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Sir Paul McCartney reunited with ‘stolen’ bass guitar after 50 years

Sir Paul McCartney has been reunited with his bass guitar, on which he strummed the famous tunes Twist And Shout and She Loves You for The Beatles, after it went missing more than 50 years ago.

The Hofner 500/1 bass, which is now estimated to be worth £10m, went missing in 1972.

It was allegedly stolen from the back of a van in Notting Hill, London.

Its whereabouts were unknown for decades but in 2018 a group intent on tracking down the German-made instrument, The Lost Bass Project, launched a search for it.

The pace of the search was initially slow but picked up after worldwide media coverage and soon the project received dozens of leads and hundreds of people willing to help.

Receiving the tip-off that it had been stolen, the group – which includes Hofner executive Nick Wass – discovered the violin-shaped bass was allegedly sold to a pub landlord in the Ladbroke Grove area.

The project suspected it had remained in the landlord’s family.

After numerous TV interviews and media coverage, the group said the instrument had ended up in the attic of a house in Hastings, on the south coast of England.

Due to the widespread publicity, the owner realised they had the highly sought-after item and returned the bass to Sir Paul’s company in December, after which it was authenticated.

The Beatles in 1962. Pic: Black Country Images/Alamy
Image: The Beatles in 1962. Pic: Black Country Images/Alamy

The bass is still complete and in its original case but will need some repairs to make it playable again, the project added in a statement.

A spokesperson for the former Beatle said he is “incredibly grateful” for those who were involved in the hunt for it.

Now considered one of the most iconic instruments of all time, Sir Paul bought the bass for £30 in Hamburg, Germany, in 1961.

Speaking in a 1966 Beat Instrumental interview, McCartney said: “I have had a Hofner ever since I started. I’ve got three models but the ancient one is still my favourite. It has seen so much work that some of it is held with sellotape!”

He used it in his decade-long career with the band, including on their first two albums, Please Please Me and With The Beatles.

The Hofner was eventually dubbed the “Beatle bass”.

A statement from The Lost Bass Project said the group were “extremely proud” of playing a part in solving the mystery.

It added: “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!”

Sky News Source