FATHER YOD & THE SPIRIT OF '76: Kohoutek LP
Father Yod & The Spirit Of '76 "Kohoutek" LP (Drag City)
Now that the story of THE SOURCE FAMILY is out there, as the subject of an acclaimed book and documentary film (as well as an ongoing series of rare, never-before-released recordings), it’s time to turn the light back on the records that made this whole thing a story in the first place. In the 1990s, it was a revelation to discover that there was a series of records made by a hippie cult led by a big Santa Claus-looking guy named FATHER YOD. It was of further interest that these records weren’t simple, predictable light-rock recitals about Jesus—far from it! Instead, they were darkly psychedelic, stream-of-consciousness jams, with Father and the members of his band (usually THE SPIRIT OF ’76 and YaHoWa13) reaching together for divine transformation, and often finding it, as Father screamed, pounding kettle drums ecstatically, while the band erupted with coils of enlightenment rock, over and over. Records like Penetration, Contraction, To the Principles For the Children, and I’m Gonna Take You Home were amazing home-recorded documents, adorned with hand-drawn phrases and logos and grainy color shots of what appeared to be truly magical everyday cult life with Father. Super-crazy, inspiring stuff. Now we return to the beginning, for the second coming of Kohoutek. This was the first spontaneous release that was made into a record, credited to Father Yod and The Spirit of ’76. It came out in 1973, the year of Kohoutek, when the immanent arrival of the big comet spawned a new round of cosmic consciousness in the media and with people all over the planet. This was more than a comet, its radiance was enormous, it came from ancient times to be experienced again by the enlightened people of the day. The Source Family were alive with expectation about the return of this long-haired messenger, and Father devoted considerable time chanting and eventually changing in his identity to Yahowa while meditating on the comet. Events like these were to be cherished for bringing infusions of energy that could only be accessed via the rare occasions. Life had to be lived in order to grow—and the two sides of Kohoutek are a special jam that passes through tranquility to exultation, a tapping of the passing flame in the skies and a greeting from Father to the messenger and bearer of such awesome gifts. Very pure.
1. Kohoutek Side 1
2. Kohoutek Side 2