Lot #690
Beatles: McCartney, Paul

His trademark instrument: McCartney signs a Höfner “violin” bass guitar
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Estimate: $0+


His trademark instrument: McCartney signs a Höfner “violin” bass guitar

Beautiful left-handed sunburst-finish Höfner “violin” or “Cavern” bass guitar, beautifully signed on the mother of pearl pickguard in black felt tip, “Paul McCartney.” The instrument features a spruce plywood top with a maple plywood back and vintage-style pickups. In 1961, the Beatles’ original bass player, Stuart Sutcliffe (who had used a Höfner bass), left the band to resume his art studies. The Beatles were without a bass player, and none of them wanted to start playing one, but the job fell to Paul McCartney, who had been playing rhythm guitar and piano; George Harrison had already been settled on as lead guitarist, and John Lennon had just bought a new guitar and refused to switch. In the British vernacular of the day, McCartney found himself “lumbered” with the job. Sutcliffe initially lent his Höfner bass to McCartney, who had seen another guitarist in Hamburg using a violin-shaped bass. When he saw a similar instrument in the window of a Hamburg music store, he investigated. Because of the instrument’s symmetricality, McCartney could play left-handed without the bass “looking daft,” as he put it. It was also inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to play melodic bass lines on, yet had a deep, warm tone. McCartney bought the bass he saw in the window, and used it for years both in live performance and on recordings. A centerpiece for any music collection! In very fine condition. LOA Roger Epperson/PSA/DNA and R&R COA. Oversized.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title:
  • Dates: #318 - Ended February 14, 2007