Paul McCartney gets iconic bass back after 50 years

Paul McCartney

After more than 50 years, Paul McCartney has had a piece of Beatles history returned to him.

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McCartney’s 1961 Höfner 500/1 bass guitar has gotten back into his hands, NBC News reported.

The bass was stolen in 1972 from the back of a van and had been believed to have been lost or destroyed.

The violin-shaped, four-string instrument had been front and center on some of The Beatles’ biggest hits. It was found in the possession of a family in southern England. It still was in its original case.

BBC News reported that the instrument was found in an attic. Before that, the Loss Bass Project said after the guitar was stolen from a van in the Notting Hill area of London in October 1972, it was sold to a pub’s landlord, Ronald Guest, and eventually landed in a house in Sussex.

The guitar was authenticated by Höfner, according to a statement on Paul McCartney’s website.

It was returned in September and was finally given to McCartney in December, the BBC reported. It is not playable, but repairs can correct that.

McCartney bought the custom left-handed guitar in Germany in 1961 for about 30 pounds, or $37, about two years before The Beatles became international superstars. He had a backup made in 1963 that was nearly identical to the original Höfner bass, but the original had been used on such iconic songs as “Let It Be,” NBC News reported.

The Lost Bass Project said, “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.”

The group had more than 100 leads and 600 contacts from people offering to help find the instrument.

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