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Microphone Month

Violin Bass

While this could certainly refer to any hollowbody bass guitar built more or less in the distinctive shape of a violin (such as the Eko models of the 1960s), it is specifically used when referring to Sir Paul McCartney’s original left-handed Hofner Violin Bass, which he purchased at the Steinway store in Hamburg, Germany, most likely early in 1961 for the princely sum of 30 pounds (which he paid off in 10 installments). It’s interesting to note that a Fender bass was also available, but at closer to 100 pounds, it was simply out of McCartney’s price range at the time. By 1963, The Beatles were already famous enough that Hofner presented McCartney with a slightly upgraded version of its Model 500/1 Violin Bass, which he owns to this day. It’s hard to say today how much different The Beatles’ sound would have been had McCartney decided to purchase a Fender bass.

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