November 15, 2007
The Silent Movie Theater
Los Angeles, California
The Source Family was a Los Angeles-based religious commune formed back in the late 1960s and early â€™70s by a charismatic spiritual guru named Father Yod. At its peak, Father and his group, at 140 members strong, decked themselves out in full-length robes, farmed some seriously long hair and beards (on the men, at least), ran a highly profitable health food store called The Source on Sunset Boulevard, lived in a mansion in the Hollywood Hills, drove a sparkling Rolls Royce and recorded eight albums of raw, prime psychedelic rock. After being â€œencouragedâ€ by authorities to leave sunny SoCal--mainly for living in overcrowded (yet clean) conditions and illegally home schooling their kids--the clan relocated to Hawaii, where they were not exactly welcomed with open arms by hostile locals.
An attempt at living in San Francisco came next, where they didn't have much more luck, so some of them returned to Hawaii, where Father Yod crashed and died during his very first untutored attempt to soar the skies in a hang glider. In subsequent years, the Source Family dissolved. Some members ended up in dire circumstances on the streets, while others returned to a more conventional lifestyle and a few continued living under the influence of Father. In recent years, they've held a handful of private reunions, and recently invited the public to join in all the fun during the celebration of a lavishly-illustrated new tell-all book about their life and times called The Source: The Untold Story of the Father Yod, Ya Ho Wha 13 and the Source Family.
At the Silent Movie Theater in Los Angeles, eight original members of the Family clambered up on stage to reminisce about the good old days while a bunch of their vintage slides, home movies and amusing cable access spots played on a screen behind them. The original members of Ya Ho Wha 13--Djin Aquarian on guitar, Sunflower Aquarian on bass and Octavius Aquarian on drums--then offered up a half-hour of loose, wispy and spontaneous psychedelic rock during their very first gig in 32 years to a packed, very amped and appreciative audience. They played another much longer set the following night at the Echoplex.
The guitar player, Djin, caressed his strings with a feather and other objects while playing through a delay pedal, creating a nice electric wash as the rhythm section pounded away. It was similar to the early Father Yod and the Spirit of '76 albums, but without Father's atonal ranting. I was hoping that Djin would bust out a distortion pedal and offer up some serious Penetration-style wildness, but that was not in the cards. The Source book comes highly recommended, as does Ya Ho Wha 13's raw, primitive and completely unhinged Penetration and I'm Gonna Take You Home albums. Learn more about it all at the following locations: