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POP MUSIC | POP EYE

June 15, 1997|Dave Jennings, from London

SHAKEN UP: With his band Kula Shaker about to head out on the H.O.R.D.E. tour in the U.S., singer Crispian Mills has had trouble shaking a controversy over recent comments that were interpreted as pro-Hitler. In an interview earlier this year, Mills remarked that he would "love to have great big flaming swastikas on stage" and added that he believed "Hitler knew a lot more than he made out."

The comments led to a media uproar, culminating with Mills--in a series of letters to journalist Matthew Kalman--emphasizing that his love for the swastika related purely to the symbol's age-old use in Hindu iconography. Mills apologized for his "naivete and insensitivity" and stressed that in Indian culture the swastika represents "wholeness, spirituality and good fortune." Mills added that he is Jewish by blood (his maternal grandmother was Jewish) and in no way meant to seem to be supporting Nazi "crimes."

Now, in a Melody Maker interview conducted in Washington as the band prepared for the coming tour, Mills resumed his campaign to reclaim the swastika from the Nazi associations.

"The truth is, there is a lot of old, hidden knowledge the Nazis took and abused. The swastika is a beautiful Hindu symbol that was perverted. For millions of people in the East, it's a sign of faith."

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