When I heard Planet Waves was going to release officials Beatles Guitar Straps with album cover artwork I got excited. When they were available I ordered two from MusiciansFriend.com. One "Abbey Road" strap for my son's Beatles style violin bass and one "Yellow Submarine" strap for my electric banjo. When they arrived I was shocked by the smell when I opened the box. They smelled like leather. (dead cows) I looked them over very carefully and discovered they were clearly labeled "Genuine Leather." (I am vegan and I almost threw up when I smelled them) At this point I came to the conclusion that the product description of Vinyl 2.5" Beatles Guitar Strap must be a reference to artwork based on vinyl album covers. So I submitted a review to MusiciansFriend that was a positive review but warned vegans these straps aren't made of vinyl, they are leather. Here is my review rescued from google cache. (click on the image for full size)
Well, Planet Waves made MusiciansFriend take down the review and MusiciansFriend sent me the following message:
We are emailing you regarding the product review you left on the Planet Waves Vinyl 2.5" Beatles Guitar Strap. You stated that this item is made out of leather. This is not true. The strap is actually a vinyl material. Planet Waves is contractually obligated to Sir Paul McCartney to make a vegan-friendly strap. Because of this, we are removing the product review from our site. We apologize for any inconvenience.
I was pretty upset when I read this realizing there must be some kind of cover-up going on here. There is no question these straps were leather. Faux/leather does not smell like a dead cow and nobody stamps "Genuine Leather" on a faux/leather product, do they?
So I did a little more research online and found these straps are being marketed as leather. Take a look at the following ad:
(click on the image for full size)
This ad clearly calls these straps "Beatles Leather Strap Collection" At the bottom of the ad it clearly states All straps are 2.5" and made of high quality leather Now look in the body of the ad, it also says they are "vegan friendly."
I contacted Planet Waves and spoke with a gentleman who made alot of calls and was told that the first 1500 straps were mislabeled and that they are all made from vinyl. I am a vegan and I know leather from vinyl, my straps were leather. I believe the actual mistake was they made them out of leather and are trying to pretend they were only mismarked, not mis-manufactured.