Guitar Mojo

Before all the fame, a young Paul McCartney was shopping for a new instrument in Hamburg, Germany while The Beatles were playing nightclubs. McCartney settled on the Hofner 500/1 bass because of it’s ease of use, and more importantly it’s low price. He used this until 1963 when the Hofner company gifted the new star an updated version of the instrument. (The 1963 model had new pickups that where arranged in a different fashion. The old bass would go into storage only making appearances in the Revolution video and Let It Be Film, eventually being stolen during the filming of Let It Be. ) The 1963 was used throughout his touring career and in the studio until the recording of Rubber Soul (Middle Left), when it was replaced by the Rickenbacker 4001. The bass reappeared in the famed “rooftop concert” with the scratchplate removed and a Fender Bassman sticker affixed. (Middle Right) He also used the bass during this time to record the Let It Be album. After his time with The Beatles the instrument once again disappeared from public view, but this time for decades. While touring solo in his later years the Hofner came back not only because of nostalgia, but also because the hollow construction of the instrument made it very light compared to most basses. (Top)

Today Hofner manufactures a reproduction of the 1964 500/1, which is essentially an exact replica of Paul’s 1963 bass. (Bottom, courtesy to