Paul McCartney’s long-lost bass guitar, stolen over 50 years ago, finally found

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(WJW) – The Beatles legend Paul McCartney was finally reunited with his original Höfner bass guitar, which has been missing for more than 50 years.

McCartney confirmed the news in a Wednesday statement on his website, saying he is “incredibly grateful to all those involved” in retrieving it.

Members of the British rock band The Beatles, Paul McCartney (left) and John Lennon (1940 – 1980), sing into a microphone as they play their instruments at the taping of a segment for ‘Toast of the Town,’ the CBS variety program hosted by Ed Sullivan, New York, August 14, 1965. The segment aired as part of Sullivan’s 19th season opener on September 12, 1965. (Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

The whereabouts of the 1961 Höfner 500/1 bass guitar have remained a mystery since it went missing in 1972. Decades later, a group dedicated to finding the lost musical relic, called The Lost Bass Project, was formed in 2018.

According to the group’s website, thanks to national coverage and plenty of leads from the public, the group learned that the bass was stolen from a van in the Notting Hill area of London on Oct. 10, 1972.

The Lost Bass Project said they discovered that the thief sold the guitar to a pub landlord in the Notting Hill area.

The group goes on to say that a September 2023 article in The Telegraph brought the story back into the spotlight, leading to an unexpected breakthrough.

“As a result of the publicity, someone living in a terraced house on the south coast of England remembered an old bass guitar that was in their attic,” The Lost Bass Project said. “They got this out and realized just what they had.”

The group said the bass guitar, which, according to Rolling Stone, has been nicknamed the “most important bass in history,” was immediately returned to McCartney.

The Lost Project says the guitar needs some repairs, but it’s in fair condition and still has its original case.

“Despite many telling us that it was lost forever or destroyed, we persisted until it was back where it belonged,” The Lost Project said in a statement. “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.”

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