Sir Paul McCartney has finally been reunited with missing Beatles-era Höfner bass guitar, 51 years on

Publish Date
Friday, 16 February 2024, 2:36PM
Paul McCartney pictured with his missing bass guitar. Photo / Apple Films

Paul McCartney pictured with his missing bass guitar. Photo / Apple Films

51 years after it was stolen from the back of a van in London Sir Paul McCartney has been reunited with the bass guitar he used on Beatles hits including Love Me Do and She Loves You.

The Höfner bass was found in a family's attic in Sussex thanks to a search by a project called the Lost Bass.

Paul bought the guitar in 1961 but it was stolen from the back of a van outside a pub in West London, 1972.

A spokesperson for the former Beatle said he was "incredibly grateful" for its return.

"Following the launch of last year's Lost Bass project, Paul's 1961 Höfner 500/1 bass guitar, which was stolen in 1972, has been returned.

The 1969 rooftop concert was the last time the distinctive violin-shaped bass guitar was seen. Photo / AP

Sign up for Coast's weekly newsletter for exclusive prizes and to keep updated with the latest.

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

Speaking to BBC News, the team behind the Lost Bass project said they were thrilled to solve the case they dubbed "the greatest mystery in the history of rock and roll".

"There were no leads, no evidence really where it might be," said journalist Scott Jones, who alongside his wife Naomi last year joined the search.

"To have found it quite quickly is amazing and we've heard how thrilled Paul McCartney is to have it back.

"That's just the icing on the cake to know that bloke we all love is smiling tonight because his old guitar is back."

The guitar was conservatively valued at at least £10 million ($21m) when the global search kicked off last year, but is now almost certainly worth more.

The guitar was found in late September and verified by experts to confirm it is genuine before reuniting with Paul in December.

Luckily the bass was complete and still with its original case, but will need some repairs to make it playable again.

Paul McCartney's bass guitar could now be worth at least $21 million. Photo / NZ Herald


Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you