Artist Name
Ya Ho Wha 13
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Founded in 1969 in the Los Angeles area, Ya Ho Wa 13, otherwise known as Yahowa 13 or YAHOWHA 13, is now regarded as one of the best American psychedelic bands. Fronted by Father Yod, spiritual leader of the religious cult/commune, The Source Family, the band recorded 9 LP's and demonstrated their extreme psychedelic sound with tribal drums and distorted guitars, mostly unrehearsed and completely unedited. Members of The Source Family, a communal religious group living in the Hollywood Hills in the early 1970's, decided to fuse their musical talents and spirituality by forming an improvisational, psychedelic music group. They began to make LP's in 1973, all of which were recorded after hours of meditation at 3-6 AM in a soundproofed garage that served as the musicians' studio in the family's communal residence. All of the records with Father Yod's participation were mostly improvised, with few rehearsals or overdubs. Most of the albums were small-press runs, with only 500 to 1000 copies made under the Higher Key Records imprint. They were sold to the general public in Father Yod's wildly popular vegetarian Source Restaurant for $1 each. Though only 9 LP's were produced and released, it is rumored that more than 65 albums were recorded by the group and have since been destroyed. The band changed members occasionally, morphing into various incarnations from Father Yod and the Spirit of '76 to Yahowa 13 to The Savage Sons Of Yahowa, Yodship, and Fire Water Air, but the key players were always the same (Djin Aquarian on guitar, Octavious Aquarian on drums, Sunflower Aquarian on bass, and occasionally Sky Saxon of The Seeds). Father Yod & The Spirit of '76's fourth album, released just before Father Yod changed his name to YaHoWa, thus morphing the band into YaHoWa 13. Father Yod does not participate on All or Nothing at All, unlike the previous three albums released under this incarnation wherein his chanting and singing vocals are prominent. By the end of 1974, the Source Family had tried to move to Hawaii but were met with hostility, forcing them to temporarily relocate to Northern California before eventually returning. This album was recorded during that time and the tension is apparent. This album has been described as "a more personalized painfully vulnerable" collection of songs. Operetta (1975) - The long-lost final opus of YaHoWa with YaHoWha's participation, recently released by Swordfish Records. This LP was recorded in the spring of 1975, just after YaHoWha's spontaneous visit to the East, which culminated in his initiation in the Great Pyramid of Egypt on Easter Sunday. This LP represents the first recording YaHoWha made after his "resurrection" in the Great Pyramid, and is also his last full collaboration with the band. After Father Yod/ YaHoWa's hang-gliding accident and death in 1975, the band mostly dissolved, though many of the members continue to make music. Golden Sunrise (Fire Water Air, 1977) - The first recording after Father Yod's death and the first featured appearance of Sky Saxon of The Seeds. Yodship Suite pts 1, 2, & 3 (1977) - The last YaHoWa-related album to be released. The record was a private pressing and the specific family members involved are unknown. The sound takes on a softer, less acid rock tone with flutes and acoustic guitars, and most of the songs are laments about Father's death. The original recordings of all incarnations of YaHoWha 13 are now very rare and valued highly by music collectors, with some LP's priced around $1000. Sky Saxon, singer of the seminal garage band The Seeds and a Source Family member still devoted to the teachings of YaHoWha, collaborated with Japanese label Captain Trip in 1998 and produced a deluxe 13 CD box set entitled God and Hair, including the original Source Family records and some unreleased material. As of 2002, the YaHoWha 13 musicians Djin, Sunflower, Octavius, and Pythias were planning to resume making music as YaHoWa 13. Swordfish Records in the UK is currently working to re-release their individual records as both limited pressing LP's and CD's.


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