McCartney's Guitars, Part
Hofner 500/1 bass: Hofner had updated its violin bass
'62, and in '63 gave one to McCartney. First use: Ready,
Go! broadcast, 4 October. Variations from his first bass
include the neck (two-piece rather than three-piece); machine heads
open-back as opposed to single open-back "rugby ball" tuners); pickups
("staple-top" rather than "diamond logo," with one of the two moved
the bridge); headstock logo (horizontal script rather than vertical
body (round back rather than flat), and fretboard dot inlay (to the
fret rather than the 19th). Although
by '65 he'd switched largely to the Rickenbacker bass for studio work,
McCartney appeared and recorded with this Hofner from "I Want to Hold
Hand" through Let It Be and beyond. Some time in
he removed the pickguard, and its last Beatles action was the Apple
session, complete with a "Bassman" sticker from his speaker cabinet
below). McCartney resurrected this bass at Elvis Costello's
for Flowers in the Dirt, and later for tours, comparing
to Charlie Chaplain's cane: "You just expect to see it."
'63 Hofner today.
McCartney had strap buttons added so he'd no longer have to "dog-clip"
one end to the tailpiece and tie the other end around the heel and
the fretboard. This old workhorse still has the set list from the
'66 tours taped onto it; it reads "Rock & Roll," "She's a
"If I Needed," "Tripper," "Baby's in Black," "I Feel Fine,"
"Wanna Be," "Nowhere Man," "Paperback" and "Long Tall."
(c)2000 - 2012 John