Mystery Solved! Missing for 51 Years, Paul McCartney’s First Hofner Bass is Finally Returned

Thanks in part to The Lost Bass Project, the 1961 Hofner bass was recently returned to Sir Paul

Mystery Solved! Missing for 51 Years, Paul McCartney’s First Hofner Bass is Finally Returned

Thanks in part to The Lost Bass Project, the 1961 Hofner bass was recently returned to Sir Paul

In exciting news, Paul McCartney’s original 1961 Hofner 500/1 bass that was stolen in 1972 has been found and returned to the legendary Beatle. After 51 years, the bass, which was used by Sir Paul throughout much of his playing in the Beatles, turned up thanks to efforts from The Lost Bass Project and Hofner Guitars.

The find was announced through both Paul McCartney’s website and Hofner Guitars’:

“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,” a statement confirms. “The guitar has been authenticated by Höfner and Paul is incredibly grateful to all those involved.  It was inherited by a 21yr old film student by the name of Rauidhri Guest and had been sitting in his attic in Hastings, England, apparently restrung right handed, and he not knowing who it once belonged to for all these years.

Here is further explanation from The Lost Bass Project:

We are extremely proud that we played a major part in finding the Lost Bass. It has been a dream since 2018 that it could be done. Despite many telling us that it was lost forever or destroyed, we persisted until it was back where it belonged. We want to thank everyone who helped with the search, all those who sent us leads and ideas and many who just wanted to lend their support to us. Thank you all so very much. Very much indeed! We did it!

This is the news you have all been waiting so patiently for. 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 search began in 2018 but received no really useful leads for some time. It was only when Scott and Naomi Jones joined the search in May 2023 that things really started to move forward. Following worldwide coverage by the press and media of the search, the first useful leads were received. Acting on these, the team could begin to pinpoint exactly what happened to the stolen bass. We received over 100 leads and suggestions about the Lost Bass plus over 600 people contacted us offering their help! Wow! We were taken aback at the response. We received information about the actual theft, that it had been stolen from the back of a 3 ton van during the night of 10th October 1972, in the Notting Hill area of London. This was the breakthrough we needed. We quickly realised that this information corresponded exactly with a story we had received in an email about the bass being stolen. With some detective work we were able to discover exactly who had stolen the bass. Further to this we gained information about what the thief did with the bass – they sold it to the landlord of a pub in the Notting Hill area. Looking into old records we established who that was and then gained further information about what happened next, who had the bass and what was done with it. We were able to trace the bass over the years. On September 2nd 2023 we wrote an article for The Sunday Telegraph newspaper outlining the search and who was on the team. We didn’t expect it to go very far, but it caught the imagination of 1000s of people. Within a week it was in newspapers all over the world. We were asked to do numerous interviews and appear on several television news broadcasts. As a result of the publicity someone living in a terraced house on the south coast of England remembered an old bass guitar that was in their attic. They got this out and realised just what they had. Within days it was back with Paul McCartney!

Bass Magazine   By: Bass Magazine