Paul McCartney reunited with stolen bass guitar after 51 years

16 February 2024, 13:51

Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney has been reunited with his stolen bass. Picture: MJ Kim/Press
Radio X

By Radio X

The legendary Beatle has been reunited with his 1961 Höfner bass guitar which was stolen over 50 years ago.

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Sir Paul McCartney has been reunited with a guitar which was stolen more than 50 years ago.

The Beatles legend was left devastated after the 1961 Höfner 500/1 bass guitar - used in the creation of many of the Fab Fours' hits - was taken from the back of a van in London in October 1972.

Back in 2018, a major international search was launched for the missing instrument under the name The Lost Bass Project and now almost six years later it has been found.

McCartney confirmed the news in a statement posted on his website, which read: "Following the launch of ... [The] Lost Bass Project, Paul’s 1961 Hofner 500/1 bass guitar, which was stolen in 1972, has been returned.

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

Though the search for the iconic guitar was first launched in 2018, the search had a new lease of life when it gained extra publicity in 2023.

A message posted on The Lost Bass Project's website revealed the instrument is still complete and comes in its original case, but it will need some repairs.

The statement explained: "Finally, after so much searching and investigation, we have Paul’s Lost Bass back with him. Can you imagine how excited Paul was when he heard the news!

"The bass is complete and still with its original case. It will need some repairs to make it playable again, but a team of professionals can easily carry these out."

The update also explained that explained the searchers had uncovered information about the theft and even tracked down the identity of the person who stole the instrument and sold it to a pub landlord.

The instrument's journey was then traced over the years until finally "someone living in a terraced house on the south coast of England" remembered they had an old bass guitar stored in their attic and realised its significance.

"They got this out and realised just what they had," the statement adds. "Within days it was back with Paul McCartney!"

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