|Genres||White power rock
Rock Against Communism
|Associated acts||The Klansmen, Tumbling Dice, White Diamond|
|Past members||Ian Stuart Donaldson
John "Grinny" Grinton
Skrewdriver was a white power skinhead rock band formed by Ian Stuart Donaldson in Poulton-le-Fylde in 1976. Their original line-up was a non-political, non-racist punk rock band, but Skrewdriver evolved into the one of the first neo-Nazi rock bands with the second album Hail the New Dawn, playing a leading role in the Rock Against Communism movement and becoming the most prominent white power band in the world.
Ian Stuart Donaldson, formerly of the cover band Tumbling Dice, formed Skrewdriver in Poulton-le-Fylde in 1976. Skrewdriver at first sported a punk appearance, but they changed their image to a skinhead look. They also shortly went with a rocker/biker look, around the time they released the EP Built Up Knocked Down. In 1978, Donaldson moved to Manchester, where he recruited guitarist Glenn Jones and drummer Martin Smith. With Kevin MacKay on bass, this lineup toured extensively and built a strong following, but certain venues were reluctant to book the band because of their reputation as a violent skinhead band. Suggs before joining Madness had been a roadie for Skrewdriver in 1978. Performing largely for a skinhead audience, the first versions of the band released one album and two singles on Chiswick Records. Donaldson resurrected the band name Skrewdriver in 1982 using new musicians. Although the original band had a minor reputation for attracting violence at their concerts (Boomtown Rats frontman Bob Geldof was reportedly knocked unconscious by a friend of Donaldson who, at a concert, felt Skrewdriver's sound had been sabotaged), they did not openly support any political ideology or organisation.
The reformed Skrewdriver eventually became openly supportive of far right white nationalist groups, after a lengthy period of denying such claims. Although both Skrewdriver and the band Sham 69 had skinhead followings and racist fans early in their careers, Sham 69 denounced racism and performed at Rock Against Racism concerts. Donaldson eventually aligned himself with neo-Nazism, saying: "I would describe myself as a British National Socialist, not a German one, and so don't think I'm at odds with British patriots." The band became associated with the National Front and British National Party, raising funds for them (and affiliated organisations) through the White Noise record label. They released records on Rock-O-Rama, a label that became known for far-right sympathies. Skrewdriver was instrumental in setting up Blood & Honour, a neo-Nazi music promotion network.
Some members of the original Skrewdriver objected strongly to the new direction in which Donaldson took the later band. Roger Armstrong of Chiswick Records said:
It is a shame that the name was dragged through the gutter like that. The other three guys in the band were really pissed off too. Grinny the drummer came from solid northern socialist stock... When they made records for us Ian Stuart showed no signs of fascism. The skinhead image was a — maybe in hindsight misconceived — fashion thing. It was cooked up by a bunch of us, including the band's then-management and the photographer Peter Kodik.
However, John "Grinny" Grinton later stated in an interview that he had no problem with the new Skrewdriver, and that he became a member of the National Front along with Donaldson.
Donaldson died on 24 September 1993 following a car crash. His death catalyzed the demise of Skrewdriver, and had a strong impact in the white power rock scene. John "Grinny" Grinton died from cancer in June 2005.
Original line up
- Ian Stuart Donaldson - Vocals, guitar
- Phil Walmsley - Guitar
- Ron Hartley - Guitar
- Kev McKay - Bass
- John "Grinny" Grinton - Drums
- Glenn Jones
- John Hickson
- Martin Cross
- Dave Cording
- Bradley Napier
- Mark French
- Geoff Williams
- Mark Neeson
- Joseph Smith
- Adam Douglas
- Merv Shields
- Murray Holmes
- Dave Wane
- Paul Swain
- Stiv "Iena" Roda
- John Burnley
- Colin Smith
- Mike French
- Mark Radcliffe
- Andrew Skinner
- Ford Freemantle
- All Skrewed Up (1977) (Chiswick) (later re-issued as The Early Years w. extra tracks)
- Hail the New Dawn (1984) (Rock-O-Rama)
- Blood & Honour (1985) (Rock-O-Rama)
- White Rider (1987) (Rock-O-Rama)
- After the Fire (1988) (Rock-O-Rama)
- Warlord (1989) (Rock-O-Rama)
- The Strong Survive (1990) (Rock-O-Rama)
- Freedom What Freedom (1992) (Rock-O-Rama)
- Hail Victory (1994) (Asgard Records - A division of Rock-O-Rama)
- Back with a Bang /I Don't Like You (1982) (SKREW1 label)
- Boots & Braces (1987) (previously released tracks) (Rock-O-Rama)
- Voice of Britain (1987) (previously released tracks) (Rock-O-Rama)
- "You're So Dumb" / "Better Off Crazy" (1977) (Chiswick)
- "Antisocial" / "Breakdown" (1977) (Chiswick)
- "Street Fight" / "Unbeliever" (1977) (Chiswick - recorded but not released)
- "Built Up, Knocked Down" / "Case of Pride" / "Breakout" (1979) (TJM label)
- "White Power" / "Smash the IRA" / "Shove the Dove" (1983) (White Noise)
- "Voice of Britain" / "Sick Society" (1984) (White Noise)
- "Invasion" / "On the Streets" (1984) (Rock-O-Rama)
- "After the Fire" / "Sweet Home Alabama" (1988) (Street Rock'n'Roll)
- "Land of Ice" / "Retaliate" (1988) (Street Rock'n'Roll)
- "Their Kingdom Will Fall" / "Simple Man" (1989) (Street Rock'n'Roll)
- "The Evil Crept In" / "Glory" (1989) (Street Rock'n'Roll)
- "The Showdown" / "Deep Inside" (1990) (White Pride Records)
- "You're So Dumb" / "The Only One" (1990) (Street Rock'n'Roll)
- "Streetfight" / "Where's It Gonna End" (1990) (Street Rock'n'Roll)
- "Stand Proud" / "Backstabber" (1991) (Street Rock'n'Roll)
- "Warzone" / "Shining Down" (1991) (Street Rock'n'Roll)
- Live Marquee (1977)
- We've Got the Power (1987) (Viking) (live) (reissued on CD w. bonus live & demo tracks)
- Live and Kicking (1991) (Rock-O-Rama) (double album)
- Live at Waterloo (1995) (ISD/White Terror) (recorded 12 Sept. 1992)
- This One's for the Skinheads (live, recorded 23 April 1987)
- The Last Gig in Germany (1996)
Songs on compilations
- "Government Action" on Catch a Wave (1978) - 10" 2xLP by NICE
- "You're So Dumb" on Long Shots, Dead Certs and Odds On Favorites (Chiswick Chartbusters Vol.2) (1978) - LP by Chiswick
- "When the Boat Comes In" on This Is White Noise (1983) - 7" EP featuring three other bands
- "Boots & Braces" and "Antisocial" on United Skins (1982) - LP by The Last Resort shop
- "Don't Let Them" and "Tearing Down the Wall" on No Surrender (1985) - LP by Rock-O-Rama
- "Land of Ice", "Free Men" and "The New Boss" on Gods Of War 1 (1987) - LP by Street Rock & Roll
- "Rising" and "We Can't Be Beaten" on Gods of War 2 (1989) - LP by Street Rock & Roll
- "Antisocial" on The Ugly Truth About Blackpool (2005) - CD by Just Say No to Government Music
- "Night Trains" on Ballads of Blood and Honor (?) - CD by Unknown
RaHoWa's cover of their song "When The Boat Comes In" was the main song in the White Supremacy video game titled "Ethnic Cleansing".
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- Skrewdriver: The first ten years - The way it's got to be! by Joe Pearce. Skrewdriver Services, London 1987.
- Ian Stuart - His message across to you. Everlasting songs. Excalibur Services, Antwerp 1995.
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