Paul McCartney Reunites With His Stolen Bass Guitar After More Than 50 Years

The bass guitar used on the first two Beatles albums found its way back to its original owner, Paul McCartney, after more than 50 years. The reunion of McCartney and the bass guitar, Höfner 500/1 Violin Bass model, was a result of an effort by a group of enthusiasts behind the Lost Bass Project.

McCartney bought a bass guitar in 1961 in Hamburg, Germany, reportedly paying just £30 for it. He used it during the early Beatles days as both a studio instrument and during live and promotional appearances. It was later used as a backup as McCartney started playing other models.

The bass guitar was apparently last seen shortly before the Beatles’ final live show in 1969 and later went missing. Intrigued by the history of McCartney’s iconic bass guitar, a group of Beatles fans decided to launch the Lost Bass Project in 2018 in hopes of locating the instrument.

The search was rather fruitless for several years before journalists Scott and Naomi Jones decided to join the Lost Bass Project. Thanks to their contacts and ensuing exposure, it was discovered that the bass had been stolen from a van in 1972 and had never been seen again. 

The Lost Bass Project continued to collect pieces of the puzzle and even identified the thief as well as the person to whom they sold the bass before sharing their story with the British media outlet Telegraph in late 2023. Thanks to this, the story about their search got worldwide attention and prompted the person in possession of the instrument to return it.

“As a result of the publicity, someone living in a terraced house in Hastings on the south coast of England contacted Paul McCartney’s company and then returned the bass to them. The search was over – Paul had his stolen bass back at last!” Lost Bass Project wrote on their official website.

McCartney also acknowledged the return of his bass on his own website through a statement that said the “guitar has been authenticated by Höfner, and Paul is incredibly grateful to all those involved.”

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