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Paul McCartney’s iconic Höfner bass returned to him after 51 years

The bass was stolen in 1972.

By Will Richards

Paul McCartney performs with a guitar in The Beatles
Paul McCartney performing with The Beatles (Photo: Alamy).

Paul McCartney‘s iconic Höfner bass guitar, which was stolen in the early 1970s, has been returned to him after 51 years.

McCartney bought the guitar for £30 in 1961 and it became a staple of his throughout The Beatles‘ entire career.

The bass was last seen during the recording of the band’s final album, 1970’s Let It Be, and then vanished for half a century.

Last year, a campaign to find the instrument and reunite it with McCartney was launched by the Lost Bass Project organisation.

This week, a student called Ruaidhri Guest shared a photo of the instrument and claimed that he had inherited it.

He wrote on X/Twitter: “To my friends and family I inherited this item which has been returned to Paul McCartney. Share the news.”

A statement on McCartney’s website revealed that the guitar “has been authenticated by Höfner” and that the singer “is incredibly grateful to all those involved”.

Speaking to The Telegraph about the search for the instrument, Höfner’s Nick Wass said: “I’ve worked closely with Paul McCartney’s team over the years, and when I’ve met Paul we’ve talked about his first Höfner bass and where it could be today.

“Paul said to me, ‘Hey, because you’re from Höfner, couldn’t you help find my bass?’ And that’s what sparked this great hunt.”