Sometime in early summer of 1960, Paul McCartney went into Liverpool’s Hessy’s Music Shop and purchased his first real electric guitar. It was a 1959 Rosetti Solid 7 finished in a striking Redburst color.
The 6-string Solid 7 was an inexpensive instrument made by Egmond, a Dutch manufacturer. It was a primitive semi-acoustic, not solid body, steel-strung beginner’s instrument. Rosetti distributed the Sold 7 in the U.K. Elsewhere; the guitar was available as the Solid 7 by Egmond.
The history of Egmond guitars is an interesting one. In 1940, former railroad station-chief Uilke Egmond and his three sons Gerard, Dick and Jaap started to build guitars in a small workshop in Best, Holland. This workshop burned down two or three times, but despite that production and sales of Egmond guitars continued to go up.
Egmond became known in Europe for producing low-quality, low-cost guitars whose availability to budding young guitar players in the 1950’s was essential. In 1961, the Egmond guitar factory was formally established.
With the beginning of the Beat boom era, guitar building and selling expanded rapidly and soon more than 200 guitar builders were employed by the factory. As a result, Egmond became one of the largest guitar manufacturers in Europe. In addition to the factory, the Egmond family also ran the Musica music store. Egmond would cease to exist in the early 1980’s.
The earliest photographs of McCartney with his new Rosetti Solid 7 are from when the Beatles first arrived in Hamburg, Germany. He is seen holding the 6-stringed guitar “upside down” but with left-handed stringing.
The Solid 7 would also become McCartney’s very first electric bass guitar. When bassist Stuart Sutcliffe was unavailable, and another bass player could not be found to temporarily fill-in, McCartney would take over the bass duties. McCartney would demonstrate his versatility by also filling-in on drums and piano from time to time.
In later 1960, McCartney restrung the Solid 7 into a (3 string) bass configuration using piano strings and replaced the guitars integrated “Royal” PP-2 pick up/pick guard assembly with a single Höfner 503K pick up. By Spring of 1961, the guitar is switched back to a 6-string with a deArmond type pick up.
Until April 1961, when Sutcliffe officially departed the band, McCartney would fill-in on bass alternating using Sutcliffe’s 1959 Höfner 500/5 bass (perhaps even stringing it left-handed) and his own home-made Solid 7 “bass.” Soon, however, McCartney would acquire his iconic left handed 1961 Höfner 500/1 bass .
The Solid 7 met its demise one day when McCartney dropped it and it was damaged. He recalled that it wasn't a complete write-off, but he didn't think it was worth repairing. Although he didn't want to get rid of the guitar, he said all the Beatles decided to further smash it to bits by jumping up and down on it.
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1959 Rosetti Solid 7

Paul McCartney on stage with his modified Rosetti Solid 7 “bass” guitar.

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