Paul McCartney’s Lost Bass
September 8, 2023 - The Beatle’s original 1961 bass guitar, which featured in some of the most iconic moments in music history, went missing in 1969 but has finally been reunited with its owner and is now worth up to £10 million.
During a four-month residency at the Top Ten Club in Hamburg, Paul McCartney took over as bass player for the Beatles after Stuart Sutcliffe quit the band. He bought the distinctive left-handed Höfner Violin Bass 500/1 from the Steinway Musikhaus for approximately £30 and went on to make music history, with the instrument featuring on such tracks as “Love Me Do”, “She Loves You” and “Twist and Shout”.
After two years of near constant use during the height of Beatlemania, the bass needed repairs and became backup to a new Höfner. During these repairs a number of alterations were made, including a three-part sunburst respray and the removal of a mother-of-pearl pick guard.
The ’61 bass was last seen by McCartney during the filming of the movie Get Back in 1969, but was stolen from the back of a van in Notting Hill, London in 1972 and sold to Ronald Guest, landlord of the Admiral Blake pub in Ladbroke Grove. It is believed to have stayed in the Guest family down the years and was eventually found in a terraced house in Hastings, south east England, from where it was returned to Höfner and McCartney.