While still on a psychedelic and experimental tip, here’s a band I discovered for the first time myself just yesterday when The Dead Skeletons posted this video on their Facebook page. Those Skeleton guys make some awesome music and are quite obviously of impeccable taste, so I had felt compelled to investigate.
I’ve got to say, I know nothing about YA HO WHA 13, other than the fact that I really like the following track. So please excuse any possible inaccuracies, as what follows has been lifted directly from Wikipedia.
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 religiouscult/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 extremepsychedelic 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, psychedelicmusic 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….Isis Aquarian, who was the family historian, archivist and one of Fathers wives, recently found a lot of these unreleased music tapes in her archives and they are now being remastered and released through Drag City Records out of Chicago and their site http://www.Yahowha.org
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) along with other family musicians Lovely Aquarian, Hom Aquarian, Rhythm Aquarian, Pythias Aquarian, Aquariana Aquarian, Ahom Aquarian, Electron Aquarian. 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. Yahowha 13 was Father Yod’s signature band. He said that its music would continue his teaching (by the words he used) long after he was gone… and it has held true -as the music held a cult underground following all these years and now the next generation has embraced it. Former pop star Sky Saxon of The Seeds had joined the Source Family in 1973 and occasionally appeared on the band’s recordings.
I believe the band are still playing to this day. A Facebook page has recently been set up by guitarist Djin Aquarian, although there’s not much on it yet.