Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

She found the priceless instrument in the attic. Now he hopes to find it

The legendary Höfner bass guitar is now in your hands Paul McCartney in 1961. The then-beginning musician bought it for £30 (in today’s money it’s about £800). He used it throughout his career with The Beatles, and after the sessions for the band’s last album, “Let It Be”, the bass was stolen. It was around 1972.

For over 52 years, no one knew what was happening to the missing and extremely important instrument for the musician. Therefore, in 2023, the Lost Bass Project was created to find the Höfner 500/1 or find out what happened to it. Last week, an entry appeared online from a student who admitted that he had inherited the guitar and had already handed it over to the former Beatle.

“To my friends and family, I inherited this item that was returned to Paul McCartney. Please share this news,” he wrote Ruaidhri Guest on the website

Paul McCartney himself confirmed that the guitar had been found on his website. “Following the launch of the Lost Bass Project last year, Paula’s 1961 Paul Höfner 500/1 bass guitar, which was stolen in 1972, has been returned,” he wrote. The guitar has already been checked by the manufacturer and everyone is sure that it is the same instrument. “Paul is incredibly grateful to everyone involved,” we read.

It turns out that the student’s mother actually found the instrument. CathyGuest. After her husband’s death, she was searching the attic of the house when she accidentally came across a guitar in a case. The bass was to be given to their family by their brother-in-law. “My husband inherited it after another family member died and he had it for years,” she told The Sun. “He had no idea where he came from. He was a keen musician and played all the guitars in the house, including Paul’s bass. We both loved music and I still go to concerts every weekend,” she said.

As the woman revealed, when she decided to send the guitar back to McCartney, she put a letter inside in which she informed about her difficult life situation – she is a single mother who takes care of two school-age children. Guest hopes that by being honest and giving back the found guitar, worth approximately £10 million, the musician will look at it favorably.

Cathy Guest admitted in an interview with a tabloid that she was in contact with McCartney’s team, who promised her a reward for returning the guitar. “I did as they wanted, and the case is still open. (The guitar – note) is part of the history of rock’n’roll and it’s not like they were a small band,” she says about the reasons for returning the guitar.

This unusual-looking instrument has become an inseparable element of Paul McCartney’s image. As a left-handed musician, McCartney initially fell in love with its symmetrical shape. Recently, an action to find the instrument was initiated thanks to the cooperation of the director of the Höfner company, Nick Wass and the musician himself.

“I had worked closely with Paul McCartney’s band over the years, and when Paul and I met, we were talking about his first Höfner bass and where it might be today. Paul said to me, ‘Hey, if you work at Höfner, could you help find my bass?’ And that’s what started this great hunt,” he said in an interview.

It so happens that the manufacturer could not refuse this offer. After all, McCartney unwittingly became the instrument’s greatest ambassador and is why Höfner bass guitars are still so popular. During his career, the musician already had four guitars of this brand, and he still plays one of them.

Nick Wass admits that the instrument is actually priceless today, equating its value to “works by Van Gogh or Picasso” than to the instrument itself. “This is the bass Paul played in Hamburg, at the Cavern Club and at Abbey Road,” he notes.

For years, it was rumored that the guitar had been stolen from a closet at EMI’s London studios or had gone missing in the basement of the band’s Savile Row offices. She was last seen in reality a few years before her official disappearance, i.e. on January 30, 1969, during the legendary rooftop concert.