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Skrewdriver was a punk rock — then later white power skinheadband formed in Poulton-le-Fyldemarker, Englandmarker in 1976 by Ian Stuart Donaldson.They became one of the first neo-Nazi rock bands, playing a leading role in the far-right Rock Against Communism movement.


Ian Stuart Donaldson, formerly of the Rolling Stones cover band Tumbling Dice, formed Skrewdriver after seeing the Sex Pistols in Manchestermarker. Skrewdriver at first had a punk appearance, but they changed their image into a skinhead look. They also temporarily had 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. This lineup toured extensively, 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 the Chiswick label. This version of the band split up in January 1979 after a concert in Warrington, but Donaldson resurrected the name Skrewdriver in 1982 using new musicians.

Although the original band had a reputation for attracting violence at their concerts (Bob Geldof was reportedly knocked unconscious by a friend of Donaldson at one concert), they did not openly support any political party. The reformed Skrewdriver eventually became openly supportive of far right groups, after a period of denying such claims. Donaldson eventually described himself as a neo-Nazi, 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 patriot."

The band became associated with white nationalist groups such as the National Front and British National Party, and raised funds for them (and affiliated organizations) through the White Noise record label. They released records on Rock-O-Rama Records, a label that became known for far right sympathies. Skrewdriver was instrumental in setting up Blood and Honour, a neo-Nazi music promotion network.

Some members of the original Skrewdriver did not like the new direction in which Donaldson took the band. Roger Armstrong of Chiswick Records stated:
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.

One of Skrewdriver's songs, "Tomorrow Belongs To Me", from their 1984 album Hail The New Dawn, is a hard rock cover version of a song from the play (and subsequent film) Cabaret. Both of the song's composers, John Kander and Fred Ebb, are Jews. A song by The Klansmen (one of Donaldson's side projects), "Johnny Joined the Klan", is set to the tune of "Johnny B. Goode" by African-American rock and roll artist Chuck Berry.

Skrewdriver is one of the most covered bands within the white power music scene. Female neo-Nazi vocalist Saga released three Tribute to Skrewdriver albums after Donaldson's death.


Original lineup

Other members

  • Glen Jones
  • Martin Cross
  • Mark French
  • Geoff Williams
  • Mark Neeson
  • Joseph Smith
  • Adam Douglas
  • Merv Shields
  • Murray Holmes
  • Paul Swain
  • Stigger
  • John Burnley
  • Colin Smith
  • Mushy
  • Mark Radcliffe
  • Andrew Skinner
  • Ford Freemantle


Studio albums

12" EPs

  • 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)

7" Singles

  • 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 albums

  • Live Marquee (1977)
  • We've Got The Power (1987) (Viking) (live) (reissued on CD w. bonus live & demo tracks)
  • Live & 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

  • "When The Boat Comes In" on This Is White Noise (1983) - 7" EP faturing 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


  1. Subcultures, pop music and politics: skinheads and "Nazi rock" in England and Germany | Journal of Social History | Find Articles at
  2. Skrewdriver Discography
  3. Skrewdriver information and photos on Punk77
  4. Skrewdriver- A Fan's View
  5. Skrewdriver- Press Cuttings
  6. Diamond in the Dust - The Ian Stuart Biography
  7. Skrewdriver - Roger Armstrong Interview
  8. Skrewdriver- A Fan's View
  10. Radcliffe, Mark. Showbusiness: The Diary of a Rock 'n' Roll Nobody. Sceptre; New edition edition (20 May 1999). ISBN-10: 0340715677, ISBN-13: 978-0340715673
  14. BBC - Radio 1 - Keeping It Peel - 19_10_1977 Skrewdriver

Further reading

  • 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.

External links

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