Paul McCartney Reunited With Stolen Bass Guitar After 51 Years

17 February 2024 | 10:07 am | Mary Varvaris

The bass guitar was stolen from the back of a van in London in 1972 and has finally been returned to its rightful owner.

Paul McCartney @ Adelaide Entertainment Centre

Paul McCartney @ Adelaide Entertainment Centre (Credit: Rodney Magazinovic)

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Paul McCartney has been reunited with his beloved Höfner bass guitar, which was stolen 51 years ago.

The bass guitar was stolen from the back of a van in London in 1972 and is a significant part of music history, with McCartney having recorded The Beatles hits, including She Loves You and Love Me Do on the said Höfner.

According to a new report via the BBC, the instrument was found in a West Sussex family’s attic as part of a project called Lost Bass, which was launched last year. McCartney was reunited with the bass guitar in December.

McCartney bought the instrument for £30 in 1961, and if bought today, it would have cost him £800. Earlier this week, a student named Ruaidhri Guest shared images of the Höfner on social media, claiming that they’d inherited the instrument from their family and had been returned to its rightful owner.

“To my friends and family I inherited this item which has been returned to Paul McCartney. Share the news,” Guest wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter).

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In response to receiving his bass guitar again, a statement on McCartney’s website reads: “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. The guitar has been authenticated by Höfner and Paul is incredibly grateful to all those involved.”

Paul McCartney returned to Australia last year for a string of phenomenal shows in arenas and stadiums.

In a review of his concert at Melbourne’s Marvel Arena, The Music’s Guido Farnell pointed out that “At 81, McCartney defied age and simply blew the crowd at Marvel Stadium away with an epic three hours of tunes that showcase an illustrious career that is the stuff of legend.”

In November, McCartney and MPL Communications shared an Australian tour recap video exclusively with The Music.

The recap video showed the highlights of his sell-out tour that played out to 200,000 Aussies, from crowd singalongs, pyrotechnics and McCartney brandishing an Australian flag in Sydney.

“We love Adelaide, we love Melbourne, we love Newcastle, we love Sydney, we love Brisbane, and we love the Gold Coast – I know where I’m going!” McCartney said as his crew laughed. Check out that video here