Sir Paul McCartney's long-lost guitar found in Sussex

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Sir Paul McCartney has been reunited with a guitar more than 50 years after it was stolen.

The Beatles legend, who owns a farm in Peasmarsh, near Rye in East Sussex, last saw the bass guitar in 1972.

It was reunited with him after a Hastings resident contacted the musician’s company and returned the instrument to them.

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The rediscovery of the guitar was confirmed on Sir Paul’s website.

The guitar that has been reunited with Sir Paul McCartneyThe guitar that has been reunited with Sir Paul McCartney
The guitar that has been reunited with Sir Paul McCartney

A statement said: “Following the launch of last year's Lost Bass project, Paul’s 1961 Höfner 500/1 bass guitar, which was stolen in 1972, has been returned. The guitar has been authenticated by Höfner and Paul is incredibly grateful to all those involved.”

The guitar was used on Love Me Do and She Loves You.

A global search was launched in 2018 to find the guitar bought by Sir Paul in Hamburg for £30 in 1961.

It was stolen in 1972, and its location was unknown until the Lost Bass project, led by expert Nick Wass, was able to get the guitar returned to the musician.

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Sir Paul McCartney. Picture taken in 2013Sir Paul McCartney. Picture taken in 2013
Sir Paul McCartney. Picture taken in 2013

On its website, the Lost Bass Project wrote: “Following worldwide coverage by the press and media of the search, the first useful leads were received. Acting on these, the team could begin to pinpoint exactly what happened to the stolen bass.

“We received over 100 leads and suggestions about the Lost Bass plus over 600 people contacted us offering their help.

“We received information about the actual theft, that it had been stolen from the back of a 3 ton van during the night of October 10, 1972, in the Notting Hill area of London. This was the breakthrough we needed.

“We quickly realised that this information corresponded exactly with a story we had received in an email about the bass being stolen. With some detective work we were able to discover exactly who had stolen the bass.”

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Those working on the project were able to find out that the guitar had been sold to a landlord in London.

The project wrote: “On September 2, 2023 we wrote an article for The Sunday Telegraph newspaper outlining the search and who was on the team. We didn’t expect it to go very far, but it caught the imagination of thousands of people. Within a week it was in newspapers all over the world. We were asked to do numerous interviews and appear on several television news broadcasts.

“As a result of the publicity someone living in a terraced house in Hastings contacted Paul McCartney’s company and then returned the bass to them. The search was over – Paul had his stolen bass back at last.”