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Background information
OriginPoulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, England
Years active1976–1979, 1982–1993
Past membersIan Stuart Donaldson
Martin Cross
Merv Shields
Phil Walmsley
Ron Hartley
Kevin McKay
John "Grinny" Grinton
Jim "Sturmfuhrer" Rice
Mark Radcliffe[1][2][3][4]

Skrewdriver were an English punk rock band formed by Ian Stuart Donaldson in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, in 1976. Originally a punk band,[5] Skrewdriver changed into a white power skinhead rock band after reuniting in the 1980s.[6] Their original line-up split in January 1979 and Donaldson reformed the band with different musicians in 1982.[7] This new version of the band played a leading role in the Rock Against Communism movement.[8]

The band fell apart after Donaldson died in a car crash in 1993.


Ian Stuart Donaldson, formerly of the cover band Tumbling Dice, formed Skrewdriver as a punk rock band in Poulton-le-Fylde in 1976.[9] At first, Skrewdriver sported a punk appearance, but they later changed their image to a skinhead look. 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. Performing largely for a skinhead audience, the first versions of the band released one album and two singles on Chiswick Records. Skrewdriver briefly adopted a rocker/biker-influenced look around the time they released the EP Built Up Knocked Down (1979).[10][11]

Donaldson resurrected the band name Skrewdriver in 1982 with a new band line-up. 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 believed that Skrewdriver's sound had been sabotaged[12] - they did not openly support any political ideology or organisation.[13]

The re-formed Skrewdriver eventually became openly supportive of white nationalist groups, after a lengthy period of publicly denying such support.[14] The band released the single "White Power" in 1983 and their second album, Hail the New Dawn, in 1984. 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.[15][16] 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."[17] 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 National Socialist sympathies. Skrewdriver was instrumental in setting up Blood & Honour, a neo-Nazi music promotion network.

Their song Smash the IRA became popular amongst Loyalists in Northern Ireland. It was one of a number of Skrewdriver songs covered by a Belfast band called Offensive Weapon, who also covered songs by Black artists such as Chuck Berry.[18]

Some members of the original Skrewdriver line-up objected strongly to the new direction in which Donaldson took the 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.[19]

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.[1]

Donaldson died in a car crash on 24 September 1993. A friend and fellow Neo-Nazi, Stephen Lee Flint, died from injuries sustained in the crash the following day.[20] Donaldson's death catalyzed the demise of Skrewdriver, and had a strong impact in the white power rock scene.[21] John "Grinny" Grinton died from cancer in June 2005.[22][unreliable fringe source?]

Merv Shields died on 1 January 2022 due to COVID-19 complications.[23]



  • Ian Stuart Donaldson - guitar, vocals (1976-1979, 1982-1993)
  • Steve Calladine - guitar, piano (1990-1993)
  • Jon Hickson - bass (1990-1993)
  • Paul Marshall - drums (1991-1993)

Past members[edit]

  • Kev McKay - bass (1976-1978, 1978)
  • John Grinton - drums (1976-1978, 1979)
  • Phil Walmsley - bass, guitar (1976-1977, 1978)
  • Ron Hartley - guitar (1977-1978)
  • Mark Radcliffe - drums (1978-1979)
  • Chris Cummings - guitar (1978-1979)
  • Glen Jones - guitar (1979)
  • Martin Smith - drums (1979)
  • Mark French - bass (1982-1984)
  • Mark Meeson - guitar (1982-1983)
  • Geoff Williams - drums (1982-1983)
  • Mark Sutherland - drums (1984-1987)
  • Adam Douglas - guitar (1984-1986)
  • Murray Holmes - bass (1984)
  • Paul Swain - guitar (1984-1987)
  • Steve A. - bass (1985-1986)
  • Merv Shields - bass (1986-1989)
  • Martin Cross - guitar (1987-1988)
  • Ross McGarry - guitar (?)
  • John Burnley - drums (1987-1991)


Studio albums[edit]

  • All Skrewed Up (1977) (Chiswick) (later re-issued as The Early Years with 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)
  • Undercover (2007) (collection of cover songs) [24]

12" EPs[edit]

  • 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 (cover version of Lynyrd Skynyrd)" (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 albums[edit]

  • Live Marquee (1977)
  • We've Got the Power (1987) (Viking) (live) (reissued on CD with bonus live & demo tracks)
  • Live and Kicking (1991) (Rock-O-Rama) (double album)
  • Live at Waterloo (1995) (ISD/White Terror) (recorded 12 September 1992)
  • This One's for the Skinheads (live, recorded 23 April 1987)
  • The Last Gig in Germany (1996)


Songs on compilations[edit]

  • "Government Action" on Catch a Wave (1978) – 10-inch 2×LP 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-inch 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 Grito sudaka

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "An Interview with Grinny from Skrewdriver". Punk77.co.uk. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  2. ^ Radcliffe, Mark. Showbusiness: The Diary of a Rock 'n' Roll Nobody. Sceptre; new edition (20 May 1999). ISBN 0-340-71567-7, ISBN 978-0-340-71567-3.
  3. ^ "Waptrick". Criticsmob.com. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  4. ^ "Useless Mark Radcliffe & Lard Facts". Scrawnandlard.co.uk. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  5. ^ White Rider at AllMusic
  6. ^ "Skrewdriver – Raw early punk and oi on Chiswick Records. A Punk Rock History and Pictures". Punk77.co.uk. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  7. ^ Brown, Timothy S. (2004). "Subcultures, pop music and politics: skinheads and 'Nazi rock' in England and Germany". Journal of Social History.
  8. ^ "Rock Against Communism | ADL". www.adl.org. Retrieved 12 September 2023.
  9. ^ Shaffer, Ryan (2013). "The soundtrack of neo-fascism: youth and music in the National Front". Patterns of Prejudice. 47 (4–5): 458–482. doi:10.1080/0031322X.2013.842289. S2CID 144461518.
  10. ^ "Skrewdriver Discography". Punk77.co.uk. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  11. ^ "Skrewdriver Information and Photos". Punk77.co.uk. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  12. ^ "Boomtown Rats vs Skrewdriver". Punk77.co.uk. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  13. ^ "Skrewdriver Interview". Punk77.co.uk. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  14. ^ "Skrewdriver Press Cuttings". Punk77.co.uk. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  15. ^ "Skrewdriver Interview". AinaSkin.com. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  16. ^ "Punk and the Swastika". Punk77.co.uk. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  17. ^ "Diamond in the Dust – The Ian Stuart Biography". Skrewdriver.org. Archived from the original on 27 November 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  18. ^ Bailie, Stuart (2018). Trouble Songs. Belfast: Bloomfield. pp. 179–180. ISBN 978-1-5272-2047-8.
  19. ^ "Skrewdriver – Roger Armstrong Interview". Punk77.co.uk. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  20. ^ "Ian Stuart Donaldson and a legacy of hate". Channel4.com. 24 September 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  21. ^ "Skrewdriver". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
  22. ^ "Skrewdriver Timeline". NS Revolt. 10 August 2009. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
  23. ^ "Infamous neo-Nazi skinhead band member dies of 'Covid complications' in Co Antrim hospital". Sunday World. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  24. ^ "Skrewdriver – Undercover". Discogs.
  25. ^ "BBC – Radio 1 – Keeping It Peel – 19/10/1977 Skrewdriver". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 9 November 2012.

Further reading[edit]

  • White Noise: Inside the International Nazi Skinhead Scene. Edited by Nick Lowles and Steve Silver, London 1998. ISBN 0-9522038-3-9.
  • 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.
  • Diamond in the Dust – The Ian Stuart Biography. Blood and Honour England, London 2002.
  • Nazi Rock Star – Ian Stuart-Skrewdriver Biography by Paul London (a.k.a. Paul Burnley of No Remorse). Midgård, Gothenburg 2002.
  • Ian Stuart Donaldson – Memories by Mark Green. PC Records, Chemnitz 2007.
  • Ian Stuart Donaldson – Rock'n Roll Patriot (Memories II) by Mark Green. Mark Green, 2012.

External links[edit]