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Saturday, August 13, 2005


Everyone knows the story of Skrewdriver. After the turbulent years of punk's childhood, having gotten caught up in the identity game, pingponging between punk and skinhead, they disbanded after only a few records. They'd had some great singles and broke record numbers at the Roxy for attendence. They played with Siouxie and The Banshees, The Buzzcocks and even the Police, but their audiences always outnumbered those of the more recognized performers. Their music wasn't so much political as it was identity-based. Singer Ian Stuart's poignant stanzas reflected a general malaise around being young that opened the gates for anger and reaction. Punks could relate to the lyrical sentiments, while skinheads could vibe with the energy. They were a solid band, very skilled musically in comparison to most of their contemporaries, and had a street sense that few bands could muster authentically. The Clash began this way, and we all know them now as "the only band that mattered."


But Skrewdriver were pulled apart by the zealous politics of the scene. As a response to the growing influence over punk crowds of fascist movements in Britain, the punk community radicalized, and right fully so, but for Skrewdriver, the politics were an unexpected element for which they had not been prepared. In the scene, it was getting to the point at which bands had to either assign themselves with causes or face ostracization. Skrewdriver had always appealed to National Front members, as had happened with other bands like Sham 69. At the same time, Skrewdriver had reverted back to the skinhead look (Stuart after all had been a first wave skinhead back in the early 70's, long before it was associated with racism) As a result of these two factors, the press aligned the band with facism. The hype over their alleged Nazism grew, and an advertising band had been placed on the band in all publications. The band collapsed from the pressure of negative coverage and everyone agreed that it had been a pity. (Of course, the irony here is that skinhead culture, originating in Jamaica, never had anything to do with fascism, with the exception of its reappropriation as the style of choice for fascist youth movements.)

Such smashing punks, but my, the skinhead look is some next level shit.

Who knows what happened just after the band had dissolved...now, I wasn't there, but I suppose Ian Stuart was isolated from his old friends, abandoned by the movement and in need of something to get himself into. Of course, the only group that gav e him any comfort during this period were very likely The National Front. Ian quickly went to the dark side, reformed the band as a front for his new way of life, and henceforth known as the beacons of fascist and more importantly, racist music.

Little Jimmy's dying wish was to see Skrewdriver just once. The nice guys in SSecurity let him help out for a while.

In any case, you'll probably get a kick out of Jewdriver, who reappropriate songs from Skrewdriver's racist days and turn them into pro-Jewish songs.


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3:01 PM  
Blogger Guy Stevos said...


4:04 PM  
Blogger M. Hunter said...

that's a fucked up story. though, I have a hard time buying that the guy wasn't a racist fuck, but had no problem creating the pinnacle of racist bands.

I know next to nothing about racist bands. or christian bands.

maybe I'll invent a new niche band.

5:07 PM  
Blogger Guy Stevos said...

oh, he was a racist, no doubt about it. he admitted than even in the early days, he wasn't a fan of blacks. he's grown to be vehemently racist, and while his lyrics aren't "violent" per se, anyone with the wrong attitude could use them as a rally cry for terror.

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