In a significant development sparking widespread interest, hundreds of people have contacted organisers of The Lost Bass Project to locate Paul McCartney’s original 1961 Höfner bass guitar. Often referred to as “the most important bass in history,” this iconic instrument has been missing since 1969 when The Beatles recorded their ‘Get Back/Let It Be’ sessions in London.
The bass, originally purchased for £30 ($38) in Hamburg, Germany, is etched in history for its contributions to timeless Beatles tracks like ‘She Loves You’ and ‘Twist and Shout’. Nick Wass of Höfner leads the search operation and collaborates with journalists and TV producers Scott and Naomi Jones.
Welcome to The Lost Bass Project – the global search for Paul McCartney's original Höfner bass. Between 1961 and 1969 this bass changed the world. Today it's the Holy Grail of Rock and Roll. Follow the trail. And help trace the bass. Visit https://t.co/4eZFkyULMv @tracingthebass pic.twitter.com/VauQW8G9bB
— TracingTheBass (@TracingTheBass) September 2, 2023
In a recent conversation with the BBC, Wass revealed that the absence of the bass was a point of discussion when he spoke with McCartney. “It’s not clear where it was stored, who might have been there. For most people, they will remember it… it’s the bass that made the Beatles,” he said.
The initiative caught the attention of Scott Jones following McCartney’s performance at last year’s Glastonbury festival. Jones approached Höfner, only to find the company had already been discussing with McCartney about recovering the instrument. “Paul said to Höfner ‘surely if anyone can find this guitar, it’s you guys’, and that’s how it all came about,” Scott stated.
Since the project’s launch on 2 September, the team has received numerous emails. Two leads, in particular, have caught their attention for aligning with prior information. “We didn’t expect to get necessarily thousands of super-hot leads instantly… what I’m anticipating is that people who know something will probably just sort of reflect on what they know and then come forward at some point,” Scott told PA news.
Scott declined to share specific details but noted that a particular name has repeatedly surfaced in various accounts. “The name [has] cropped up a few times now, because it’s disconnected and it’s coming from a range of sources. Obviously, things like that stand out,” he said.
As for the possibility that someone could unwittingly own this iconic instrument, Scott acknowledged it’s feasible. He referenced the reappearance of John Lennon’s acoustic guitar, which was stolen in 1963 but resurfaced 51 years later in America.
This quest to recover McCartney’s lost Höfner bass has struck a chord with fans and historians alike, inviting us all to be part of a journey to reclaim a piece of musical history.