Höfner thief found?

Höfner thief found?

An article in Guitar Player about the theft of Paul McCartney’s first Höfner bass guitar claims that the thief has been found.

A world wide search for Paul McCartney’s stolen first Höfner bass guitar was launched by guitar maker Höfner a few years ago. Paul had purchased the instrument when the Beatles were playing at the Top Ten Club in Reeperbahn, Hamburg in 1961. This was their second trip to Hamburg, and their regular bass guitarist Stuart Sutcliffe was on his way out of the group. It was during this trip that the Beatles were backing singer and guitarist Tony Sheridan, resulting in their first appearance on records. Paul was of course playing his new Höfner.

After having gotten a new and better Höfner 500/1 violin bass guitar in 1963, the 1961 bass was refurbished and used as a back-up. Occasionally we could see it again, like in the “Revolution” promo film.

It has already come to light that the first assumption that the instrument was stolen during the recording of “Let It Be” in Twickenham film studios was not true. One could see the bass guitar in the 1969 promo of “The Ballad of John and Yoko” in a scene from these recordings. But in Peter Jackson’s 2021 documentary “Get Back” we also saw the instrument in the Apple Studio, where the Beatles continued recording after Twickenham. A suspect came forward and claimed he had taken the bass when all the other robberies of the Apple company were taking place, but it turns out that this was untrue.

It has turned out that Paul still owned the instrument in 1972, when a van containing Wings’ equipment and instruments was broken into while it was parked in the Notting Hill district of London. The theft was written about in the media at the time, but it turns out that the newspapers that wrote about the case, The Daily Mirror, The Times and The Evening Standard, have not digitized their editions from 1972. To find and read the news items about the theft one had to go to libraries and study microfilms of the newspapers.

Now journalist Christopher Scapelliti says in the magazine “Guitar Player” that a tip to the detectives investigating the case pointed to a specific house in Ladbroke Grove in the Notting Hill district. By studying the official address lists of registered voters in 1972, the investigators were able to find the thief, whose name has not yet been published. In the article, the journalist speculates that the bass guitar itself will also appear in the wake of this.

We expect TheLostBass.com website to be updated as soon as everything is ready.


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