This story relates to the Hawkwind cover mentioned elsewhere in this screed.
Like unto a dreamlike wispy memory is this telling…
London, Ladbroke Grove, early seventies.
Set off to see Barney in the hood, he was still all big hair, huge beard, and bad teeth. Blue pin stripe Can’t Bust’em bib overalls. We were outside what was now a store, It was past his studio Motherburger’s time there on Portobello, perhaps when he was living with Gina and the young Aten up Wormwood Scrubs way.
He was showing his art on the low brick wall outside where Friends magazine had been, on a Wednesday afternoon, maybe. Sunny, mild breeze, scuzzy street,
We were talking about Nazi graphics and he implied that he wanted to retrieve the swastica from the Nazi’s evil clutches despite what ‘they’ might say. He wanted to take back the powerful graphics the Nazis had appropriated.
In the case of the swastica, which the Nazis had stolen for their wicked ends from various sources, including Buddhist and Chinese art, but particularly from the Japanese, and in detail had lifted indentically, angle, weight and all, from a ‘Fylot’ or Budhist cross in a book of Japanese family crests called ‘Japanese Design Motifs’ compiled by The Matsuya Adachi Store and translated by Fumie Adachi, first published in 1913 and republished in the ’72 by Dover Publications. See illustrations on pages 131 and 132 to see the art that Goebels cribbed from. (He was given a copy by Hess.) No, this detail was not in the conversation, but could be true if it happened.)
Barney implied as how he could take what he wanted by guile, he didn’t use that word, but mimed it visualy with his body-English. He did say that we can ignore conventional ideas of what’s graphicaly right or wrong, He said, “Who cares what ‘they’ say?” he grinned and then nodded, goggle-eyed, that, “We can make any graphic ok if it’s good.”
He frequently used ‘we’ to imply a conspiracy of minds.