SwordfishEvan Wells : Re-visiting "Father" and the Source Family ****°
This video gives a well structured compilation of interviews mostly, with former members of the Source Family, the people who were under Yahowha's (aka Jim Baker's) wings for a certain period of time. Thanks to this compilation, combined with some images and a few rare video's we get some idea of first of all the personal evolution of Jim Baker's life (war hero, world judo champion, succesful businessman with vegetarian restaurant,...) and spiritual quest but also down to earth practical life exploration, and how he got so many people ivolved into this process. Secondly, it is also extremely interesting to witness how people became dependent on him and the Hawaiian foundation became at first a practical failure. After a period of growing consciousness when having a spiritual and psychological Father his seemingly deliberate leaving of them to draw them finally back to a more normal life, to a period of their own independence with each of them their own inspiration, as people who became life-experienced enough for becoming spiritual adults. For me this focus comes out and is presented very clearly. without restriction. We also hear a few words of Jim Baker, and various fragments of his improvised music. A really fine Documentary.
Other review :
"Documentary video by Evan Wells, in conjuction with Isis and E from the Source Family. "This 2 1/2 hour documentary traces the history of the Source Family, Father Yod/Ya Ho Wha/the man formally known as Jim Baker. Going back to the Beatnik era of the late '50s when Baker ran a sandal shop in Hollywood it goes through the origins of the Family in Los Angeles in 1967 to the dispersal in the mid '70s. Many of the original members of the Family are interviewed and the new and extensive footage from the '70s is featured throughout. For anyone who has been fascinated by this mysterious cult/commune, this documentary should provide the answers to most questions and allow you to make up your own mind as to who Father Yod / Ya Ho Wha / Jim Baker was."
The related singles are less worth to trace musically. It contains some garage rock from Sky Saxon, but
"There's nothing from his most Yod-like solo release, "Lover's Cosmic Voyage"." B.Coley
All singles were released under the names of "World Peace Band", "Sky Saxon Sunflower Dragon Slayers" with "the Bangles Vicky and Debbie", or with "The Lamed",or by "Hale Sunlight Wings White Magick + Being Poor", or by "the Universal Stars Band"
(CD released as related singles, CTCD-141)
10. Fire, Water, Air is Djinn, Arelich,Pythias, Octavius, Sunflower :
with Sky Saxon & Ya Ho Wa 13
Emerald Light ELR-84510 /1977
Higher Key Records 006 (CD)
Yahowa collection disc 10 Captain Trip CTCD-139*
"Then, on 25 August 1975, Yahowa went hang gliding for the first time in his life. His maiden flight was short. He landed badly and broke his back. He refused medication, relying instead on massages and salt packs, which kept him alive for all of nine hours. Following his instructions, the family gave his body an anema, lit insence and chanted three days before they called the authorities to remove the heat bloated corpse. A rumour persists that Yahowa was stuffed and mounted in a corner of the family's Hawaiian homestead. More likely he was cremated.
After his death The Source splintered, but the musicians of Yahowa 13 renamed themselves Fire, Water, Air (possibly what Yahowa means in astrological terms). In 1977 they released an eight track cartridge "Golden Sunrise" continuing Yod's legacy. It's hard to tell whether its weird effects are intentional, or whether the tape recorder was just out of phase. But when Sky Sunlight Saxon*, an acolyte since 1969 makes his first appearance midway through, the session takes off. The extended psych jams are a perfect match for Sky's boiling word gush, and the results are transportational in the extreme." Bryan Coley
° he used equipment not strong enough for his weight.
* later famous in The Seeds
I especially like the Neil Young like American native Indian in favour song "Across the prairie". "Celebration" is a far out Hare Krisjna like celebration in a distance.
This and following album are back to improvisation, but this time heading towards a more professional electric psychedelic improvisational sound. Starts quietly, builds up a tension, creates odd moods by using strange improvised noises. There's some eastern like improvisation in the guitar playing at the first track with weird American native like singing and nice distorted guitar effects. Third track is a weirdness like Algärnas Trädgard's first album. Last track starts with whistling. Unique, with some purity and balance between improvisation/ creating sounds and structured tension, expressing a (spiritual) content. Recommended.
4. Father Yod and the Spirit of '76 : All or nothing at all.
Higher Key Records 3304 / 1974
Yahowa collection disc 4 Captain Trip CTCD-133
"Late ass hippy makeout crud. ... B.C. Father Yod only blows the horn on the cover but does not participate on this lame album. The only noteworthy track is the bonus track "The Great Woe". "It wiggles with enough lopside mania to sound like a coed version of The Godz' "Quack (I am a quack). Around this time Father Yod changed his name into Yahoweh or Yahowah, depending on who's spelling the story, and decreed that his family could wear coloured clothes." Byron Coley
Starts as Van Morrison on Acid like singing, with piano, organ, drums (by JJ Light, the Native American protégé of the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band's Bob Markley). Odd and in moments stretched, with weird electric guitar solos. Also, quite passages with Pink Floyd like mood (piano and organ,..). An abnormality for its first side, but beautiful unique psychedelic weirdness at side 2, with flute, weird whistling, beautiful backing voice noises. And Father Yod who goes out of his mind again. Crazy electric guitar/piano accompanies the most weird moments. This side is very crazy, but still structured from within. Recommended for its highlighting power.
9. Yahowa 13 : To the principles, for the children.
Higher Key Records 3309 / 1974-1975
Yahowa collection disc 9 Captain Trip CTCD-138*
"At the end of 1974 The Source sold their restaurant and moved to Hawaii. There they went looking for paradise only to encounter hostile locals, who were reluctant to rent out a pad for Yahowa and his 13 wives, forcing them to temporarily retreat to Northern California. But they eventually reconfigured themselves and returned to Hawaii for a final fractious stand. "To the Principles, for the children" dates from this period and the tension shows. Its two long tracks are broken into untitled fragments, one of them an ode to "woman power" worthy of Helen Reddy. More frequently Yahowa locks into heaven chant mode, surrounded by instrumental rings that recall The Magic Band of "Abba Zabba". Very possibly, this album explains a great deal of the Father's philosophy-that is, if you can make out the words, of which there are many. By way of compensation the ensemble seamlessly blends effects and percussion, and when the kids'chorus of "Yahowa" starts up at the end you'll know you've already been somewhere." Byron Coley
A more personalised painfully vulnerable album style of songs. Odd. Musically not always that interesting, but charming at some points within its fragmented nature.
Tr.2, 234 3
8. Yahowa 13 : I'm gone take you home Higher Key Records 3308 / 1974
Originally a double LP. Great electric guitar playing. This is Yahowa's group at its best, and my favourite album. Yahowa plays the big drum (smoothly changing the rhythm at one point),screams a bit savage-like. Recommended.
"Five long, untitled tracks of flipped guitar psych represent their most thorough integration of vocals and music. At its best, Yahowa's vocals incorporate all the sounds of a barnyard revolution while the guitarist destroys himself" B.Coley
The Higher Key CD reissue its cover is a bit more clearly printed. Some might take the cover very serius. I personally think it's very funny, with some humour (see next back cover to confirm this).
The cover quotes :
On the front :
"A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse ; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed"
Song of Solomon ch.4, V12
"Woman was God's first creation, in order to express the great love within him. God then creates within his creation a vehicle to use, whenever he chooses to appear" Yahowa
On the back :
"And call no man your father opun the earth : for one is your father which is in heaven" bible
"..still, when the need is great, do I appear in my own universe, and am therefore born into the world by my power of thought and will" Gita
In the inner sleeve :
"And there was the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits and yielded her fruit every month..and there shall be no more curse : but the throne of God and of the lamb shall be in it ; and his servants shall serve him." Revelations ch.22,v.2-3
"Divine communion time is here little kitties" Yahowa (licensed to give life)
I once had the LP but the non too great quality of the recording did not make it up for me to make it work, to care enough to listen carefully. Also, the tired slightly delusioned photograph of Yahowa showed to me a person at the end of his powers, in struggle with inner energies, I didn’t insist in trying better and sold the album.
A few years later, with another package of Yahowa-related books (-I’m preparing a serious lecture on the man for the Theosophical Society, -I remained still a fan-), I still bought the CD with some hope on a listening improvement. I still needed a few listens before I think i had a better grip on it.
When focusing on the lyrics the recording falls a bit apart in its focus. Also the first time when I listened I associated the front photograph of a more tired Yahowa, worn out by never ending, perhaps even worrying visions, a bit drifted by them, not so much in the enjoyment of the energy of circumstance as before. It reminded me of some of his last words saying there was not much left to say to his group, and that he taught them already all he knew, so soon it was going to be the time of 'practical experience', also without a direct presence of a fatherly guidance.
The associations of lyrics (into the music) became vague, his voice is disappearing in the background while the jam takes over, it is all but the opera of words as it seemed to have been intended. Its words are formed into a dissolving energy, and are also losing the energy in speech. Within this changing lead of directions, not to focus on that part too much something of that same flame seem to have been weakened. Some of the lyrics say “the problem is you must see what it is you are looking for. Otherwise, the fire will pour. Come have your last supper with me.”
It’s visions are scrambling with random grabbing of surrounding and left-over thoughts which become image-like. It is like the visions of a deceased who travels on the Egyptian ark in the underworld, while feeling aware of its darkest thoughts and projections, tending to keep them there in the underworld, if he can’t get rid of the powers driven by these projections very fast.
Coincidently just before finishing this review I just wrote down a few thoughts I had on the Higher Self and consciousness and channelling. In finding it’s own mastership, a person first makes the energy of the lower, middle and higher self into one flowing channel, so that through an extra energy that is liberated by that he is able to become conscious over people seeing what defines and encourages men from past to future now, through its personality and through it’s soul destiny, thus creating a higher awareness on people and these destinations. It is generally known that the energy coming from the lower self alone is nothing but instinctive. In cooperation with the consciousness that keeps the soul in the body alive it can become more than a deeper life’s instinct, an awareness how all on earth survives better. Lesser known is that also the so called higher consciousness alone, a concentration beyond the point of God-awareness in the brain, also has no other significance but like a projection outside and without the body functions. When people would stimulate the acupuncture point in the brain that stimulates this no significant projection will happen, however there will be a god-like experience. All projections without the middle, human lead, like channelling projections in fact teach us nothing more than what is put into it from the level of experience the person is able to deal with. At a time of death the energy of concerns put into these projections beyond this point is exactly the confrontation with the Dweller which is expressed in those images in the Egyptian book of the dead.
I am rather convinced that such a sort of experience is dealt with in this recording. Yahowa had just returned from Egypt where he had some secret initiation inside the pyramid. It was the last recording he did, and had lost a bit interest in finding a purpose in recording more. Through what I have read, during his deliberately caused passing to death, he luckily must have taken the necessary next steps after this...
For the remaining band recording :they just jammed, with simple bluesy beginnings but also with crazy, almost experimental and distorted psychedelic jam outros, twice. It is as if in my second listen I only heard these jams ; a qualified band they were.. But in fact from that point, except for some odd rhythmic drive led by Father, I guess they were already somewhat on their own…
For an outsider, not being prepared of Yahowa’s visions and jams this 2LP set or CD might not be the best starter to get involved into the personality and also spiritual power behind it. But I hope my context placement will still prove also this part for its own right. The 13th LP?
A little bit "incredible strange" or over the top of odd singing vocals, not always with the best voice in an improvisational manner (piano, electric guitar, el. bass, voice, backing female vocals).
Liner notes :
"Kohoutek is an energy. Scientists estimate that its radiance will excel Haley's Comet 50 times, its head to be 100,000 miles in diameter, and its tail to span 100,000,000 miles in space. It will not appear again they say for another 80,000 years.
Man in his history and myth has long associated the comet with the ominous power of the unknown. He has learned that they bring changes. Life after their fiery visitation is never quite the same.
What is Kohoutek ? Why is it coming ? What will it bring ?
The mystery of "K houtek" is explored in spontaneous music, sound and song on Higher Key Record's first release by Father Yod and The Spirit of '76'.
Don't stay in the dark Kohoutek is for you."
PS. The text of "I am God, I am the Father of All" (click cover to see it readable), according to the aditional liner notes came "from the Father of All Words to his son Yahowa God of this sphere who is here, now."
THE STORY, THE RADIOPROGRAM, CHRONICALLY WITH DISCOGRAPHY
"In 1969 To Baker, a middle aged follower of the Yogi Bhajan a Kundalini yoga master and health food prophet who came to the US on the heels of the Maharashi. When Bhajan declared that he was not God, Baker assumed the mantle himself. He gathered a group of acolytes who became known as The Source and opened a health food restaurant, The Aware Inn, in Hollywood's Laurel Canyon. Eventually dubbed Father Yod (later changed to Yahowa), Baker espoused a philosophy dictating kindness to animals, a rw fruit and vegetable diet, wearing the white cotton clothes, and sex without orgasm. Apocryphal stories about The Source's practices abound. The most persistent was based on the similarity of the spelling between god and dog. Among the faithful who toiled at the Aware Inn were a number of musicians, whose talents Yod enlisted when the tapes began spooling." Byron Coley (from review in the Wire : see note at the end)
5. Yahowa 13 : Yahowa 13
Higher Key Records 3305 / 1974
Yahowa collection disc 5 Captain Trip CTCD-134°
Very different in style. One simple bluesrocksong, a lame Elvis reminding pop song, an improvisational like low pop and a poprock song, all not worth so much mentioning. Keeping the improvisational style short to song zize doesn't make songs like "kind of depressing" so enjoyable. Also the next bluesy improvisational songs can't make it good for me. Only the song "Pain" is slightly better, still not making this album for me worth enough tracing it.
6. Yahowa 13 : Savage sons of Yahowa 13
Higher Key Records 3306 / 1974
Yahowa collection disc 6 Captain Trip CTCD-135**°
This is West Coast styled rock.
"If early Crazy Horse had been deranged by fruit juice, they might have sounded like this. Electron's fried Screamin' Jay Hawkins* vocalize on "Fire In The Sky" is particularly evocative of a bad trip. "Oh Ya Ho Wa" in particular, is a stand out of blues punk genius°." Byron Coley
* some might be reminded at Captain Beefheart.
° a bit primitive punk/garage like I would say.
"Red River Valley" reminds a bit at (Crosby, Stills, Nash and) Neil Young.
Tr.2, "Fire in the Sky" 5
11. Yodship Private pressing / Father
Yahowa collection disc 11 Captain Trip CTCD-140*
Infinity driven hippie folk in memory of Yahowa, with its moments.
"The mysterious "Yodship" in the late 70's by unnamed family members, features two untitled suites in praise of Yod, which are eerily remniscent of music by other cults, like the Manson Family, The Jonestown Choir, Spirit in the Flesh, Sun Ra's Arkestra etc. The funaral rite for a dream, its edge of depressive menace gives it a very high rate on the loner folk-psych scale." B.Coley
In some way it's like music from Yahowa's mourning sheep, from children crying for their father" I wonder now if a great personality replacing the Power of Father could provide adultery to any followers when such person disappears and with him his power to concentrate renewing inventive creation. Can a leadership, not only for the moment of its creation, could ever provide spiritual adultery for worshippers of creative energy after a process of chance shortly occuring ?
Tr.1, suite 1, -600
Tr.2, suite 2, 931-1119
There seems to exist a third suite, not known during the creation of the Ya Ho Wa 13 box. It's recording has been found by he webmaster of the following webpage :
Unreleased materials was released as disc 13 from Captain Trip Records, CTCD-142, all by Fire, Water and Air, "largely mainstream rockoid material... plus a Saxon rap about being nice to dogs.*"
* hippie talk in fact. Quite OK is an earlier Yahowa track without the master from "Penetration".
Tr.9, "Sky Sunlight Saxon speaking to the Earth Aquarian Family" 5 min
This track, from the most loyal follower, telling about the music which I played, is a good track to end with, giving a perpsective overview but shows also how much respect as well as naivity Yahowa left behind.
All quoted parts from Byron Coley, came from an article with review of the 13 CD box of Yahowa 13, which first appeared in The Wire magazine issue 180 February 1999. These quotes are reproduced by permission. Link to The Wire magazine : www.thewire.co.uk.
In 2004 a few recordings of Yahowha 13 were found and rereleased on Swordfish in UK :
Label's introduction :
"The psychedelic find of the decade-their long-lost final magnum opus. Rumoured to exist for years-often put down as just rumour though. Here it is, unearthed from tapes thought lost forever but now found after nearly 30 years. The first thing to be released from Ya Ho Wha 13 since 1975. In the spring of 1975 the Family was homeless and was travelling on the West Coast after having been driven out of Hawaii by local laws (they would return later that year for what would be the final time with Father). Ya Ho Wha had taken a spontaneous journey to the East which had culminated in his initiation in the Great Pyramid of Egypt on Easter Sunday. Upon his return to the San Francisco area a warehouse in Corte Madeira was rented for the Family to gather for their Aquarian style morning meditations and meetings to greet the dawn. This is where The Operetta came down. It represents the first musical channelling from the time after Ya Ho Wha's Easter Ressurrection in the Great Pyramid (returning transformed) and the last total musical recording he would make with the band. The 6 pieces which make up The Operetta form the culmination of all the YaHoWhan recordings -- thunderous percussion, massive psychedelic guitar swirlings are all vying for space with Ya Ho Wha's spontaneous chanting in this intense journey into inner self. The final and most awesome of all their creations. A strictly limited edition 2 LP set presented in a gatefold cover featuring previously unseen photographs from the Family's personal archives, it comes with an insert featuring a transcription of Ya Ho Wha's thoughts and comments on the piece when he heard the tapes played back to him shortly after they were recorded. One off pressing -- this is destined to become as rare as the Higherkey originals."
Isis & Electricity Aquarian : The Source (2008)*****
After a DVD which looks back on what happened during the short period with Father Yod/yahowa, I missed more images from that period, and only felt vaguely there must have been something unique, and that the period when Father said : now you must learn to be on your own and then shortly after left his body, for me it proved an underlying consciousness that went one step deeper into life itself, taking the circumstances further than whereto for instance Bagwan/Osho took his disciples to. This book revealed to me how deep all these experiences really went, (luckily this time with all the images needed), including the last experience, a period of disappointments, when they left their unique energy-increased bubble of time and space and were forced to integrate back into the world without any of the circumstances of protection. Also thanks to this book, I was able to go behind the psychology of Jim Baker, who especially since the times of change became a charismatic man who led all this, something which also gave me ideas how a person like Jesus might have worked more or less.
There is no doubt that Jim was a remarkable man, who was forced to take responsibility over his own family at a young age, and where he took over the role of a father, and performed this extremely seriously already. Everywhere he worked out a successful, strong male role: he became war hero, a world champion in judo wrestling, was a candidate for playing the role of Tarzan in Hollywood, and so on. When vegetarian food healed a personal health problem, from that point he learned and realized the importance of healthy food. He established the first vegetarian food restaurant in the US (in Hollywood), which became also the most profitable restaurant from those days, and knew many important guests (from Hollywood films and music). His early search for his earthly father led to disappointment, so he was forced to transform this quest for himself into a search for a spiritual father, which became Yogi Bhajan who was at that time in the US. It didn’t take long before he himself centred once more the necessary qualities and responsibilities of a Father over others who were in need for this occasion, in a spiritual and psychological way. It all began with additional lectures after the restaurant closed. Thoroughly he found ways to tap ideas more directly from a higher consciousness and started to improvise a few new ideas. More people gathered around the place and meetings and began to live at the restaurant. Soon he began to name the followers as his sons with their wives. Also a music band was part of the story, which for the rest of its phases and through different eyes of witnesses are incredible to read, and easy imaginable as if the reader participates with something of the experience which can be witnessed and imagined through all the visually interesting photographs. Still it can be considered a unique experience of their times.
- But let me also explain the realization I had about the connection, in psychology, with Jesus...
I have certain reasons to believe that Jesus’ mother, Maria, pure in heart or at least to a survivalist degree innocent of heart, she might have been a part of circumstances of sexual intercourse that must have been interpreted in her mind (inaccetible to society, but meaningful to her) as coming from an angel, whatever it also meant besides her own feelings and interpretations something else than this reality that makes it acceptable, in the mind of Jesus he himself must have come to the conclusion that his father wasn’t an earthly father, but came from heavenly sources, something which either could have made him into a delusional person, or in which he in his turn had to find some sort of logic for himself that worked.
In those days people searched for community-related spiritual answers and a new symbol of leadership as a strong enough alternative for a forced religion and state (Romans), an alternative to the emperor ‘king’ who had claimed he alone was the spokesman of God.
Within this social struggle and context it is logical that within the more normal tendency, of searching for spiritual enlightenment which led the personal quests, there were also these society-driven seeking alternatives to the Roman’s heavy unconquerable force. Because of this seeking for a forceful alternative, there was much more struggle than usual of who-had-a-final-truth for all those followers of people who found alternatives. This is one of the reasons which caused a distinction between the real figure of Jesus and what has been important and used by people over the years, the Christ.
The story of Christ might have captured a certain spiritual idea, the story of Jesus was abused that much so that the original idea that there were many people seeking for a lost truth were wiped out of history and only one person was to stand for a whole community, something which finally indeed replaced the emperor of Rome with a different image (a new leader for that community, the Pope) with as much falsification of truths compared to before (in Rome).
Claiming a new universal superiority at that stage, also Islam, from the point that there was a Pope, invented alternatives and a story of an enlightened ruler with his own superiority, which can not be questioned or conquered in his turn.
All these tendencies, which made a taboo of the seeking Yogi who was able to show deeper lying alternatives, as being a source of spiritual seeking for all those who finally had lost all connections.
This new stage on its own of religious power plants, luckily was already evolved from a ‘God’-like entity driven by blood and honour as a spokesman for a racial abuse of the world for their own good, but it was still driven away from all the former seekers for truths. Talking about Jesus again and all the others from his days, I am sure that they weren’t very different from people like Jim Baker, and were probably more like what some people might have considered as being 'the hippies of their times', using certain drugs and wine to come to a different state of Mind where they enjoyed friendship in a bubble of space and time with perfect circumstances where they could take the time to become better aware of other things, even though Apostlesy might not have been yet into the final answer of how to practice an optimal reintegration of a Person into the whole, through liberation of Conciousness apart from their own Personality struggles. The fact that the story in the Bible ends before a true Enlightment really happens makes it vulnerable for a different use. The dillusions of someone who claimed to have a connection with God in the hands of those who had Power in Churches is used as a power tool, not as a spiritual tool despite it's proclamations. In reality there always has been people searching for a better way of understanding, and acting, revealing some hidden qualities...
What struck me is that Jim Baker, even when forced by circumstances, made conscious decisions, and took each step of the becoming so seriously, so that also the fourth path was taken, the integration into real life, after having had the perfect easy circumstances related with childhood and the first educational steps under guidance of a Father.*
* When The Source had Father he had become first his own father, so that he could further care with committed responsible actions over others, while the members themselves had searched for the ideal situation how to continue for a while a spiritual growth under perfect circumstances, with a freedom that certain youngsters have while still living at home. The danger of such a opportunity is that at that stage the growing up children still don’t need to take responsibility in the world. But first they needed to have an opportunity to develop something, a Fatherly example, from which they could have a feeling of personal development. They did not find that condition very much before with their parents, nor with the state as their parental background.
Circumstances like this were often wished for in Society, leading to alternative communities with a spiritual quest and philosophy. In the worst case this idea could attract immature hippies or yuppies who want to escape any broadening responsibility or even confrontation with different people, characters or communities, but in the best case it develops a philosophy that finds ways at that stage to benefit the whole community, through some form of participating communicative growth process. In the worst case these conditions create a separate entity that does not transform and which changes into a dark energy full of restrictions and negative thoughts about the rest of the world, without any attempt to make further connections with it. Officially recognised bigger communities like the Amish or Orthodox Judaism are of course dealing with a form of limiting restriction that does not allow, within their community, the final change and integration into the whole, a final state which still is needed in perspective before being able to become a total human. Such societies hardly can cope with potential people that have new ideas on how to open their ways up to a brighter perspective. For the Amish you're free to leave the devoted society at around maturation age to find your own way.
The book comes also with snapshots of ideas from Yahowa, recipes from the restaurant, and a few of the meditation techniques.
The best recording on the CD is the unpublished live recording from 1973 at Beverly Hills Highschool, a track where Father Yod talks while waiting for the school bell to go off, while using this moment of tension perfectly to build the energy before the performance. Not every track is perfect or equally impressive (the Yahowa call for instance does not have these circumstances that makes it more meaningful than its form). And also the Beer recordings sounds like a regular jam. It also has a radio interview with Jim Baker about his ideas on vegetarianism. A strange oddity is an electric harp with spoken word track by Makushla Aquarian.
Drag CityThe Source Family -cd- (US,70s,re.2013)****'
As an accompanying CD with the upcoming documentary and DVD, I can only get more and more curious what will be featured in it. I heard all Yahowha’s/Father Yod’s music before, saw the previous after-life documentary, but not much film material was shown before. I only know that this little period was unique and it ended soon enough to remains a powerful inspiration for those who see. The CD gives a pretty nice introduction of all what happened. The early track is like to incoming characters, each with their own participation personal vision, thoroughly becoming one entity of a powerful expression.
So the early tracks on the compilation more starting from personal experiences like introductions, personal commitments, witnesses, with hippie-like songwriting (on “Home”, acoustic guitar and voice only) or soulful gospel-rock (with a female harmony band, the Children of The 6th Root Race”), with personal heavy well breathed emotional female expressions from deep within its longs and heart, accompanied by piano (“Every Morning”), with heavy voice and electric guitar (“Man the Messiah”), leading to a first next step and highlight, “Godmen”, bringing all these people together into a more thoroughly cooperating as one identity band with heavy voices, strong community power, energy and in their music, with soul, and with progressive rock evolutions on electric guitars/drums. Really great music with much power and now-energy and great structural evolution, and even though it goes berserk quickly and with fastened rhythm, it remains well structured underneath with almost jazz-rock abilities. Also included are a couple of group chants, in mantra/native Indian like modes. “Chant 10” is well arranged in its core too, with harmonic layers while most of the group sings the song together. Then we hear also the intro from Yahowha 13(s live track, speaking about this “eternal now” kind of improvisation, being able to uplift the moment to something special and unique. This is followed by some fragments of highlights of Yahowha 13’s best albums, like from the incredible “I’m gonne take you home”, showing a short of many highlight, crafted heavy electric guitar responses. “Chant 2” is from another yoga-like rock outro led by vocals. “To The Principles of the Children” more is like an improvised intro of another track. “Expansion” is another example and fragment of great drumming and guitars, wahwah guitar and Indian-like female singers, with the lead vocals of Father. “Kahoutek” is another, now slower improvisation, with lead vocals by Father Yod, showing once more what a great band and guitarists, vocalists they were. “Penetration” is another Yahowha favourite of which is included the great intro with Father’s whistling and echoing electric guitar, then with an orgastically building up rhythm and becoming wilder electric guitar, which are the first 4 minutes of a full album session, you can hear Father playing and leading with the tindrums. Last track “Contraction” is a fine ending track with amongst other things a last contribution of the soulful female vocalists, guitar, keyboards, slowly improvising after some ideas brought forward by their leader.
A very good introduction, with some tracks (especially the early ones) I think I did not hear before.
Drag CityJody Wille/Maria Demopoulos : The Source Family -DVD- (US,2013)*****
It was only a matter of time and also a documentary had to be made of what happened at The Source Family. The short and very intense period that happened down in California and Hawaii had involved hundreds of people. We already had a book, which worked already like a documentary, with all these photographs and stories. And there was the previous documentary of witnesses of what to some of the participants happened afterwards, but without much of the originally recorded film and photo material. So I am really glad finally somebody did compile some of this material, with some extra after-stories too, but this time with a more complete picture. We're so lucky that Isis did record so much material. Even though I missed a couple of small facts that I still considered being important, (like how his grand father was, and how he had shown similarities of strength and courage and how had many wives too, something which was already memorised in his genes, to start with, or how these situations were as a war hero or how he came to kill some men with judo while defending himself, and how he left his passed life behind, not in a way how he didn’t care about anybody, but because things needed change and real progress for those who are prepared for it), in a way we still do get a relative good picture shaping its own form in the right time with all these people around, just like a perfect experiment. And perhaps the group was lucky they could have had this experience for the short time it do is possible, which is easily changed as quickly as life, here it still was without losing much of its integrity on the way. In general it are always tougher that catches up with perfect utopias sooner or later, never the less and in the end and compared to so many other experiments that happened around not too much had went wrong into the essence of itspotential purposes. May be nearly all other experiments of communes around the same time still had failed or had failed so much more at some point of another. This was just taken over by life or death itself after a while. Oh, and what great music did it bring forward too. With all these direct witnesses and picture you also nearly sense something of it as well.
If you do want to investigate just one or any commune of what really happened down there, I think The Source might very much be the best place to start. The documentary in its short time gets you a better grip on the full picture and in this case it not just leaves a bad aftertaste like in someother cases. So, if you want to investigate just any hippie related happening from the 60s/70s, I think this documentary might be one of the best places to start from. Or the book. Or the music. Just see how far it gets you drawn in. (I think the music is already nicely integrated to get a good idea of it into the movie).