A worldwide search has been launched to unravel one of Rock and Roll’s enduring mysteries – the whereabouts of a Höfner 500/1 electric bass guitar once owned by Paul McCartney and featured in several early Beatles classics, including “Twist And Shout,” “Love Me Do,” and “She Loves You.”
McCartney, in 1961, acquired this iconic guitar for a modest sum of $37 from a Hamburg shop, and it has since become legendary in its own right. The Lost Bass Project, a dedicated group of Beatles enthusiasts and researchers, has initiated this quest to track down this cherished instrument.
“The bass McCartney played … in Hamburg in 1961, at the Cavern in Liverpool, and on those first Abbey Road recordings – it powered Beatlemania and shaped the sound of the modern world,” The Lost Bass Project attested.
According to the group, McCartney utilized the bass in London during the Beatles’ 1969 Get Back/Let It Be recording sessions, after which it seemingly vanished without a trace.
The Lost Bass Project expressed, “Nobody has ever clearly established where the bass was stored … and nobody has come forward with an account of what happened to it.” This mysterious disappearance has led to numerous rumors, conspiracy theories, and false sightings over the past 55 years.
The group also pointed out that the realm of stolen guitars has become rife with forgeries and fakes, further complicating the search for McCartney’s treasured Höfner bass.
Launching their investigative initiative, the group declared their intention to “carry out targeted research based on existing information and insights” and to “gather and respond to new information and insights shared by people around the world.”
The Lost Bass Project emphasized the significance of this endeavor, describing it as an opportunity for fans to give back to Paul McCartney, who has enriched the world with his music over the past 62 years. They urged anyone with credible information about the bass to come forward and be part of music history.
The public appeal of the project began on September 3, and already, hundreds of new leads have flooded in, indicating the widespread interest in the quest to locate McCartney’s missing instrument.
Heading the Höfner search project is Nick Wass, who worked closely with McCartney’s team and authored a book about the vanished bass. Wass commented, “It was very likely stolen. Someone somewhere knows what happened to this bass and where it is now.”
Wass added, “Paul would be so happy, thrilled if this bass could get back to him. I know because I talked with him about it.”
Despite the long years since its disappearance, the team of music detectives remains hopeful, citing the case of John Lennon’s Gibson J-160E acoustic guitar, which disappeared during a 1963 performance and reemerged 51 years later.
“The bass was in need of repairs and so it was sent to a firm in London, early in 1964, who carried these out. They resprayed the bass a darker three-part sunburst and fitted new knobs,” the company added, indicating that the bass’s appearance may have evolved over time.