Paul McCartney's long lost bass, the famous Hofner 500/1, has finally been returned to the Beatle after being missing for over 50 years.

"Following the launch of last year's Lost Bass project, Paul’s 1961 Hofner 500/1 bass guitar, which was stolen in 1972, has been returned," a statement on McCartney's website reads. "The guitar has been authenticated by Hofner and Paul is incredibly grateful to all those involved."

McCartney originally purchased the instrument in Hamburg, Germany, in 1961, using it often for live performances in the early '60s as well as on the Beatles' first few albums.

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"For about £30 [$37.79 USD], I found this Hofner violin bass," McCartney said to The Guardian in 2023 when the search was launched. “And to me, because I was left-handed, it looked less daft because it was symmetrical. I got into that. And once I bought it, I fell in love with it."

McCartney continued using it until the band's breakup — it was last seen during sessions for Let It Be.

Found Safe and Sound

That is, until now. During investigations, the Lost Bass project received tips indicating that a robbery had taken place in the Notting Hill area of London in October of 1972. From there, they were able to track down not only who originally stole the instrument, but to whom it was then sold and so on. Eventually, it was discovered in the attic of a man living in Sussex.

"The bass is complete and still with its original case," the Lost Bass Project wrote on their website. "It will need some repairs to make it playable again, but a team of professionals can easily carry these out."

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Gallery Credit: Michael Gallucci