following a Wings show in on Oct. 10, 1972. 

Paul, in a statement issued today, confirms the year the bass went missing was 1972.