Father Yod and The Spirit of – “Kohoutek” – [Drag City]
On the corner of Sunset Blvd on the Sunset Strip sat one of the first true vegetarian restaurants, The Source. It brought sprouts into the mainstream as an edible food choice. Within the restaurant was a shelf where strange albums could be purchased, albums recorded by the musical members of the cult The Source Family. “Kohoutek” by Father Yod and The Spirit of ’76 was one of those albums. Being a cornerstone in the world of 1970’s cult culture, The Source Family were notorious for their beautiful members, all natural wearing white and daisies, reveling in the wonders and exhaustion of free love and a steady diet of vegetable based matter. This influenced their psychedelic musical improvisational ramblings, often performed, and to our luck sometimes recorded, between the hours of 3AM and 6AM, after extensive meditations.
Kohoutek, a Drag City rerelease, performed by Father Yod and The Spirit of ’76, is the first of numerous recordings made by members of The Source Family. It is named after the famed comet Kohoutek which came close to earth in 1973. The significance of this event is profound for The Source Family. Nearing the time of its arrival, Father, founder and leader of the cult, went on a three day meditation where he only chanted YHWH, which is Yahweh (whose history and significance is extensive). After the three days he came out and changed his name to Yod. Skip ahead to 1975 when the comet made a return visit: this is the same year Father Yod died in a hang gliding accident in Hawaii. Hence its importance: the Father becomes Yod as Kohoutek enters near Earth and leaves his body as the comet goes away.
The improvisational piece, which covers both sides, is full of Father Yod’s ramblings about love and the power of … who knows- stuff and comets and sex and his polygamy and nature and his penis. No band members are listed yet all The Source Family recordings had Djin Aquarian on guitar, Octavius Aquarian on drums and Sunflower Aquarian on bass. This recording includes a chorus and other cult hippies ringing bells and shaking things and playing an organ maybe. Side one has more going on: more sounds, more variation of melody and tempo, more chorus, more bells, more Father Yod. It is untrained psychedelia with musicians and “musicians” of varying skill levels. Side 2 gets quieter with more space and words more whispered and obtuse. Guitars jangle. Notes stretch out. Which makes sense because this part was probably recorded near dawn.
Essential weirdo musical nonsense of great importance to freaks like you and me. Eat your sprouts.