Skrewdriver

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Skrewdriver
OriginPoulton-le-Fylde, England
GenresWhite power rock, Rock Against Communism, punk rock
Years active1976–1993
LabelsChiswick
Rock-O-Rama
Associated actsThe Klansmen, Tumbling Dice, White Diamond
Past membersIan Stuart Donaldson
Phil Walmsley
Ron Hartley
Kevin McKay
John "Grinny" Grinton
 
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Skrewdriver
OriginPoulton-le-Fylde, England
GenresWhite power rock, Rock Against Communism, punk rock
Years active1976–1993
LabelsChiswick
Rock-O-Rama
Associated actsThe Klansmen, Tumbling Dice, White Diamond
Past membersIan Stuart Donaldson
Phil Walmsley
Ron Hartley
Kevin McKay
John "Grinny" Grinton

Skrewdriver were a 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,[1] however this line-up split in 1979 and Donaldson reformed the band with different musicians in 1982. Skrewdriver evolved into the one of the first neo-Nazi rock bands, with the White Power single in 1983, which was followed by the second album Hail the New Dawn in 1984. They played a leading role in the Rock Against Communism movement and became the most prominent white power band in the world.[2]

Career[edit]

Ian Stuart Donaldson, formerly of the cover band Tumbling Dice, formed Skrewdriver in Poulton-le-Fylde in 1976.[3] 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.[4][5] 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.[6] 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),[7] they did not openly support any political ideology or organisation.[8]

The reformed Skrewdriver eventually became openly supportive of far right white nationalist groups, after a lengthy period of denying such claims.[9] 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.[10][11] 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."[12] 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.[13]

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.[14]

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.[15] John "Grinny" Grinton died from cancer in June 2005.[16]

Members[edit]

Original line up[edit]

Other members[edit]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

12" EPs[edit]

Singles[edit]

Live albums[edit]

Radio[edit]

Songs on compilations[edit]

Video games[edit]

RaHoWa's cover of the Skrewdriver song "When The Boat Comes In" is the main song in the white supremacist video game Ethnic Cleansing.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.punk77.co.uk/groups/skrewdriver.htm
  2. ^ Brown, Timothy S. (2004). "Subcultures, pop music and politics: skinheads and 'Nazi rock' in England and Germany". Journal of Social History. 
  3. ^ The soundtrack of neo-fascism: youth and music in the National Front Patterns of Prejudice
  4. ^ "Skrewdriver Discography". Punk77.co.uk. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  5. ^ "Skrewdriver Information and Photos". Punk77.co.uk. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "Skrewdriver Biography". Sing365.com. Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  7. ^ "Boomtown Rats vs Skrewdriver". Punk77.co.uk. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  8. ^ "Skrewdriver Interview". Punk77.co.uk. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  9. ^ "Skrewdriver Press Cuttings". Punk77.co.uk. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  10. ^ "Skrewdriver Interview". AinaSkin.com. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  11. ^ "Punk and the Swastika". Punk77.co.uk. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  12. ^ "Diamond in the Dust - The Ian Stuart Biography". Skrewdriver.org. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  13. ^ "Skrewdriver - Roger Armstrong Interview". Punk77.co.uk. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  14. ^ a b "An Interview with Grinny from Skrewdriver". Punk77.co.uk. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  15. ^ a b "Skrewdriver". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 19 May 2010. 
  16. ^ "Skrewdriver Timeline". NS Revolt. 10 August 2009. Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ "Waptrick". Criticsmob.com. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  19. ^ "Useless Mark Radcliffe & Lard Facts". Scrawnandlard.co.uk. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  20. ^ "BBC - Radio 1 - Keeping It Peel - 19/10/1977 Skrewdriver". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]