“Pop history was written on this”

“Pop history was written on this”

Paul McCartney on Hofner guitar, May 1963.BuildGetty Images

In 1961, McCartney bought the instrument from manufacturer Hofner for £30 in Hamburg, where the Beatles were visiting regularly at the time. This was his first bass guitar. According to Chris Decker, the magazine's editor-in-chief By bassistIt's the “Holy Grail” for enthusiasts. “Pop history has been written on this guitar, it's priceless. The bass lines on the Beatles' first two albums were played on this,” he says.

Eleven years after McCartney purchased the guitar, in 1972, the instrument disappeared. Because of its great historical value, former Höfner employee Nick Wass set up “The Lost Bass Project” six years ago to find the guitar. He worked with two journalists from the BBC.

A former Beatles sound engineer said the bass guitar was stolen in 1972 in the Notting Hill area of ​​London. He left the machine in his truck overnight. The next morning the car was broken into and the guitar was gone.

In the attic

Through another piece of information, Wass contacted the thief’s son. He said that his father stole the guitar and then sold it to a bar owner, without having any idea of ​​the historical importance of the instrument. It is now valued at £11 million (approximately €13 million).

The bass guitar has always stayed in the bar owner's family. He ended up in his daughter-in-law Cathy Guest's attic. After a call from Wass in English News, she returned the guitar to McCartney in September 2023.

In an interview with By bassist Wass says McCartney described him as “as eager as a schoolboy” and asked him to come to England to verify that it was in fact the missing guitar in question. This has now been proven. McCartney says on his website that he is “extremely grateful” for all the help. The bass guitar is a little damaged, but can be repaired.

With violin shape

Since McCartney used the instrument, Hofner's violin-style guitar model became highly sought after. This type is now known as “Beatles bass guitar”. “Before Beatlemania, this was not a supermodel at all,” Decker says. “But now she's an icon.” Artists like Tame Impala still use a fiddle-shaped bass guitar.

Decker is now particularly looking forward to McCartney performing with her again: “During most concerts, McCartney still plays his bass from 1963, on which so many famous songs were written.” Now he can also play the guitar that started it all.

See also  Moontan with Rinus Gerritsen from Golden Earring to theaters

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *