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Barney Bubbles: who was Prince Minsky?

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  • Barney Bubbles: who was Prince Minsky?

    Here's a question VG may be able to help with, but it goes way,way back, '60s or early '70s I think!

    I know that Barney Bubbles did some work with Hawkwind, 'a long time ago in a galaxy far away', but I'm unsure what it entailed. Was it artwork? Did he ever work with MM?

    I'm only asking because I've got a poster entitled 'Prince Minsky's Chopper'. It's black 'n white (well, more yellowish brown now), and was given me by a friend.
    Was there ever a 'Prince Minsky' or is it just a picture title?
    He's well smoked

  • #2
    I know that Barney Bubbles did the covers for:
    X In Search Of Space
    Doremi Fasol Latido
    Space Ritual
    Hall Of The Mountain Grill

    I can't recall where I've heard the name Minsky. Perhaps from Mike's book A Dead Singer??
    The apocalyptic crashed spaceship
    sleeve of the ‘Mountain Grill’ album was by Barney Bubbles, along with
    Hawkwind’s generic heavy metal/gothic rock logo.
    Here is a great link honoring the late Colin Fulcher.


    • #3
      I remembered where I had seen that image before...

      It is a Harley Davidson Knucklehead Motor in a frame that looks like one of the silver warriors from the saga of Doremi Fasol Latido. There are 6 of these warriors on the rear cover of DorFasLat drawn by Barney Bubbles.


      • #4
        That's the very fellow!

        How do you do it VG?

        Still don't know who Prince Minsky is. Anyone else have any ideas?
        He's well smoked


        • #5
          Barney Bubbles did more than just covers. He also did stage design; painting their amps, etc. He designed the Hawkwind log as well (there is a photo of him on the inside fold-out of In Search of Space.

          I believe he was heavily involved in the stage sets for the Space Ritual. He certainly did all the stage design and conceptual work for the '78 tour (the Pan Transcendental Industries material). He fell out with the band over it when costs forced them to cut back on the number of dancers, etc. that he had specified.

          He then went on to work for Stiff records as designer, winning various industry awards along the way.


          • #6
            He certainly seems to have been an integral part of the early Hawkwind, and a lot of the rest of the 'underground' scene around that time. Thanks for the excellent info! I particularly enjoyed checking out the link, VG. Cheers for that! And for johneffays' insight as to why he fell out with Hawkwind.

            I still don't know who Prince Minsky was!
            He's well smoked


            • #7
              Originally posted by Kipper

              I still don't know who Prince Minsky was!
              Distant cousin of mine who lost his mom's fortune in Monte Carlo and hid for years from the rest of the family. And he isn't a real Prince either, just a baron. One time chum of Pyat, I trust.

              Count Brass
              Come in, you're most welcome, but leave Envy at my castle's gates ... for it is a poison we are unable to cure, and you'd be its first sad victim yourself.


              • #8
                Aha! But what was his chopper like? Can you prove that you're related to the Baron,Count? And why has Prince changed his title?
                He's well smoked


                • #9
                  Looks like a 20 inch over springer front end with a 14 inch front wheel.
                  It's definitely a Knucklehead motor with some sort of weird, psychedelic Barney Bubbles designed cam configuration..
                  As I said previously....the frame is a living entity similar to the Silver Warriors enpicted on the rear cover of Doremi Fasol Latido.
                  It has a 16 inch back rim with a 5 inch ballon tire. The sissy bar, handlebars and exhaust stacks are obviously something from a Colin Fulcher vision (cool).
                  I wish I could take her for a spin.
                  I know that it has nothing to do with "A Dead Singer" now.
                  Perhaps Mike is the only one that knows who Prince Minsky was??


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by voilodian ghagnasdiak
                    I wish I could take her for a spin.
                    Naah! You don't want to do that! Anyone trying to ride that would seriously hurt themselves. The impaling spikes at the top of the forks impress me, the riding position would break your back as quickly as the hardtail setup would - given the geometry of the frame. Turning would be distinctly unfunny with those skimpy bars and you wouldn't be able to see the road ahead, because a head (sorry) in front of you blocks your vision and makes you feel like a passenger! The blade bits at the bottom of the forks would dig into the road under braking, causing you to stop somewhat faster than you'd actually planned. We'd miss you VG.
                    However, hand the design to a real bike designer to play with, and I'd be up at the front of the queue with you, being a biker (easyrider cruisin' type) myself when possible!
                    I think I'll have to give up on finding out who PM was, unless someone out there.... ?
                    He's well smoked


                    • #11
                      I've got a 1965 T120C ridgid frame chopper, with a 14in. over girder front end, and 16in. back wheel that I rode from 1976 up until 1988 and I'm still alive and typing here today. Mind you it had numerous paintjobs and facelifts, but I built the main rolling chasis configuration in 1976 and have only switched engines, tanks and paint since. I've sold it twice and both times it was ridden until the valves seated so deeply into the head that the lobes wore off of the camshafts. I then buy it back for a reduced rate and restore/recycle it and the whole process begins anew.
                      I love British motorcycles profusely.
                      Last edited by voilodian ghagnasdiak; 12-12-2006, 12:58 PM.


                      • #12
                        I've had a few, more jap bikes than brits though. I rode a '59 BSA A10 Golden Flash, with 6" extensions for a while. Had a tendency to overheat because of the angle of the motor in the unraked frame! I'd had a few smaller bikes up to then, a couple were brits. The T120 was a 650, I think? A friend owned a '77 T120, which I rode (very) occasionally. Beautiful Iron!
                        Had a '95 Kawa VN800 Vulcan after that, and a couple of Honda 400s as well. Lost out in a road fight with a lady driver in a vauxhall, VN died :sob: Now I've got an '83 Kawa 750Ltd (Spectre), and a Honda 400 (still), waiting to be ridden. Hopefully in the new year, depending on weather conditions, finances and health.
                        So you can see why I found the poster interesting?
                        You've got me thinking about old Triumphs now VG, I had a job in a Liverpool bike shop for 4 years (sales), and rode a few Bonnies, among many others. I always enjoyed the Bonnies more than any other bike, (except the Vulcan), and I can understand the affection that owners have for them.
                        Is this thread starting to wander?
                        He's well smoked


                        • #13
                          Hell no....If we keep rambling Mike will take notice and tell us who Prince M. really was....Maybe a biker from Ladbroke Grove 60's/70's era? I've still got 3 Triumph's, 2 BSA's and a HD in my possession. I must confess to a perverted passion for Norton Commando's, which are the best handling bike that I have ever owned/ridden in my lifetime.
                          Prince Minsky's Chopper, you started it!


                          • #14
                            LoL! Did you ever read the Mick Norman books, 'Angels on my Mind' etc.? At one stage I thought Mike might have written them. Using another pseudonym, of course! No, dont laugh, please.
                            There were a number of British 'gang' books, paperbacks, released through the '70s. Titles like 'Skinhead' and 'Suedehead' and 'Chopper'. The 'Angels series of 4 books was part of the genre, but took it a little bit further. Almost sci-fi, like a near future story set in an authoritarian britain. Most of the genre was awful really, I suppose, but they meant something to us teenage bikers/delinquents/wannabes at the time. I'll bet you've read them? I'm sure MM will have known some of the authors - I think I've seen a reference to Mick Norman in some of MMs' writing. David M might remember them as well.
                            He's well smoked