Paul McCartney appeals for the return of a stolen guitar

Wednesday, October 11, 1972


On October 10, 1972, Paul McCartney’s very first bass, a 1961 Höfner 500/1, was stolen from a truck parked overnight. Ian Horne, a roadie with Wings, explained that the bass was stolen sometime after 10 pm on that day from the Ladbroke Grove area of Notting Hill, west London.

Press pleas for its return were published the day after, but the bass disappeared for 51 years. The lost treasure was discovered abandoned in an attic in late 2023 and returned to Paul McCartney in February 2024.

If the thief stole it to sell it, he can sell it back to me!

Paul McCartney – From “The Beatles Diary Volume 2: After The Break-Up 1970-2001” by Keith Badman

McCartney robbed

£500 WORTH of musical equipment belonging to former Beatles Paul McCartney and his group Wings has been stolen from a parked lorry in Cambridge Gardens, Notting Hill.

From Evening Standard – October 11, 1972
From Evening Standard – October 11, 1972


Paul McCartney appealed last night for the return of a favourite guitar he used at the height of Beatlemania. It was stolen from a van in London’s Notting Hill.

From Daily Mirror – Thursday 12 October 1972
From Daily Mirror – Thursday 12 October 1972

Paul: Please please me

LONDON – Former Beatle Paul McCartney appealed to a thief yesterday to return his famous bass guitar because of its sentimental value. The guitar, shaped like a violin, was among equipment worth $1,250 which was stolen from McCartney’s pop group Wings in London Tuesday. McCartney has used the guitar since the birth of the Beatles.

From The Montreal Star, October 12, 1972
From The Montreal Star, October 12, 1972

Last updated on February 18, 2024

Going further

The Beatles Diary Volume 2: After The Break-Up 1970-2001

"An updated edition of the best-seller. The story of what happened to the band members, their families and friends after the 1970 break-up is brought right up to date. A fascinating and meticulous piece of Beatles scholarship."

We owe a lot to Keith Badman for the creation of those pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details - a day to day chronology of what happened to the four Beatles after the break-up and how their stories intertwined together!

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The Beatles - The Dream is Over: Off The Record 2

This edition of the book compiles more outrageous opinions and unrehearsed interviews from the former Beatles and the people who surrounded them. Keith Badman unearths a treasury of Beatles sound bites and points-of-view, taken from the post break up years. Includes insights from Yoko Ono, Linda McCartney, Barbara Bach and many more.

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Lucy Alexander 3 months ago

Hi - I think that your site may well have contributed to Paul’s Lost Bass being found - I sent a snip of this article and a link to your site to the Lost BassProject- and got the below reply

Hi Lucy

Thanks for this lead – it is very useful to us.

with best regards
The Lost Bass project team.

It now seems that it was an important lead - well done us :-)

The PaulMcCartney Project 3 months ago

WOW, Thanks a lot Lucy ! That's a nice warm feeling to think we might have contributed to the find !

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