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Nights At The Roundtable - The Peanut Butter Conspiracy - 1967

(The Peanut Butter Conspiracy - naming your band after a food product had certain disadvantages) Despite the name and despite the hype, The Peanut
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(The Peanut Butter Conspiracy - naming your band after a food product had certain disadvantages)

Despite the name and despite the hype, The Peanut Butter Conspiracy were actually a good band with a lot of talent. I saw them several times during the period 1967-1969 and they held their own with some pretty stiff competition. But they were straddled with that name, and as history has proven, bands with food-group names (Peanut Butter Conspiracy, Ultimate Spinach, Vanilla Fudge, etc.) generally fell out of favor rather quickly or were pegged as "novelty bands" and not taken seriously - which was too bad.

They did however, have tons of promise when they first came out, and the gimmick worked (bumper stickers and posters plastered all over Hollywood proclaiming "the Peanut Butter Conspiracy Is Spreading" created an impression) and their first album sold quite well, with their initial single "It's A Happening Thing" in the top 40. It was their second single, the one I'm featuring today, Why Did I Get So High that got them in trouble. I remember hearing it once over KBLA (a sort of renegade top 40 station in Burbank) with the disclaimer "let's put the boss on a bummer with a record only the Burner dare play!" (the Burner being DJ Dave Diamond). And yep, it was banned right after that.

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(You know you're in trouble when your Publicist has to send around notes assuring people you're not dangerous)

They couldn't seem to shake the dope-soaked characterization and the Food Group Name and their subsequent singles got very little airplay. After switching to another label and failing to score there, by 1970 the band had broken up.

Despite all that, they have gone on to achieve cult status and a reevaluation of their merits as a legitimate band. Luckily, fans are forgiving.

Moral of the story: Be careful what you name your band - it may be stuck with you for the rest of your life.

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