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New clue found in the search for Paul McCartney’s missing Höfner bass

ABC/Heidi Gutman

Some new information has been uncovered in the search for Paul McCartney’s missing bass. 


The Lost Bass Project launched its global search to find McCartney’s original Höfner bass guitar in early September, and it’s already made some progress. The two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Famer purchased the bass in Hamburg, Germany, in 1961, but eight years later it disappeared, reportedly after being put away following the filming of 1969’s Get Back.

According to The Telegraph, over 600 emails came in within 40 hours of the search news hitting the press. One of them provided some previously unknown insight into the last whereabouts of the instrument, which has been described as “the most important bass in history.”

Ian Horne, a sound engineer with McCartney’s band Wings, revealed in an email that the last time the bass was seen was not in 1969, but on October 10, 1972.

At the time, McCartney was rehearsing for a Wings tour and recording his album Red Rose Speedway. Horne says the bass was stolen from a truck that was shuttling instruments from recording studios and rehearsal spaces in London. At the time of the theft, the truck had been parked in the Ladbroke Grove area of Notting Hill, West London.  

“I knew it was Paul’s original Höfner bass that had been stolen, and I knew what it meant to him,” Horne says, noting they went door to door in the neighborhood looking for any information, but with no luck.

He says McCartney “told us not to worry, and we kept our jobs.” He added, “I worked for him for six years after the bass went missing. But I’ve carried the guilt all my life.”

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