Father Yod & The Spirit of ’76 :: Kohoutek / Ya Ho Wa 13

High atop the mountain of New Age and psychedelic reissues resides a throne for a man not quite of this earth. Hirsute with a colossal presence that was equal parts yoga master, health food prophet and hippie Santa Claus - Father Yod (later Yahowha) is the granddaddy of spiritual-private-press-cum-cult-esque music. However, before his spiritual enlightenment Father was born James Edward Baker in 1922 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He later earned the Silver Star as a United States Marine in World War II and became an expert in Jujitsu. Desiring to become Hollywood stuntman his efforts were derailed when he became enamored by the Nature Boys, a Los Angeles-based group of a beatniks who lived “according to Nature’s Laws.” His time was soon all spent studying philosophy, religion and esoteric spiritual teachings before becoming a follower of Yogi Bhajan, a Sikh spiritual leader and teacher of Kundalini Yoga. Disenchanted when Bhajan declared he was not god, Baker decided to assume the mantle. In 1969, Baker gathered a group of followers dubbed The Source Family and opened a health food restaurant, The Aware Inn, in the Laurel Canyon section of Hollywood. Now christening himself, Father Yod, Baker adopted a credo based on kindness to animals, a fruit diet, the wearing of cotton clothes and, finally, sex without orgasm. Amongst those who worked in The Aware Inn were a number of budding musicians and Father formed the psychedelic free rock band Ya Ho Wha 13 around their talents in 1973.

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