Yahowa 13
March 2, 2006 2:41 AM   Subscribe

'In all of rock history, there can be few stranger stories than that of Yahowa 13', formed in 1969 in Los Angeles by a middle-aged beatnik called Jim Baker, who believed himself a god and went by the nickname of Father Yod. Yod became a guru of sorts for a group called the Source Family. Based around the group of disciples, Yahowa 13 made almost a dozen limited-circulation LPs (slightly nsfw cover art), most within the course of just a couple of years. 'Yahowa 13's most successful artistic statement was 1974's Penetration: An Aquarian Symphony... At the end of 1974, the Source Family moved to Hawaii. On August 25, 1975, Yod went hang-gliding for the first time and was mortally injured upon landing, dying after about nine hours. His disciples scattered within two years after his passing.' See also: 2002 interview with band members.
posted by MetaMonkey (30 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Okay, you've got me. Where can I download / buy / materialize this from?
posted by Jimbob at 2:56 AM on March 2, 2006

Sorry bub, you're on your own there. I do recommend Penetration though. It is infused with something you don't find in too many records.
posted by MetaMonkey at 3:01 AM on March 2, 2006

From Allmusic.com's review of All or Nothing At All: The preponderance of piano ballads leads one to believe that Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush" was a serious hit around the Yod camp.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 3:26 AM on March 2, 2006

Where can I download / buy / materialize this from?

look like there's stuff here
posted by the cuban at 3:51 AM on March 2, 2006

JimBob, this site carries a 13 CD box set (yes a baker's dozen!) which is currently listed as sold out, and here is a review of the box set
posted by fatbaq at 3:52 AM on March 2, 2006

"The Source Family espoused a philosophy that included kindness to animals, raw vegetarian diet, cotton clothing, and sex sans orgasm."

You don't even want to know how tense things got back at the compound...
posted by clevershark at 5:24 AM on March 2, 2006

Predictably, you can listen to a track (or two?) via the WFMU archives..

yahowha.org has 30-second samples.
posted by unmake at 5:31 AM on March 2, 2006

If I ever start mentally bugging out my only thread of hope would be that I could go so utterly batshit insane. I mean really, if you're going to lose your grasp with reality why not go all out?
posted by substrate at 5:51 AM on March 2, 2006

Because its no longer the 60's and going crazy, declaring yourself a god, just won't pull in the naked girls like it used to?
posted by Atreides at 6:54 AM on March 2, 2006

Don't knock it 'til you've tried it.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:01 AM on March 2, 2006

You can have all the girls you want, but if one of your tenets is sex without orgasm it's not going to do that much good!
posted by clevershark at 7:15 AM on March 2, 2006

Far out. I'm finding it very hard to resist buying the Penetration album from their shop. Vinly, too, which is nice.
posted by jack_mo at 7:40 AM on March 2, 2006

Don't know 'bout the music - but I'm grateful the website reminded me of that evening in the distant past when my dad took me outside to look for comet Kohoutek.
The comet was a dud, but the memory is still a good one.
posted by bashos_frog at 8:06 AM on March 2, 2006

'Vinly' is the cosmic spelling of 'vinyl'. Or something.
posted by jack_mo at 8:18 AM on March 2, 2006

Sex sans orgasm is a traditional yogic/Tantric technique for building up mojo. It's called "The Recirculation of the Golden Essence" or something. More like "The Bluing of the Scrotal Spheres."

I like orgasms myself, but that's me.
posted by digaman at 8:19 AM on March 2, 2006

A classic cult leader. "In 1974, a newborn in the group developed a staphylococcus infection. Upon their arrival at UCLA Medical Center, doctors immediately notified police of suspected child endangerment. Father Yod felt this was an appropriate time to relocate the entire family to Kauai, Hawaii, though his term there was unfortunately short." ugh.

As for "sex sans orgasm", that's another definition for 'tantric sex', 'non-ejaculatory orgasm', carezza.

Bluing, lol, otherwise known as vasocongestion, is also alleviated by non-ejaculatory orgasm.
posted by nickyskye at 8:47 AM on March 2, 2006

First-rate '60s weirdness. The hang-glider accident ("not an accident") is priceless. Human nature is incredible. Nothing should surprise us.
posted by Faze at 9:26 AM on March 2, 2006

The Oneida community also practiced sex without orgasm, and that was in the 19th century. The idea was that it kept you more pure.

"Mortally injured upon landing" implies someone ran out and stabbed him after he got out of the glider. At least that's the mental image it gave me.

And a question: Generally, how were these cults funded? Sure, some of these guys must have had a few thou in the bank, but moving a bunch of people to Hawaii couldn't have been cheap. Who bankrolled these "families"? I've always been curious and I'm too lazy to do research.
posted by bardic at 9:43 AM on March 2, 2006

man, this is definitely going on my list of hilarious california cultism. thank you.
posted by jann at 9:48 AM on March 2, 2006

bardic, the cult leader often gets his/her minions/devotees to fork over their money/salaries, which goes back into the running of the cult. This particular cult was funded first by the leader himself running a health food restaurant on Sunset Strip, which was then run by the members of the cult.

"PSF: There's a Rolls Royce on the cover of the Savage Sons album. Were the sons and daughters of Yahowha a wealthy group?

SUNFLOWER: The family had a lot of money from the restaurant. This was put into the pot, and the women were dressed, and the image was that of success - not of poverty. That Rolls Royce was bought brand new for $34,000.

DJIN: We weren't wealthy, we just worked hard and served what people wanted and needed. Our restaurant did very well, and we were open from 8AM to 12 Midnight, 6 days a week. We also had a book and record store attached."

" DJIN: At first people lived in their own places, then they started to move in with each other until around '71 when the restaurant was doing very well and we rented a mansion beneath Griffith park which had 22 rooms and an Olympic size swimming pool. All this time Father lived in his one room above the Source restaurant. Then, to step up our training program, to become more one and selfless, Father moved us to a 3 bedroom house tucked away in Nichols Canyon. We numbered about 140 with children, so to provide sleeping accommodations for everyone, the children all lived together in a large den room off the backyard, and the adults lived in what we called cubbyholes which were like beehive type 3 foot by 6 foot spaces our carpenters built vertically coming out of the walls, two rows high stacked so we got about 30 people in one room. Then we had a few platforms hidden outside in the bush. We were pretty private up there to pull it off."

"SUNFLOWER: We all had a bedroll and very few (no) possessions. We all lived in the same house, and when it was time to sleep you would roll it up."

The Hebrew letter "yod", the same letter in the Qabalah.
posted by nickyskye at 10:20 AM on March 2, 2006

i see one of those yahowa albums is with sky saxon. which surprised me not. yod and dog.
posted by 3.2.3 at 10:43 AM on March 2, 2006

I have a bunch of these records on CDR. The band is often great, and there is certainly a nice vibe going throughout these recordings. The only problem is that when Father Yod actually sings - which is all too often - the listenability really nosedives. YMMV of course.

bardic: I've always liked to imagine Yod sailing beautifically through the Hawaiian skies and then realising he was headed for a cliff or mountainside or something, and yelling, "Nooooooooo..." with arms outstretched. Or maybe it would be, "Ommmmmm..."?
posted by stinkycheese at 10:52 AM on March 2, 2006

/in slow-mo, of course. Heh.
"Where's your beatification now, bitch?"
posted by bardic at 10:55 AM on March 2, 2006

I remember when that guy crashed while hang gliding. He apparently believed his press releases, that when you're fully enlightened you can do anything without the need for instruction.

I remember thinking he'd be a great candidate for the Darwin awards.
posted by jasper411 at 11:06 AM on March 2, 2006

I have every Father Yod albumn and related project that I know of... and to be honest, my advice would be don't spend the money unless you have it to burn... There are a few gem tracks, but most of it is unlistenable.
posted by glider at 11:12 AM on March 2, 2006

For a little darker religious commune action, here's Jim Jones' People's Temple Choir! (complete with the infamous death tape natch).
posted by stinkycheese at 11:20 AM on March 2, 2006

Contemporary music-making hippy cult: Zendik.
posted by bonefish at 11:31 AM on March 2, 2006

I've got to recommend "I'm Gonna Take You Home" as a wholly incredible document of the Ya Ho Wa camp - loose and riotous guitar psych, some of the best i've ever heard. the vinyl (in thin but gorgeous gatefold) was reissued a few years back and may still be floating around - i had to ebay mine.
forced exposure carries the cd and a few other titles. i read an interview once with the guitarist in which he explained their daily regiment - went something like this: wake at 4:00 am, excercise for an hour, eat, pray/worship, jam out for indefinite period of time . . .

bashos.frog: one of my favorite records is an early '70s sun ra show called 'concert for the comet kohoutek' - VERY out there even by sun ra standards.

incidentally, this is the post that prompted me to join metafilter after 6 years of languishing on the 'other side'. thanks MetaMonkey
posted by visit beautiful mount weather! at 2:10 PM on March 2, 2006

6 years! Good grief, I thought I waited a long time (turns out they don't bite, by the way).
posted by MetaMonkey at 2:31 PM on March 2, 2006

(turns out they don't bite, by the way).

nah but they do nibble a bit!
posted by visit beautiful mount weather! at 3:05 PM on March 2, 2006

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