Paul McCartney’s Lost Bass Guitar Is Tracked Down By Fans

The prized instrument, stolen in 1972, has now been returned to the Beatle.

From left, Ringo Starr (playing Ludwig drum kit) and Paul McCartney (playing a Hofner 500/1 violin bass guitar) of English rock and pop group The Beatles perform together on stage during recording of the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) music television show 'Shindig!' at Granville Studios in Fulham, London on 3rd October 1964. Photo by David Redfern/Redferns.

The bass guitar that Paul McCartney played on some of the Beatles’ earliest hits, missing for over five decades after being heisted, has been recovered. 

McCartney reportedly paid £30 for the bass, a Höfner 500/1, with its distinctive violin shape, in Hamburg in 1961. It was used to record the band’s first two records, Please Please Me and With the Beatles (both 1963), featuring some of the Fab Four’s earliest hits, such as Love Me Do, Twist and Shout, and She Loves You.

Fans launched the Lost Bass Project in an effort to find the instrument in 2018. According to them, it was stolen from the back of a van in London’s Notting Hill neighborhood on October 10, 1972. The thief then sold it to Ronald Guest, who owned the Admiral Blake pub, also in London. In September, the group published an article in the Sunday Telegraph describing their search, leading to widespread media attention. 

The Lost Bass Project says they tracked the Guest family to today, but then discreetly doesn’t name names when it comes to who had possession of the bass between then and now.

“As a result of the publicity,” says the group’s website, “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.” 

McCartney confirmed the news and expressed his gratitude in a statement on his website.

The instrument still has its original case and has sustained only minor damage, which, according to the Lost Bass Project, can be easily remedied.


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