In 1961, the Beatles’ original bass player, Stuart Sutcliffe (who had used a Höfner bass), left the band to resume his art studies. The Beatles were without a bass player–and so the search began for a replacement. Paul McCartney, who was playing rhythm guitar and piano at the time–was designated by the band to replace Sutcliffe. In the British vernacular of the day, McCartney found himself “lumbered” with the job. Sutcliffe initially lent his Höfner bass to McCartney, who had seen another guitarist in Hamburg using a violin-shaped bass. When he saw a similar instrument in the window of a Hamburg music store, he investigated. Because of the instrument’s unique symmetrical appearance, McCartney could play left-handed without the bass “looking daft,” as he put it. It was lightweight and easy to play melodic bass lines on, yet projected a deep, warm tone. violin” or Icon Series bass guitarbought the bass he saw in the window, and used it for years both in live performance and on recordings. While McCartney fell into the role of bass, there is no doubt that his instrument of choice—the Hofner bass—became one of the most recognizable symbols of Beatlemania.