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McCartney with his Höfner bass in The Beatles

Global Search Launched for Paul McCartney’s Missing Bass Guitar

A guitar expert and two journalists have begun a search for McCartney’s iconic original Höfner bass guitar


English singer-songwriter Sir Paul McCartney, 81, played bass guitar in the popular rock band The Beatles, which formed in 1960 and achieved worldwide fame with songs including “Yesterday” and “Let it Be.”

In 1961, McCartney bought his Höfner bass guitar for £30 (or around £550 today) in Hamburg, Germany. It disappeared eight years later in January 1969 when the band was recording the “Get Back/Let It Be” sessions in central London, The Economic Times reported.

This bass had been played at the Top Ten Club in Hamburg in 1961; on The Beatles’ first Abbey Road recordings in London; and on hits such as “Love Me Do,” “She Loves You,” and “Twist and Shout.”

The newly launched Lost Bass Project is currently appealing for information on “the most important bass in history,” and to solve “the greatest mystery in rock and roll.”

The team heading the search includes leading journalists and TV producers Scott and Naomi Jones; and Nick Wass, who was Höfner’s marketing manager and electric guitar developer for 12 years, and worked closely with McCartney’s team supplying basses and expertise.


McCartney with his Höfner Bass

McCartney with his Höfner Bass (Image courtesy: Apple Films Ltd.)


According to the team, there have been “numerous theories and false sightings” over the years of McCartney’s Höfner bass, and that lost guitars have been found before — John Lennon’s Gibson J-160E guitar disappeared during The Beatles’ Christmas Show in 1963, but resurfaced decades later and sold at auction for $2.4 million.

The Lost Bass Project has already received hundreds of new leads including two that are being followed up on.

“Höfner's hunch is that someone will come forward purely on good will, and whoever has it probably doesn't even realize what it is they've got,” said the Jones couple. 

“It would be nice if it could go on public display one day — and if the only way someone is going to come forward is to make some money from it, then so be it, because at least it would be found,” they added. “But ultimately we're just doing this to get Paul his guitar back. We know via Nick and Höfner that it's what he's always wanted.”

“Get involved and you can learn how to identify Paul McCartney’s original Höfner bass — and rule out the fakes,” the team wrote on its website. “You can see the trail the lost bass has been on, following the mystery since 1961. You can get updates on the search today. And if you have credible information about the bass, this is your chance to share it and be part of music history.

“With a little help from our friends – from fans and musicians to collectors and music shops – we can get the bass back to where it once belonged. Paul McCartney has given us so much over the last 62 years. The Lost Bass project is our chance to give something back.”

For more information, click here.

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