Famous Rock Guitars Part 5

Back as promised…I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea so to speak but I hope you enjoy it. This is obviously the 5th edition of this series. In Part 1, Part2, Part 3, and Part 4. We covered Brian May’s Red Special, Willie Nelson’s Trigger, George Harrison’s Rocky, Eddie Van Halen’s Frankenstrat, Bruce Springsteen’s guitar, Neil Young’s Old Black guitar, John Lennon’s Casino + a Bonus, and Keith Richards Telecaster.

Today will we look at:

Paul McCartney’s Hofner Bass and Eric Clapton’s Blackie.

Paul McCartney’s Hofner Bass and the MISSING Hofner Bass

paul mccartney hofner bass | Tumblr | Paul mccartney, Beatles john, Beatles  photos

Paul’s bass is maybe the most iconic guitar/bass of all time in rock music. You see this bass and you think Beatles. I see the attraction to this bass. I have a Hofner copy and I’ve played a Hofner a few times. They are ultra light and have a nice feel to them. The Hofner is really easy to play.

Lets start with the Hofner he bought in Hamburg in 1961…we will call it The Cavern Bass or Hofner#1.  It was played on some iconic Beatles recordings including their very first studio outing in June 1961 in Hamburg, their first single Love Me Do in 1962 and their first two albums, Please Please Me and With The Beatles in 1963. It’s the one you hear on “She Loves You, “Twist and Shout”, it was played in Hamburg, at The Cavern Club, and at Abbey Road.

In 1965 he sent it in to get it worked on…it was  sprayed with a darker sunburst and the pickup guard removed.

It was last seen in the 1969 footage from Twickenham Studios, where the Beatles were filming “Let It Be.” Soon afterward, it was stolen, most likely from a closet at EMI’s Abbey Road studio, along with Harrison’s Gretsch Tennessean and second Ric 360-12. People are still looking for that bass guitar.

These two pictures show the same Bass…the Cavern Bass…notice the different colors and the removed pick guard…but same bass.

Pin on Men and their guitarsPin by Lynne Jones on THE BEATLES | Paul mccartney beatles, Lennon and  mccartney, Paul mccartney

In 1963 Paul bought another Hofner bass that he used as his primary bass and played it from then on and still does. We will call it Hofner #2. He didn’t retire the Cavern Bass but just used it as a back up to Hofner #2.

Here are the two basses labeled…the #1 is the lost/stolen Cavern bass and the #2 is the 1963 bass he used throughout the Beatles. Paul is still looking for the Cavern Bass and the Hofner company has a webpage describing the bass and trying to get it back for Paul.

The Daily Beatle has moved!: The Höfner setlist

I have to wonder who has this bass. Odds are they don’t know what they have… if it survives. I hope Paul gets it back… he loves instruments and still has many of the instruments he used with The Beatles… Hey…lets go out and find this bass…that would be one way to meet him!

***From the  mid-sixties on he would use a Rickenbacker bass which produced brighter and clearer bass sound. He famously used one on Sgt Pepper. He used both basses through the years.

Paul McCartney on the set of Magical Mystery Tour in 1967 playing his  painted Rickenbacker 4001S bass. | Paul mccartney, The beatles, Lennon and  mccartney

Eric Clapton’s Blackie

The Guitar Center Puts Eric Clapton's Legendary Stratocaster on Display -  Bloomberg

Eric built this guitar in around 1970 from different Fender Strats…here is Eric telling the story.

Eric Clapton: “I was in Nashville and I went into this shop called Sho-Bud where they had stacks of Fender Strats going for virtually nothing because they were so unfashionable and unwanted,” 

“I bought a big pile of them all for a song – they were really cheap, like $300 or $400 each – and I took them home and gave them out. I gave Steve Winwood one, I gave Pete Townshend one, I gave George Harrison one and I kept a few, and I made Blackie out of a group of them. I took the pickups out of one, the scratchplate off another, the neck off another and I made my own guitar, like a hybrid guitar that had all the best bits from all these Strats.”

Blackie would be the main guitar used on every one of Eric’s albums for 15 years. During that time, Eric and Blackie would rack up an impressive number of hits, including “Cocaine,” “I Shot the Sheriff,” “Wonderful Tonight,” and “Lay Down Sally.”

in 2004, Eric worked with Christie’s to auction the legendary guitar off. The winner paid $959,000 for Blackie, with most of the proceeds again supporting Eric’s Crossroads Center.

Eric Clapton's Blackie: History of the Great Fender Stratocaster |  Guitarriego

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

42 thoughts on “Famous Rock Guitars Part 5”

    1. I hope Dave that the post wasn’t too confusing for everyone. Dave…lets find that missing bass! We could get a personal concert of out it! lol.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes I would but here is the thing about the Hofner…and I should have added this in the post. it is perfectly symmetrical…it would not look odd.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve seen a few through the years but usually a one time thing.
      I have a 70s copy of one. I’m going to break down and get one one day…They are fun to play

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I would guess the owner of Paul’s bass knows it’s his and has it in a secret room and only he knows about it. Imagining it’s discovered in a couple hundred years…

    I like learning about Clapton’s guitar. He’s one of my favorite lead guitarists. Been listening to him all week. He and Robbie Robertson have that 6th sense about how to play that I really love. Page is up there too but he has that ego-driven playing. Don’t get me wrong, I adore his playing but it isn’t organic like Clapton’s and Robertson’s are.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope the post about Paul’s bass wasn’t too confusing…even I got confused lol. I do hope it shows up. You have to wonder if it was sold at the time or the person died since then and they don’t know what they have.

      Organic is a good way to describe Robbie and Eric…it’s from the soul completely. You feel that while listening. I knew someone who worked at Sho-Bud where Eric bought all of them…but he wasn’t there when Eric did that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, your part about Paul’s bass was clear and the pictures confirmed what you were saying.

        Glad you like my description on them. So cool you knew someone who worked at Sho-Bud. Is that in Nashville? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to walk into a guitar store and buy a stack of guitars? lol

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks…
        Yes it was in Nashville back in the day. My guitar tech…well he passed away a few years ago worked there. He told me stories about those days. He knew more about my families history in guitars than I did.

        I can’t imagine being able to do that. Ok…I want that neck, that body, those pickups….what a dream! I have been in Gruhn Guitars in Nashville…it’s still there. Clapton and others have been there…so has Duane Allman.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Enjoyed this guitar installment. Paul’s missing Hofner has just got to turn up one of these days. The story of Eric’s Blackie, and how he bought the Fenders to take back home to his contemporaries is all fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you…I’m glad people are enjoying this…it has surprised me. Oh to find that bass…I would give it back no question…but I would play it a few times first.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Off topic…sorry…but I’ve meant to ask you this…you have got an amazon echo right? For your mom I believe?


      2. Jennifer got me an Echo show I think it’s called which is the same thing. I love it so far… have you had any issues with it? Just asking.


      3. The Echo Show is what my family has all gone to. I didn’t know how handy it would be until I tried it out. My one complaint is the same thing that a lot of reviewers have said…that the mic doesn’t seem to be as good as the mic in the other Echo devices. It has caused some frustration for my mom who has trouble projecting and enunciating. The Echo Dot understood her noticeably better. Did you get the Echo Show 5, or a bigger one?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. We got the Echo Show 5…not the 8. I’ve noticed that also. “Alexa set alarm”…screaming… ALEXA SET THE ALARM… Sometimes it does fine and sometimes not.
        I love the other features. The reason Jennifer got it for me is the alarm…I would be over fooling with setting our old alarm clock and now…it’s easy. I’ll get woken up by the Beatles so I do like that part.

        You mentioned something before that scarred me of it…the privacy with people popping in…I guess that happens when you have two of them…which for you is good.


      5. That’s the problem. I can say something to the Show that’s sitting right here on my desk, and it doesn’t respond but the Dot in the other room hears me and does what I asked. Sheesh.

        I don’t know how much you’ve messed with settings yet, but from the app, you can turn off the drop-in feature. You can still drop in on others, but prevent outsiders from dropping in on you. I’m getting more ideas for my next Alexa post!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. That is my only complaint. It understands way more than I thought it would. I didn’t have the Dot to compare it to…that is interesting about the old mic.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I’ll be looking forward to your post. I haven’t played with it as much as I should have. I love the way it looks and the interface…just yea…it needs to “hear” a little better.

        You are the only person I know with one so I appreciate the feedback. I will look at the settings more.


      8. I’ll post it soon. Was hoping to have it ready for tomorrow morning, but it needs more work. I’ve learned a lot more about the settings than I ever expected. As family members one by one have gotten the Echo devices to be able to drop in on Mom, I’ve become a sort of ‘help desk’. Some Echo settings can only be changed via the desktop browser version of Alexa, and some can only be done on the Alexa mobile app. That’s another gripe I have. There are also settings you can change right on the Echo screen.

        Btw, Amazon’s Woot site is selling refurbed 1st gen Echo Shows right now for $35. I got one to try out to see if the mic is any better, and one of my bros tried one. The screen size and speaker is quite nice compared to our Echo Show 5s. Same mic complaints though. https://sellout.woot.com/offers/amazon-echo-show-1st-generation-10

        Liked by 1 person

      9. A desktop browser version of Alexa? I have to investigate that. It’s embarrassing…I’m in IT and you would think I would jump in but after work especially lately…I like getting away from tech problems…but I do need to look into that… needless to say I will be waiting for your post.

        That screen on that one looks a little larger…when you post and you don’t see me on there…please feel free to remind me. I miss yours at times because I don’t know when you post and it gets lost in the shuffle. I will be looking out for it. I love tech advice given by someone else for a change!

        Our IT department went from 8 to 1…yea…I’m the one right now because of covid. So yea I’m burned out.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. I’ll definitely let you know when it’s posted. Yes I can tell the last thing you probably want right now is more computer screen time. That’s a tremendous staffing change for your department.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. They love ITs payroll right now! But I told them don’t get comfortable. I’m keeping us a float until it breaks a little. Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m greatly enjoying your series, Max, and hope you got some installments left. Paul’s Hofner violin bass definitely is very distinct. It’s kind of amazing he still has AND uses his second Hofner as well as the Rickenbacker bass. I wonder how heavy the latter is. It looks pretty cool though!

    As for “Blackie,” I have a cheap Fender Squire that looks just like Blackie – well, I guess at least to the untrained eye. The look of that guitar is by far the best. Everything else is pretty crappy.

    At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter that much, since I’ve never really gotten anywhere on the electric! I still wouldn’t mind owning a great Strat or a really nice Gibson. And let’s not forget about a Rickenbacker 12-string! I’d be happy just looking at these marvelous instruments! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Christian that means a lot. I’ll probably do a little more…I have fun finding out these facts.

      Christian lets you and I find Paul’s missing bass…we would probably get a personal concert!

      He still has his mellotron also from back then. He went to Abbey Road’s “garage sale” and bought most of the instruments they had there that the Beatles used also.

      Yea wouldn’t that be cool? I want the neck from that one, the pickups from that one…and so on. I’m sure it sounds good Christian. I am out of practice also…since we haven’t played in a while.

      Oh yes the 12-string Rick!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We’re like boys with toys! I actually that line is from a 007 picture. “You’re like boys with toys!” I believe one of the “Bond girls” said it, referring to 007 and the bad guy. I just can’t remember the movie! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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