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Acid Rock Must-See: Ya Ho Wa 13

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This Thursday and Friday, Los Angeles will see the first return in 30 years of one of its more singular musical forces: Ya Ho Wa 13.

Active from 1969-77, the band produced nine LPs – and recorded enough for fifty-six more - of stunningly original psychedelic rock. Hardly anyone ever got to hear them, however, since they were entirely self-released and only available at the Source Restaurant on Sunset and Sweetzer during the last few of those years.

Gradually, their name has grown in stature among record collectors, prompting the release of a thirteen-disc box set, God And Hair, by Japan's Captain Trip Records in 1998.

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The band was formed by the members of the Source Family, a commune of about 250 people that lived in the Hollywood Hills, operated the restaurant, and pledged devotion to group leader Father Yod. Had record labels come calling, they might have found it a bit difficult to bargain with a bunch of young people who had adopted “Own nothing that you do not need, and share all that you have” as a manifesto.

There’s not the faintest whiff of showbiz, or of trying to please an audience; this is jam-rock meant as a path to enlightenment.

To celebrate the release of the definitive family history, The Source: The Untold Story of Father Yod, Ya Ho Wa 13, and The Source Family by Process Media this month, they’re getting the band back together. Serious appreciators of acid rock need to see this once in their lifetime, and you’re not likely to get another chance. Thursday’s program includes home movies and period documentaries for local TV; Friday’s includes a set by long-time Source affiliate Sunlight Sky Saxon and the Seeds, along with Entrance and Hecuba. You can bet these folks want to take you higher than even Sly Stone; the choice to go with them is all yours. Choose wisely.

Thursday, November 15 at the Silent Movie Theater, 8pm. 611 N. Fairfax Avenue (323) 655 -2510

Friday, November 6 at the Echoplex, 8pm. 1154 Glendale Blvd. (at Sunset)