I’m trying to find out more background on my ’59 Hofner 500/5 bass.
It has been with my family since ca. ’63 and is untouched apart from a obligatory neck reset about ten years ago.
It dates itself pretty easily from the electrics and pickup, and interior date marking, to january 8, 1959 but I’d really like to know more about the model history.
For example, I’ve read (in Andy Babiuk’s brilliant Beatles Gear book) that a number of models (Golden Hofner, Committee, President and Senator) were made specifically for UK distributors Selmer, making them UK-only instruments.
But mine is unlike any UK Selmer Hofner I’ve seen.
- First, it has never had a Selmer logo on the upper bout.
- Second, the woods and finish are quite different. Selmer Hofner sunbursts are very yellow and the tops all furrow with age as they dehydrate, giving a ridged surface along the wood grain. They look like they’re make from quite wide-grained spruce.
- The finish on mine is a completely smooth, gloss, cappuccino sunburst on top, sides and back. The top is not figured but all other woods are flamey.
So my best guess is that it is a German model that somehow found its way to the UK and a small pawn shop near the corner of London’s Euston and Hampstead Roads (long since redeveloped into social housing) where my dad and I bought it alongside a long-deceased Selmer TV8T combo whose trem never worked (because we didn’t realise all we had to do was replace one of the tubes).
I’d really value any input from Horner collectors/experts. Thanks!