Global Search for Sir Paul McCartney’s Lost Bass Guitar

September 5, 2023 10:25 am in by
Photo by David Redfern/Redferns

A global search is underway for Sir Paul McCartney’s bass guitar, estimated to be worth £10 million (approximately $19.5m AUD) and fans are encouraged to provide information on its whereabouts.

The legendary instrument, a Hofner 500/1 electric bass, holds immense sentimental value as it played a pivotal role in shaping The Beatles’ sound and fuelled Beatlemania. McCartney purchased the iconic bass for a mere £30 ($58 AUD) from a shop in Hamburg in 1961, and it quickly became his favourite.

He strummed its strings at various iconic locations, such as the Top Ten Club in Germany and Liverpool’s Cavern Club. The bass guitar graced the Beatles’ earliest recordings at Abbey Road studios, including chart-topping hits like Love Me Do, She Loves You, and Twist And Shout.

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Unfortunately, the instrument vanished during the band’s Get Back/Let It Be recording sessions in London in early 1969, a year before the Beatles disbanded. The disappearance of this bass guitar sparked one of the greatest mysteries in rock and roll history. The Lost Bass project has now embarked on a mission to locate “the most important bass in history” and is asking fans to help.

The Hofner bass boasts distinctive features, including a unique single pickup frame that holds both pickups, created during repairs in London in 1964. The instrument was also resprayed with a darker three-part sunburst and fitted with new knobs. Its distinctive appearance sets it apart from any other 500/1 bass.

Among those passionately involved in the search is Nick Wass, a bass expert and Hofner executive. He believes that recovering the missing instrument would bring immense joy to McCartney. “Paul would be so happy if this bass could get back to him,” Wass expressed.

Paul McCartney is making his eagerly anticipated return to Australia with his upcoming Got Back tour. This will be his first visit to the country since 2017, and fans can expect a series of exciting stadium shows across six cities. The tour kicks off in Adelaide on 18 October 2023, followed by Melbourne, Newcastle, Sydney, Brisbane, and Gold Coast. Make sure to visit Frontier Touring for all the details on tickets and tour information.

As the search intensifies, the hope remains that this iconic instrument will find its way back to Paul and hopefully in time for his Australian tour – until then, the search for ‘the holy grail of bass guitars’ continues…

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