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15 Jul 2017

Ya Ho Wha 13 "I`m Gonna Take You Home" 1974 US Psych Stoner Rock Experimental

Ya Ho Wha 13 "I`m Gonna Take You Home" 1974 US Psych Stoner Rock Experimental


Ya Ho Wha 13 is the name of a musical tribe led by the old spiritual Guru Father Yod. Dominated by fuzzed out guitars, odd incantations and ritual drums, Ya Ho Wha 13's musical aesthetism is a good illustration of Father Yod' constant fascination for occultism and sensual meditation. I'm Gonna Take You Home is the second release published under the name Ya Ho Wha 13. It follows directly the musical and stylistical approach anticipated in their first masterpiece Penetration, An aquarian symphony. This freaked out musical adventure starts with a bluesy-catchy acid rockin' piece. It includes dirty fuzzed out guitars, massive ritual drum pulses punctuated by theatrical chants. This song is energically positive and delivers great groovy sensations. The second track is a much more contemplative, floating spaced out piece with spontaneous acid rockin' guitars. The third track is an eccentric, crazy and evocative song with weird voices, psychedelic reverbed guitars. It reminds me Amon Duul II at their most wildy moments. Track 4 is a narcotic, sexadelic instrumental improvisation, including ceremonial, ethno-percussive parts and spaced out, damaged bluesy guitars. This is at the top of Father Yod's musical activity and a highly recommended album for those who love krautrock, savage psychedelic obscurities from the 60's to the early 70' philippe ...........

Not sure if the Guru's spiritual / religious commune (named Source Family) can give us comfort or fantasy or anything, but his musical stuffs should shoot magical mystery tour to us. Via this creation "I'm Gonna Take You Home", released in 1974, Father Yod might have showed us his tendency to appreciate natural love affair and sensual spiritualization. 
Regardless of indecent vibes, Guru's serious, sincere intention for sexadelic, sexaholic academy, can be heard enough, along with their rumpled (sometimes tight) play drenched in mind-altering psychic smoke and agents. Easily guess this eccentric psychedelia can be created with unpolished guitar sounds based upon floating but deep riffs by their rhythm section. We should get amazed because such an unstable play support Guru's self-assertive, self-complacent voices filled with orgasmic temptation (especially in the Part 3 ... his sexadelic ascension moment can be heard). 

On the other hand, like in the Part 4, we can feel something mellow and meditative completed in his private room via their quiet, down-tempo, bluesy music mist. Contrary to Father Yod's crazy, consistent philosophical voices, other four musicians in his background could play sometimes funkily, sometimes loosely, sometimes deeply, and sometimes powerfully and enthusiastically. Their experimentalism flooded with such a kaleidoscopic sound-strategy should encourage the solid spirit of YA HO WHA 13, I do consider. 
The UK had Jimmy Saville, but the USA had father Yod. At least his deflowering of children was done on some hippie commune,hid away on Hawaii, rather than on national Television!? Outsider DIY hippie monolith of a record.Note standard cult leader pose with teenage victim.......i think i'm gonna be sick.Displaying those pure hippie values of shagging as many girls as possible,as young as possible,in the name of "Free Love"; and grabbing as much money as possible from the idiots who think your ideas are 'Right On Maaaan'. 
But i am prepared to put that aside, because this music is definitely "OUT THERE"! Contains some of the best acid guitar playing that transcends incompetence that you are ever likely to hear.This record is an audio record of a group of minds being flushed away.Are there really people like this, or are they just as manufactured as the kids from fame? What i wanna know is did the kids from Ya Ho Wha 13 go to a entertainment training facility to do this?..........i'm not totally sure but i probably think........not!........

Founded in 1973 in the Los Angeles area, Ya Ho Wha 13, otherwise known Yahowha 13 is a psychedelic rock band fronted by Father Yod, spiritual leader of a religious cult/commune called the Source Family. Ya Ho Wha without the vowels and spaces reduces to YHWH, the tetragrammaton. The band recorded nine LPs full of their extreme psychedelic sound with tribal drums and distorted guitars, some of which were completely unrehearsed jam sessions, others which contained more conventional rock songs. 
Members of The Source Family, who lived in the Hollywood Hills in the early 1970s, decided to fuse their musical talents and spirituality by forming an improvisational, psychedelic music group. They began to press LPs in 1973, most of which were recorded after hours of meditation at 3:00-6:00 a.m. in a soundproofed garage that served as the musicians’ studio at the family’s communal residence. All of the records with Father Yod’s participation were completely improvised, with no rehearsals or overdubs. Most of the albums were pressed in small runs of only 500 to 1000 copies on the Higher Key label. They were sold to the general public in Father Yod’s popular vegetarian Source Restaurant for $10 each. Though only nine LPs were produced and released, it is rumored that more than 65 albums were recorded by the group but were lost over the years. 

The band changed members occasionally, morphing into various incarnations, from Father Yod and the Spirit of ’76 to Ya Ho Wha 13 to The Savage Sons of Ya Ho Wha, Yodship, and Fire Water Air; but the key players were always the same: (Djin Aquarian on guitar, Octavious Aquarian on drums, and Sunflower Aquarian on bass). Father Yod does not appear on all their album releases, but for those on which he participates, he handles lead vocals and percussion, via a kettle drum. Former pop star Sky Saxon of The Seeds had joined the Source Family in 1973 and occasionally appeared on the band’s recordings..... 

It’s an arresting cover. In fact, it’s a cover that would probably get you arrested if you dared to wave it around in public in various countries. In a tarot-card format, we see a photo of some venerable-looking naked bearded old dude with his hands over the pubes of some young naked raven-haired chick on the side of a very capacious-looking double bed. Hmmm… 

As the best psychedelic albums have a habit of being, this record has a gatefold cover. Upon opening it, we see the aforementioned venerable-looking naked bearded old dude seated on the aforementioned capacious double bed, supporting the head of the aforementioned young naked raven-haired chick while he plies her with drink from a silver goblet. Underneath are the words “I’m gonna take you home” in Gothic script. Somehow, they seem a bit redundant, since clearly she’s already been taken home, their clothes are already off, and she’s drinking who-knows-what from out of that silver goblet. 

Flip to the back of the gatefold: Another tarot-card format photo, featuring the venerable-looking bearded old dude again, this time wearing a fedora and very natty looking white suit and holding a cane while he sits astride the radiator of a white Rolls Royce. As there is no young naked raven-haired chick in this photo, you get around to noticing the four faces in the corners of the photo; hippy-looking young guys, all of whom bear the surname “Aquarian”: Octavius Aquarian, Djin Aquarian, Sunflower Aquarian, and Pythias Aquarian. Their captions tell us that they play drums, guitar, bass, and guitar respectively. Then you start noticing the quotations on the cover (front and back), ranging from the Bible, Gita, the Song of Solomon, and Yahowha, all of which are to do with birth, creation, the universe and everything and sound very deep and mystic until you get to the quote from Yahowha on the inside back cover: “Divine communion time is here little kitties”. 
I have seen some seriously weird psychedelic album covers in my time, but honestly, you would have a hard time topping I’m Gonna Take You Home by Yahowha 13. Captain Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica looks positively pedestrian beside it. It’s really out there. The word “mystic” doesn’t even begin to describe it. Your overwhelming response to it is “what the hell is going on here?” Who is that Biblical-looking old guy with the hot raven-haired chick AND the white Rolls Royce, not to mention the band of very hip musicians accompanying him? And all the time you’re looking at the photo of the guy on the Rolls and musicians’ cult-like names, along with the reference to “little kitties” and you’re thinking: “they’re having us on, aren’t they?” 

Oh no, little kitties, this is no joke. The story is a very strange one, but it is very real. 

The bearded gentleman, who was known as “Father Yod” at the time I’m Gonna Take You Home was released in 1974, was born James Edward Baker in Cincinnati, on 4 July 1922. He was the great grandson of Jim Baker, a 6-foot 7-inch tall American Mountain Man who was a hunter, scout, guide and Indian fighter in the days of the American Wild West. James Baker, who was 6-foot 4-inches tall himself, had a no less colourful background. He was a convert to health foods in his teens after a touring nutritionist offered him a natural diet-based cure for a serious case of haemorrhoids he had, and went on to develop an interest in sports and body-building, which resulted in him opening his own gym in Chicago just prior to World War II. He joined the US Marines after Pearl Harbour, and fought at Guadalcanal. He was in the brig there for punching a commanding officer when his ship was attacked by Japanese planes. He was released as the ship was sinking, ran on deck, and proceeded to man an anti-aircraft gun which he used to shoot down 13 Japanese aircraft, just before his ship sank. He was awarded the Silver Star, and would have received the Medal of Honor had he not been on charges at the time of his feat. 

After the war, he went to Hollywood to audition as Tarzan but failed the screen test. He settled in Los Angeles and opened a successful health food restaurant there, which provided the financial foundation for what was to come, at a time when he was becoming increasingly immersed in the beatnik culture, and later in religious mysticism. By the time that the hippie culture developed in the late 1960s, he was building the basis for what was to become either a religion (as its supporters would have it) or a cult (as its detractors would have it). Either way, James Baker became Father Yod, and acted as the focus of a religious community called the Source Family, installed in a mansion in the hills, which eventually included various musicians who decided to record and self-release their own music in various line-ups, one of which was Yahowha 13 (aka “Ya Ho Wa 13”). 

The album itself features Father Yod singing in a tribal chant sort of way while his undoubtedly proficient backing band weave a web of sound behind him that ranges from a shambolic tribal type of aural backdrop through to some seriously heavy riffing on guitars, with a lot of trippy meandering in-between. The contents more than live up to the promise of the cover, and this particular album has been the holy grail for various collectors of psychedelic music for decades. Given that it was a private pressing, and was not sold widely even within Los Angeles, for many years I’m Gonna Take You Home was a very rare find indeed. Several years ago, it and various other albums released by Yahowha 13 were finally rereleased, and are now readily available on CD and vinyl, including a “collected works” box set on CD. Various recordings that were not released in the early 70s are also being brought out of the archives, so it is probably easier to discover these works now than it has ever been before. 

So what happened to the Source Family? Father Yod, having experienced visions of the cataclysmic end of Western civilization, decided to relocate the Source Family to Hawaii in the mid-1970s. He died there in a hang-gliding accident in 1975, and, at the Source Family’s request, was buried with full military honours by representatives of the US Marines, who were doubtless somewhat bemused by the accompanying chanting and ceremonies from Father Yod’s Aquarian followers. After his death, in the absence of a central father figure to hold them all together, the community fell apart. Those interested in finding out more about the strange story of Father Yod should get their hands on the book The Source: The Untold Story of Father Yod, Ya Ho Wa 13 and the Source Family by Isis McCallum ............ 

The ‘hippie’ countercultural movement is commonly traced back to San Francisco in the 1960s. But it was in Los Angeles that a man called Jim Baker - later known as Father Yod and then Ya Ho Wha (“The Name Of God”) – created one of the ultimately enduring legacies of the movement, with his band YaHoWha 13 making some of the most mind bending psychedelic rock music ever heard, from 1973 up until Yod’s untimely death in Hawaii in 1975. 
Some history: Baker was a decorated World War II veteran and jujitsu expert who moved to California in the mid 1960s to become a stuntman. Baker was influenced from the Los Angeles beat scene and embraced a vegetarian diet, a ‘natural’ lifestyle and the study of philosophy, spirituality and yoga. 
This wide philosophical study and lifestyle change led to Baker founding an organic vegetarian restaurant called The Source on Sunset Strip in 1969, serving the rich, famous and hipsters of LA. Supported by the earnings of the successful Source restaurant, Baker transformed from beatnik to Western spiritual leader, changing his name to Father Yod and establishing a 150-strong commune in the Hollywood hills based around his own wide ranging philosophical beliefs. 
While the beliefs of The Source Family were largely kept secret, they were based upon utopian ideals, communal living and healthy ‘natural’ eating. With Father Yod the charismatic, Rolls Royce driving, white suit wearing patriarch of the commune, the Family embraced the liberating influences of the era of ‘Free Love’ (Yod had thirteen wives from within the group) and spiritual exploration. 
Then there was the music: with Father Yod the lead singer of his own bands The Spirit of ’76 and later YaHoWha 13 - made up of a revolving cast of young musicians from within the Source Family commune - they recorded nine albums of fascinating, epic, wildly improvisational epic space rock, with sessions usually beginning with a 3 a.m smoke of ‘sacred herb’ and their performance being part of a grander musical meditation ritual. 
First album Kahoutek (1973) by Father Yod and The Spirit of ’76 can be firmly filed under ‘Far Out’ music, with cosmic minimalist noodlings underpinning the band leader’s improvised religio-spiritual evocations- a modern descendant can be found in the chanting mantras and distorted low end of God Is Good or Advaitic Songs by Om. 
The emergence of successor outfit YaHoWha 13 in 1974 sees the sound of a serious and controlled rock n’roll band developing, with more structured garage band riffs and ritual drum patterns on I’m Gonna Take You Home and Lovers and The Chariot. Father Yod’s trademark chants make way for more distorted guitars and jazzy, occasionally funky rhythms across the spacey psych-noise of Penetration: An Aquarian Symphony. 
YaHoWha 13’s distinctly trippy DNA can be found today in the hazy guitar fuzz and languid melodies of Tame Impala’s Innerspeaker and Wolf People’s proto-prog and folk whimsy. Psych and freak folk scene acts such as Bonnie Prince Billy, Joanna Newsom and the self confessed Father Yod devotee Devendra Banhart all share a freedom of expression through their collaborative efforts and studied position just outside the mainstream. These folk musicians also share label territory with the re-released recordings of YaHoWha 13 on Drag City Records. 
While Drag City has just dropped another ‘lost’ collection of YaHoWha 13’s recordings, the excellent cosmic explorations comprising The Thought Adjusters, this resurgence of The Source Family in the public eye has been largely driven by the efforts of Father Yod’s widow and his appointed historian Isis Aquarian. 
Isis Aquarian documented the life of the secretive Source Family through an exhaustive range of photographs, writings and audio recordings in the 1970s. She has now acted in the past few years as an increasingly public emissary of the almost forgotten hippie community, even releasing Echoes of a Crone, her own spoken word CD of the ‘Father’s’ spiritual teachings set to a typically New Age ambient soundtrack. 
Isis’ quest to spread the Source Family’s message began in 2007 with publication of The Source: The Untold Story of Father Yod, Ya Ho Wha 13 and The Source Family. The publisher Jodi Wille has co-directed and released The Source Family documentary in 2012, currently screening at several film and music festivals in the U.S such as SXSW in Austin, also home to its own annual Psych Fest. YaHoWha 13 has even reformed after over thirty years with exotically named surviving members Octavius, Sunflower and Djin. 
With psychedelic music enjoying this popular resurgence today with the likes of the aforementioned Tame Impala, the lysergic-tinged Roky Erickson-esque Black Angels and even the dreamy psych-pop of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, what do they offer to the increasingly fragmented and commercialised music and festival scene of today? 
Woodstock in 1969 and the many early years of Glastonbury festivals are still hugely significant touchstones in popular music and cultural history, remembered for their positive attempts to generate a sense of community and unifying love before the increasingly individualistic and commercial forces of our modern late 20th and 21st Century took hold of these events for the middle class masses. 
With the gentrification of large festivals - the corporate VIP spaces, ‘glamping’ and slavishly sponsored amenities and services – even the ‘hippie dream’ has been bought, sold and commodified. We are now offered temporary escapes for the weekend with the odd organic falafel wrap, reiki head massage and an exotic body piercing to complete the hippie shopping list along the way. 
With new psychedelic bands helping signpost the way to that lost dream of the 1960s, with new ‘old’ sounds - maybe some of that spirit of Father Yod can be awakened at their festival appearances in us for more than a weekend. Yod’s primary philosophy was ‘Be Kind’. Why can’t we all be damn hippies? Matthew Edgley....... 

Line-up / Musicians 
- Father Yod / Vocals 
- Djin / Guitar 
- Sunflower / Bass 
- Octavius / Drums 
- Zinuru / Sound 

A1 Part 1 7:30 
B1 Part 2 12:20 
C1 Part 3 16:15 
D1 Part 4 10:50

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..





Cassete Deck

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