Paul McCartney’s Long Lost Bass Guitar Found – Select Recordings Studio Link!

Paul McCartney's Long Lost Bass Guitar Found – Select Recordings Studio Link!
1 month ago

Beatles legend Paul McCartney had his bass guitar stolen from the back of the van, while in the Notting Hill area of London back in 1972, over 51 years ago. You could definitely forgive him if he’d lost hope of ever being reunited with the violin shaped beauty, but reunited he has been thanks to a chance find in a loft in East Sussex! The bass itself is a stunning 1961 Höfner guitar and its find owes a lot to The Lost Bass Search Project, who had been appealing for information about the bass guitar online. But that only tells part of the story.

McCartney purchased the instrument for only £30 in Hamburg, Germany in 1961 and used it to record much of The Beatles music over that decade including Love Me Do and She Loves You. £30 I hear you cry! Well it is worth considering that in today’s money that is the equivalent of over £835! The search for the bass began only relatively recently after McCartney persuaded  manufacturers Höfner to locate it. Nick Wass was leading the investigation and enlisted the help of some journalists to solve rock and roll’s biggest instrument-based mystery. Wass even wrote a book in collaboration with McCartney about the missing  Höfner 500/1 Violin Bass.

Before we get to the story of how it was found, it is worth noting that there were some very particular characteristics that would allow it to be authenticated by  Höfner in the event that it turned up. Firstly the  Höfner logo was originally displayed vertically. Also, the missing bass should look very different from early photos as McCartney had had it extensively renovated, including a darker paint job, the removal of the pearl pickguard and the two pickups being mounted on a single piece of dark wood.

So, how was it found? Well, in the words of the Lost Bass Project “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.” Never mind ‘Rubber Soul’, more like ‘Rubber Ball!’

The actual story sounds more like a shaggy dog tale! A sound engineer who’d been working with McCartney remembered that the bass had been left in the back of the van we mentioned earlier and stolen from there. He also intimated that the guitar had been sold for a bit of cash and beer money to a Ronald Guest, the landlord of a local pub. The landlord had accrued a fair collection and having passed away, his wife was looking to sell it to help fund her kids university expenses. It was during her research she pinpointed McCartney’s Höfner 500/1 Violin Bass and contacted the relevant people. In truth the guitar hardly travelled at all during all these years!

How does Select Recording Studios tie in?

Well, Paul Miles, owner of Select Recording Studios, had McCartney’s son James in the studio for a session several years ago and got to talking about how his fathers Höfner bass is not the original one from the days of the fab four and that it had indeed been stolen back in the seventies! This was before the news came out back in September 2023 about the search for the missing bass. It is great that this story got the happy ending it deserved.

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