Upon delivery, McCartney immediately made his 1962/63 Höfner his main bass and would use it on many classic Beatles recordings, films, television shows and live performances. He left the bass unmodified with the sole exception of removing its pick guard in August 1966 and temporarily placing a “Bassman” decal on its upper bout in January 1969. McCartney retired the bass during the 1970's but brought it back sporadically in the 1980's. In the 1990's, he rediscovered his love for the light-weight instrument and has used it ever since for all current live performances and some studio recordings. His iconic bass is considered the most recognizable guitar on the planet.
We are extremely proud to showcase the 1962/63 Höfner 500/1 Left Handed bass in our collection. It is identical to McCartney’s iconic bass in every detail. Our 500/1 appears to have been assembled just prior to McCartney’s guitar. There is a 1962 body stamp inside and a Selmer serial number and pot codes dating to the Spring of 1963. Our bass also has its original Selmer "Tweed" case with the short headstock pocket, just like McCartney’s original case. 
Höfner officials have confirmed that, although they do not have precise production records from those days, these are the only two Left Handed 500/1 basses with the unique combination of 1962/63 features to have ever surfaced, making them priceless historical artifacts.

1962/63 Höfner 500/1 Bass Left Handed

One of the most famous instruments in the world is the 1962/63 Höfner 500/1 Left Handed electric bass owned and played by Paul McCartney. It was his second 500/1 “violin” bass and is the one most closely associated with him.
The Höfner company was founded in 1887 by luthier Karl Höfner in the city of Schönbach, which was known as the center of stringed instrument manufacturing in Europe at the time. Höfner soon became the largest manufacturer of string instruments in the country. His sons, Josef and Walter, joined the company in the early 1920’s and the company expanded into export markets. The manufacturer suffered upheavals during and after World War II, particularly when Schönbach became part of Czechoslovakia. Unwilling to have a State Administrator run their company, Höfner relocated to Western Germany, building new factories in Bubenreuth in 1950. In the 1950s and 1960s, Höfner instruments were distributed by Selmer of London, making them much more easily accessible to young musicians compared to the expensive and hard to find American-made guitars.
McCartney wanted a second 500/1 bass, in case his first one (a 1961 model) became damaged. Selmer delivered his new 500/1 in October 1963. The bass has features predominantly used by Höfner in 1962 such as: strip tuners; 2 piece neck without binding; round back body; wide spaced "Staple" pick ups; and horizontal "Script" headstock logo. However, it has pot codes dating to Summer of 1963 (hence our designation of 1962/63).
The mixing of features is not unusual because, as with many manufacturers in the 1950's and early 1960's, Höfner did not necessarily have standardized specifications and serial numbers for its various models. The body, neck and parts were often pre-made in batches and then assembled as needed at a later time. Since designs were continually changed, newer produced parts were often fitted to previously made parts. So, there is a multitude of combinations for these early produced guitars.

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Paul McCartney photographed in February 1964 with his 1962/63 Höfner 500/1 Left Handed electric bass.
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McCartney in August 1966 photographed with his second Höfner bass. Note its missing pick guard.
McCartney in 1969 with his Höfner bass during The Beatles final public performance.  Note the “Bassman” decal.bassman.htmlshapeimage_12_link_0
This is the only known instance of McCartney in 1967 pictured with his famous Höfner bass.

2004 Höfner 500/1 Bass Left Handed “Rooftop”

Here is the above bass, without its pickguard.
Shown above is our Höfner “Rooftop” bass. It has been configured to resemble McCartney’s bass as seen during The Beatles final public performance.  Details include a “Bassman” decal, dark finish and black tape wound strings.bassman.htmlshapeimage_17_link_0

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