Los Angeles psychedelic band The Peanut Butter Conspiracy emerged in 1966 from the remains of The Ashes, formed the previous year by singer Pat Taylor, guitarist John Merrill, bassist Alan Brackett and drummer Spencer Dryden (who soon left the group to replace Skip Spence in Jefferson Airplane).
Adding drummer Jim Voigt as Dryden’s replacement, The Ashes recorded a self-titled LP for the Vault label before disbanding, with Merrill, Brackett and Voight recruiting singer Sandi Robison and guitarist Lance Fent to form The Peanut Butter Conspiracy.
After debuting on Vault with the single Time Is After You, the band signed to major label Columbia, where 1967’s It’s a Happening Thing heralded the spring release of their debut LP, the Gary Usher-produced The Peanut Butter Conspiracy Is Spreading.
Ex-Sound Machine guitarist Bill Woolf replaced Fent for the follow-up, The Great Conspiracy, which like its predecessor failed to make much of a commercial impact.
Only Robison, Merrill and Brackett remained for For Children of All Ages (1969) which featured new keyboardist Ralph Schuckett and drummer Michael Stevens.
The Peanut Butter Conspiracy disbanded soon after, with Brackett pursuing studio work, Fent collaborating with Randy Meisner, and Woolf joining Fusion.
Sandi went on to play in a duo with her husband but fell ill in 1988 while performing at a concert in Butte, Montana. She was transported to a hospital but did not recover, and died on 22 April from toxic shock poisoning. She was just 42.
Barbara “Sandi” Robison
Lance Baker Fent