Banish Misfortune
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Well, my information and materials about this band are somewhat limited, but as I gather more of each, I will update this page to reflect that. Also if you happen to know about Banish Misfortune and see any incorrect information on this page, please let me know and I'll correct it.

The band Banish Misfortune was formed in the mid-1970s by a couple of friends of my parents named Lauren Pelon and Rusty Sabella. I suppose you would classify them as a "folk" band, although I'm not sure if that's really the best term for it or not. They recorded at least two albums, both of which my dad owns on vinyl, one of which is named "A Health to the Company" (1981). I can't recall the name of the other album. The next time I'm home, I'll have a look at the albums and get the other album's name, the cover art from both albums, and the listing of the titles of all their songs.

I had somewhat "particular" tastes in music when I was little, but for one reason or another, I really loved these Banish Misfortune albums. I remember sometimes my parents would be listening to them when I woke up (I guess this must have been before I started going to school) and I would be all excited about it when I came downstairs, particularly when the "Tobacco" song was playing. That song (which is ostensibly about the evils of smoking tobacco, although for some reason I'm not sure that's what the band actually had in mind) contains the lyric, "The pipe that is so lily-white, wherein so many take delight, is broke with a touch; man's life is such -- think of this, when you smoke tobacco," but when I was little I thought it said, "Think of this, when you smoke a backhoe..." Whatever that would mean. But at any rate, because of the humor of that incident ("Mom, how do people smoke a backhoe?") and just in general, I always got a kick out of these songs.

Then, when I was in Kindergarten, I remember I would always try to see how long I could sit in my grandmother's car and listen to Banish Misfortune tapes in order to postpone actually going into the school building, although I will admit that in this case the part about not wanting to go to school was probably just about as strong as the desire to listen to the Banish tapes. Listening to the "Banish" tapes also became something of a tradition on family vacations and when driving places in the car in order to visit relatives.

Years later, as time went on and we no longer had a working record player hooked up at the house and as the cassette tapes my parents had made of the albums got lost (as cassettes tend to do in my family), I naturally ended up listening to these albums less and less often. However, a few years ago, I finally got around to copying the original LPs to CD-R discs, making them much more convenient to listen to. And when I do listen to them, boy does that sure bring back a lot of old memories.

I have made mp3s of a few of my favorite songs from A Health to the Company, which you can listen to by clicking on the following links:

It turns out that the Banish Misfortune recordings are still available for sale on Lauren Pelon's website, located at So, if you've been looking for them, then here you are!