Ian Stuart Donaldson (11 August 1957-24 September 1993)
Throughout the ages, certain men have stepped up at the proper times to guide the Aryan race from it's destructive course
and lead it down the path to salvation. Adolf Hitler, Commander George Lincoln Rockwell and Dr. William Pierce
are all important examples, however no one has ever been able to open as many youthful eyes as Ian Stuart Donaldson. Born in
1957 at Poulton-le-Fylde in Lancashire, England, he would become the most popular and loved man in the entire skinhead scene.
In 1982 his band, Skrewdriver, sent shockwaves throughout the entire world when it introduced Nationalist and Racial
lyrics to it's music, something which at that time was unheard of. Their concerts were feared by the left wing, and numerous
protests erupted before every show. Hail the New Dawn was released in 1984, and the band's popularity soared. Skrewdriver
became known in every White country around the globe. From England to Italy, America to Germany, Ian Stuart was at the forefront of the White Power Scene. His attitude can be best described in one of his quotes: "I am not the type of person to creep and crawl to a bunch of weak-kneed, pacifist lefties and two-faced Zionists. One must be honest to people about one's beliefs and especially when the survival of our very race is at stake. I have no doubt that anyone who expounds patriotic beliefs has a little black mark put against his name, and by now I must have a massive black mark near my name. C'est la guerre."
Throughout his life, Ian Stuart released some of the most exquisite pieces of musicianship the skinhead scene has ever heard. Whether it was a Skrewriver set, a solo project or a compilation, his songs never disappoint, each of them containing an uncanny ability to fill it's listeners with courage and strength.
Ian Stuart Donaldson Interview
DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE WAY SOME PEOPLE PROJECT GARRY BUSHELL AS THE WORKING CLASS
HERO AND THE VOICE OF THE STREETS ?
Its hilarious, really, because no-one that was working class and stuck for the
White race would ever get a job for one of the national newspapers.
DID YOU COME ABOUT THE NAME SKREWDRIVER ?
We got named Skrewdriver by the record company, because we didn’t have a
name at the time.
WASN’T YOUR FIRST BAND CALLED THE TUMBLING DICE ?
That was just a rock band, we did a load of rock covers, so when we did a tape
more punk style, we didn’t have a name, so the record company came up with
HOW DID YOUR BAND FIRST GET PICKED UP BY THE RECORD COMPANIES ?
Well, we were playing a lot of pub gigs, doing the circuits, and then we went
to see the Sex Pistols in Manchester with Buzzcocks and Slaughter & The Dogs,
we really enjoyed it cos we thought that it was fresh, new sort of thing, so we
did a tape more on that sort of line, sent it to a load of record companies. We
got answered by a couple of companies who said that they were interested, but
they would like to hear a more professional tape, because the one we sent them,
we recorded in a metal factory! Chiswick asked us to come down and do a session
in a studio, and we got a single deal out of that, and then once we done that
single they updated the deal to two singles and an LP.
WAS YOUR THIRD SINGLE ”BUILT UP, KNOCKED DOWN” RECORDED IN MANCHESTER
AND WHY WAS IT RELEASED ON THE INDIE LABEL TJM RECORDS ?
Well, I moved to Manchester and reformed the band for a while, actually it was
with the Manchester line up that we supported Motörhead at Blackburn. We
had already split from Chiswick records so we went on a local label TJM records.
We played a lot of local gigs and got really good turn-outs. Then the gigs started
to die down and we split up again.
WHY DID YOU LEAVE THE CHISWICK LABEL ?
Basically because they were leftwing and didn’t like the way we wouldn’t
denounce the skinheads.
MADE THE IMAGE OF SKREWDRIVER CHANGE FROM PUNK TO SKINHEAD ?
Basically because we got fed up with punk turning a bit leftwing, whereas before
everyone came along and had a laugh and danced about, but then it got to the stage
where it became high fashion, and people would just stand there seeing who had
the most drawing pins through their nose. When it got to that stage it got really
silly. We had all been skinheads in the past so we all just reverted, and a lot
of our mates coming to the gigs were skinheads.
THAT TRUE THAT YOU SUPPORTED BANDS LIKE THE POLICE AND SIOUXIE AND THE BANSHEES
IN THE EARLIER DAYS ?
When we supported the Police they were just a small band and most of the people
came to see Skrewdriver anyway. We also supported The Boomtown Rats, Siouxie,
The Damned, 999, loads of bigger bands. I can’t remember all of them now.
YOU TELL US THE STORY OF KING ROAD WITH THE PUNK VERSUS TED FIGHTS, AND THE EXPERIENCES
YOU HAD ?
The worst occasion was when we were playing with the Police at the Railway Hotel
in Putney, this was at the height of all of the violence between Punks and Teds.
We were the last ones out of the gig and there had just been a rock and roll disco
down the road, there was only about six of us left and we took a right hammering.
Our drummer got his teeth knocked out and everything.
THE SUBJECT SLIGHTLY, WHAT WAS YOUR INVOLVEMENT WITH THE MADNESS FILM ”TAKE
IT OR LEAVE IT”, ALSO CAN YOU TELL US THE STORY BEHIND THE MUCH REPORTED
FRIENDSHIP WITH SUGGSY ?
Suggsy used to be the roadie for Skrewdriver back in 1978 and I went back down
to London for a while and stayed at this mothers flat cos he’d moved out
of his room and bought a house so I had his room. I was only there for about seven
months, that was basically it, the picture was taken in his mums front room. The
Madness film was done in about 1981 or something like that, anyway because I didn’t
have much money at the time, they just got me on the film, that´s all. I
got the agency fee which was about £60 or something, and that´s why
I was in the film.
YOU STILL IN CONTACT WITH SUGGSY, WHEN IS THE LAST TIME THAT YOU HEARD FROM HIM
No, I’m not in contact, not since the article in the Sun newspaper, I didn’t
try and contact him and he didn’t try and contact me, which is fair enough,
he’s got to make a living and if he’s mixing with a nationalist he
is gonna find it hard to make a living. We didn’t fall out or anything like
that and as far as I know we were still on good terms with eachother, I’ve
got nothing against the bloke, he’s done me a lot favours in the past. He’s
just trying to make a living. If he wants to make a living like that, its up to
him. I’ve got no intention of slagging him off, and why should I ?
MADE YOU TURN THE BAND POLITICAL, AS IN THE EARLY DAYS YOU KEPT OUT OF POLITICS,
DID YOU JUST GET UP ONE MORNING AND SAY ”OH F*CK IT”, AND WENT FOR
IT, OR WAS IT A GRADUAL CHANGE ?
I wasn’t really political at all to be honest, I didn’t like blacks,
because I’d never seen one till I went down London, and there I met lots,
and they all seemed to have a chip on their shoulder, I didn’t like the
lefties funny enough, because they all reminded me of student being all anti-British
and that put me off them. Most of our mates that came to our gigs were political,
they were either NF (National Front – Club28 addition) or BM (British Movement
– Club28 addition) and in the end what happened was the press ordered us
along with Sham 69 to denounce those people in the audience, or get banned. We
refused and Sham 69 said OK. So Sham 69 became very big and we got banned from
everywhere, they banned all of our adverts from the music papers and everything.
All this was in 1977.
YOU STILL IN TOUCH WITH ANY OF THE ORIGINAL MEMBERS AT ALL?
Yeah, I went back to Blackpool a couple of months back and bumped into the old
guitarist and drummer. They still know that Skrewdriver are still going, and the
drummer still buys the records. They’re good blokes and are doing quite
well for themselves now. Ron’s a bit of an alcoholic, good guitarist though.
He’s on the front cover of the All Skrewed Up LP although he didn’t
actually play on it. Our original guitarist Phil actually played on the LP.
IS YOUR ALL TIME FAVOURITE SONG, OUT OF THE HUNDREDS THAT YOU HAVE DONE ?
Well, it changes from time to time, you go off songs. I’ve always liked
”I Can See The Fire”, on the ”White Rider” LP. I keep
thinking about playing it live, but I think that it might be a little bit too
slow for a gig. Another one of my favourite songs that we have done more recently
is ”Freedom What Freedom”, not the Skrewdriver version but the one
on the latest Klansmen LP. At the moment, they’re the main ones.
ABOUT THE OLDER SONGS, DO YOU STILL LIKE LISTENING TO THEM ?
I like ”Tomorrow Belongs To Me”, I’ve gone off the tunes a little
bit, I’ve been playing them for such a long time, I like the lyrics especially,
I think that they’re brilliant lyrics. Obviously ”White Power”,
”Free My Land”, I’ve played them so many times that I don’t
really listen to them at home anymore.
THERE ANY SONGS THAT YOU WISHED YOU HAD WRITTEN, WHEN YOU HEARD THEM BY SOMEONE
Yes, I would like to have written ”England” by the Angelic Upstarts,
I can’t believe that Mensi wrote it as he is such a left wing prat. He used
to be nationalist until he realized that he could make more money being a leftwing.
(Ian then proceeded to amuse us with some stories he’s heard about Mensi).
THERE ANY GIGS OUT OF THE HUNDREDS THAT YOU’VE PLAYED THAT STICK IN YOUR
MIND AS THE BEST, WORST ?
Well, we played the Vortex twice, they were quite good. It was the first time
that a lot of skinheads turned up, one of those was with Siouxie And The Banshees.
We played two or three gigs at the Roxy and broke the house records, we had the
most people there, they were brilliant gigs. And then, what turned out to be the
main event, but got called off, but we maganed to squeeze about six or seven hundred
people in a two hundred seated pub, now that was a good gig basically due to the
satisfaction of getting something on, despite the fact that everything was stacked
against us. To me now, any gig that goes ahead is a good gig because it’s
such a battle to get a gig on that when we do it, it’s great. Another good
gig was the one in Newcastle a couple of years ago where there were six bands
playing. We’ve also recently played in Italy and that was a brilliant gig,
really well organized.
LIVED IN LONDON FOR QUITE A FEW YEARS, BUT WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO LEAVE ?
Basically because it was getting that there wasn’t very many places to drink
where everybody can mix. It got to the stage where the leftwing followed me around
every pub I went to. They tried to get me banned from my cafe by picketing, but
the cafe wouldnt ban me, although the pubs were different. I used to go into a
pub and I’d only be drinking there for about a week and then the reds would
start to hassel the landlord and then picket the pub, so obviously I got banned.
All this was happening, and also the fact that there was literally nowhere where
we could meet and have a drink. Also everytime there was a leftwing march in London,
they used to visit my house, plus I was getting demonstrations outside of my house
every three to four weeks. The police always informed me that if I came out out
of my house while they were there I would be nicked for inciting them to cause
violence. But the main reason for leaving London was because the police harassment.
One day, a load of BNP supporters were attacked by IRA supporters. The police
arrived on the scene and took all of the BNP supporters´ names and numbers,
they went around to their houses later on and asked them if they would testify
in court to get their attackers charged. The only problem was that the police
had made a mistake and thought that they were the IRA supporters. I was tipped
off by these BNP people that they should say they saw me causing all of the trouble.
Basically, if they hadn’t got the IRA and the BNP muddled up they might
have got away with the frame up. It was the same when a gay got stabbed a few
years ago at Kings Cross. I had nothing to do with the stabbing, I was around
the corner when it was supposed to have happened. But I was still slammed in Wormwodd
Scrubs for two and half months until they decided that they hadn’t got any
evidence. So I thought that if this is what´s gonna happen every time anything
happens in London and I’m gonna get stiched up for things, I mean, it was
time to go. I wasn’t too bothered about the commies because they were arseholes,
it´s when the police started to try to stich me up. There´s not a
great deal that you can do.
ADVISE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ANYONE OUT THERE THAT IS THINKING OF STARTING A NATIONALIST
Don’t start unless you´re willing to accept a hell of a lot harassment
and a lot of hard work to get anywhere. You’ve got to be very dedicated
to do it. If you want to make money, just forget it, sing like Englebert Humperdink
or get interviewed by Terry Wogan.
THE RECENT PROBLEMS WITH SKREWDRIVER IN GERMANY DETERRED YOU FROM PLAYING THERE
I don’t know about the rest of the band but me personally, it made me want
to go out there and cause a lot more trouble. The way that I see it is that Skrewdriver
are being made scapegoats for the fact that the German government have brought
too many immigrants into the country. So if we have had anything to do with waking
German feeling up, all the better for it. Although I do not think it has got anything
to do with us. It´s just the German people rising against the influx of
immigrants and I wish that the British people would do the same.
YOU THINK THAT PERHAPS SKREWDRIVER WAS THE CATALYST FOR ALL OF THE TROUBLE IN
No, not at all, it started before we played over there, I think that it may have
been aggravated a little bit by the fact that the police kept them all in prison,
obviously I was still out which was a bad mistake on the police´s side.
Cos I was able to go to the gig and tell everybody what had happened, and after
the gig obviously there was some trouble with the police.
DID YOU DECIDE TO SING ONE SONG IN GERMAN ON YOUR LATEST LP ? (”Stolz”
on ”Freedom what freedom” album – Club28 addition)
Basically, we sell more records in Germany than anywhere else. As the Germans
support us and give us so much support, I thought that it was about time we done
something in German for them. I wrote the song in English, I got a German lad
to translate it, put it on a tape for me so I could hear the accents and pronounciations
and done it from that. Also Germany has probably got the biggest growing skinhead
scene in Europe, and German people have stood by the band almost as long as the
English have. We’ve been on a German record label since 1982. It’s
a lot easier for Germans to obtain our records in Germany too, a lot of normal
record shops stock them, and even if they don’t, people can order them through
the record shops. They’re not banned over there, as a matter of fact they
are not actually banned over here either, the newspapers say that they are, so
all the shops won’t stock them. We can’t really win either way. Axel
Rose from ”Guns and Roses” can get away with saying that naughty N
word, because he’s a druggie and has got a black in the band, but I can’t
risk saying that N word, unless of course I smoke a joint at gigs and get a rasta
bass player, then it’s ok. That’s how fucked up and hypocritical everything
YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE TROUBLE YOU HAVE HAD RECENTLY WITH THE POLICE
IN YOUR AREA ?
Well basically all that is, we were doing regular gigs around here, getting increasing
audiences, getting a lot of locals interested, so the police firstly tried to
stop the gigs, which they managed up to a certain extent by threatening the governors
of the pubs with their licences. Then we were rehearsing at a pub at dinner times,
and people used to come in on their dinner break to watch, so the police spoke
to the governor of the pub and said that they are allowed to rehearse but they
must shut the doors because no-one is allowed to listen to them. Then after a
while of rehearsing behind closed doors they decided that we wouldn’t do
it any more, and then more recently they have tried to stop me and a friend from
even drinking in the pubs, but they didn’t really get away with that, and
we, due to the governors sticking up for us, the police have let that one drop
for the moment, so we are not banned from drinking anywhere yet.
DID YOU DECIDE TO RECORD UNDER KLANSMEN, IAN STUART AND WHITE DIAMOND, RATHER
THAN USE THIS MATERIAL FOR SKREWDRIVER ?
The fact is that I just write so many different songs and they just wouldn’t
be used otherwise. Plus the fact that the Klansmen songs are in more of a Rock
and Roll vain and wouldn’t really suit Skrewdriver. Also with the Klansmen
it has brought in a lot of rockabillies into the Blood & Honour movement,
which is a good thing. Hopefully the White Diamond will do the same thing with
a few bikers. Basically we are just spreading our wings and trying to appeal to
everybody, not just skinheads.
ARE YOUR VIEWS ON WATERLOO (Skrewdriver´s comeback gig in London 1992 –
Club28 addition), AND IN PARTICULAR THE MASSIVE MEDIA COVERAGE THAT IT ACHIEVED
I except the sort of coverage that we got. It’s obvious that you’re
never going to get anything good said about you. It would have been nicer if a
lot of the lads that came over from abroad actually got to the gig. It made it
a lot more awkward having so much publicity about it in advance. But in the end
the gig went ahead, it was a good gig, everybody that made it there enjoyed it.
So basically it was a victory. But then again, I do think that it was a bit of
a shame that the police acted illegally again by shutting down a main line train
station, to try and stop people getting to the concert. They shouldn’t have
allowed a leftwing demonstration at the station on the day because it was pretty
obvious that they were only there to cause trouble. The police knew that was the
case but they never banned it. If the NF ever want to march, the police ban it
straight away because of the trouble it would cause. It’s the same with
the recent Bloody Sunday IRA march, the IRA who kill British people were allowed
to march while the police did all they can to stop the people against the march
by arresting 378 people. It seems that to be proud to be British is a crime.
HAVE YOU BEEN UP TO SINCE THE LAST TIME WE SPOKE ?
We’ve played loads of gigs. We’ve got a new Skrewdriver LP written,
we should be going in to record within the next six to seven weeks. That should
be out in 3 or 4 months then. Same applies to the new Klansmen LP. White Diamond
and Patriotic Ballads LP’s should be coming out within the next few weeks.
The White Diamond LP is called ”The Power And The Glory”, the Patriotic
Ballads is called ”Patriotic Ballads II Our Time Will Come”. I’m
not too sure what the Skrewdriver LP will be called. The Klansmen LP will be taking
the theme of the American civil war, although I’m not too sure exactly what
it’ll be called.
THE SUBJECT SOMEWHAT, ARE YOU A FOOTBALL FAN ?
I used to play
football when I was younger. I don’t really want to go into football at
all. If I ever said that I supported a team, I think that you’ll find that
could cause problems. Football is a very popular and passionate subject to many
people. I’ve got to admit that I’ve never supported a team seriously,
but my favourite footballer is George Best. I watch it now and again, but not
a lot. I used to prefer playing it to watching it.