Monday, 10 August 2009

Skrewdriver members

I dig out from the dust for you this historical article about Skrewdriver members during the years. It was originally published in a “Skrewdriver tribute page” created by "Jasa Ainaskin" which sadly is down for ages. If Ian was alive he should be celebrating his 52 Birthday TODAY!!!

John 'Grinny' Grinton - Drummer 1977-1978

John 'Grinny' Grinton Worked in recent years as a Postman in the Poulton area. Sadly Grinny passed away on 29th June 2005. He had fought a short battle with cancer which had only been diagnosed 5 weeks before his death. He leaves two daughters and will be missed by friends and family alike.Eventually Grinny left Skrewdriver and joined The Nipple erectors, who became better known as The Nipps. They were signed to Soul Records, a label that had employed various ex-Chiswick staff.Fronted by Shane McGowan, (who later saw fame with The Pogues) The Nipps played some fairly big gigs supporting the likes of The Jam and went on to release a couple of singles.Grinny later stated, in an interview, that he had no problem with the new Skrewdriver, and he was a member of the far-right National Front together with Ian Stuart.

Phil Welsmley Guitar 1977-1978

Phil Welsmley about Ian : “Our music did not have any serious political content, I don’t recall Don (Ian's nickanme) being politically active at the time, other than the normal sexual/racist prejudices that prevailed. There was however, always an aggressive undercurrent with Don, ever since school. He was a volatile character, always prone to explosions of violence at the least provocation, especially after a drink.
He was great fun to be with most of the time, very generous, he would always buy you a pint if you were skint, always back you up if you got in a sticky corner. A great pal when your face fitted. Above all, he sought notoriety and attention, which he finally achieved.”By day Phil runs his own engineering consultancy business in the north of England. By night he plays R'n'B.

Kev Mckay Bass 1977-1980

After Skrewdriver disintegrated Kev ran a glass blowing business in Blackpool making souvenirs for the tourist trade. Followed brother Sean to Canada in 1999.

Ron Hartley Guitar 1977

Ater Phil left the band Ian swiftly recruited Poulton Skinhead by the name of Ron Hartley. Ron was a good guitarist and Ian even more pleased that he looked the part.
With an unhealthy appetite for alcohol and a lack of personal hygiene that had earned him the unwelcome nickname of 'Dirty Doug'. Ronnie was beginning to show his true colours. There was no doubting his ability as a guitarist. Under the influence of booze he had become a liability, making a hash of it on his debut with the band while headling at the Roxy.
Violence at this concert was fierce, chairs and tables were broken up and used as weapons and the fighting spilled out into the streets of Central London. The lads knew that it could only spell a doom for them.
With the storm of the Vortex still hovering over them, Ted Carroll (Chiswhick Record Company Boss) suggested that they "roll on back to Blackpool to let it all blow oever". It's exactly what the lads did and Ian seized the opportunity to ditch Ronnie. He told Ronnie that the band would split up and in the meantime started to search for a new guitarist.

Mark Radcliffe Drums 1978-1979

Skrewdrivers' line-up was going through regualr changes. Ian pulled in Bolton drummer Mark Radcliffe who joined phil on Bass, and Ronnie back in on guitar. Mark had known Phil from College and was keen to get into the music scene having had little success with his ormer band 'Ridiculous and Jones' that also featured Phil on guitar.Mark Radcliffe later on surfaced in the Shirehorses and then on to broadcasting fame with his own show on BBC Radio One. Recalling his with Skrewdriver in his book 'Showbusiness' he remembers Ian as 'charm personified' before dissassociating himself with the band's future political leanings.The sun newspaper (in 1997) ran a small article with the same headline as above and it read..."Radio One Breakfast DJ Mark Radcliffe reveals he once drummed for Neo Nazi Rockers Skrewdriver - before they became fascists.He says "I hope this wouldn't resurface because there will be people who won't believe the explanation. We were just schoolboys and we got a few gigs in the Punk era and a record deal".Mark adds "There was no fascist or National Front element. It all broke up and I went back to college. Then the guy, singer, got more into the fascist thing and recrutied a whole new line up - but kept the name which is unfrotunate".

Adam Doulgas - Guitar 1984-1985

Sunday June tenth Ningeteen eighty-four was a day that would forever be remembered in the halls of Skinhead legend. The rivalry between Skrewdriver and self proclaimed "kings of the left" the Redskins had been boiling over for some time. Previously known as No Swastikas, the Redskins had now taken to dressing up as Skinheads and making all kinds of provocative remarks in the music press.Talk of trashing a Redskins gig had been going around the various Skinhead hang-outs for a while, but when it was announced that the British Movement were going to attack an open air festival where the Redskins were playing, many stood up and took note.On the day the BM Skins ked by 'Mick Mac' Mc Andrews, a Movement activist and Skinhead DJ, met up with the Combat 84 crew and wreaked havoc upon the Redskins stage, and all who dared to challenge them.With 4000 watching, approximately 75 Skinheads attacked the band with bottles, boots and fists, putting two in hospital. The skinhead battle cry of Sieg Heil rang out around Jubilee Gardens. They then turned on the crowd, who panicked and ran trampling over each other to get away from the fracas.
One London paper ran the story of the smashing of the Redskins and featured a picture of Skrewdriver guitarist Adam Douglas wrecking the stage props.After leaving Skrewdriver Adam joined in the French Foreign Legion, where he stayed for many years, acquiring the position of a top-ranking Officer.

Paul Swain -Guitar 1984-1987

After Adam Douglas and Murray Holmes leaving the band, a former Four Skins guitarist Paul Swain was drafted in to help boost the live sound (he played guitars on the last 4 Skins studio album "A fistful of 4 Skins").On Skrewdriver he played the guitars on Blood & Honour album. In recent years there was a rumour that he had died in Football related riots...but as we know pretty well how much rumours tend to carry more weight than facts...Nowadays he has been active for a number of years in the biker world in UK. I recently approached his friend to ask for a little interview from Paul about his times in the 4 Skins and Skrewdriver, reply was:"I'm afraid Paul isn't interested in doing anything. Hewrote a bit for someone else and they changed what hesaid and caused a fair bit of trouble. Like myself, hehas suffered alot of backstabbing by so-called fellowright wingers, and has no interest in being apart oftodays scene. he still remembers fondly the days ofthe 4-skins and skrewdriver, but has no wish to beinvolved in any projects. Sorry and he wishes you wellin your project."

Steve Roda Bass 1985-1986

By March, 1985, when Skrewdriver entered the studio to record their two tracks for the No Surrender l.p., Steve Roda, an Italian from Bologna, had joined the group as a second guitarist. Besides giving the group more scope musically, the addition of Steve made the band more international in composition than ever before. Skrewdriver now comprised two Australians, two Englishmen and an Italian!The new five-piece Skrewdriver recorded Tearing Down The Wall and Don't Let Them Pull You Down.

Scotty - Drums 1984-1987

Running the rehearsal studio in East London for Skrewdriver in 1982 was Scotty. Scotty had been involved in the music scene for some time and had played for various bands in London. When he first took the booking for Skrewdriver he was a little apprehensive. Scotty and his partner has put some money together and bought some gear, it was generally inferior quality, but then when they got the booking from Skrewdriver at fifteen pounds a go, it helped them get off the ground.It was the first session they had booked.His involvement began as a purely financial venture, but as time went on he grew a liking for Ian Stuart, drawn in by what he saw as a charismatic and a very happening kind of person.In 1984 band went through a line-up change and Ian filled the last vacancy to Scotty to pick up the sticks. Scotty probably knew that if he didn't help out with the drumming, then they probably wouldn't use his studio.After playing with Sudden Impact in Carshalton, Surrey, Scotty decided to pack it all in. He'd been thinking about it for a while and after the gig he finally told Ian his decision. He was particulary unhappy at the way people were all too often taking advantage of Ian.At the end of the gig Scotty became involved in a row with the organiser. She was saying 'here's thirty quid each' at which Scotty's response was 'you've got to be joking.' She really took offense to it. No-one else was saying anything to her.Again Ian saw the money as secondary, many others could see that he was rich pickings for a nice few quids.

John Burnley Drums 1987-1991

Brother of Paul Burnley, John joined the band in 1987. And played drums on several recordings, like the Klansmen albums, After the fire, Warlord, Strong Survive & Freedom what freedom.After the 'Cottbus six' incident Ian managed to persuade Smiley John and Stigger to remain in the group, but for Drummer John it was too much and he quit. He had been with the band over four years and decided enough was enough.John was also a leading figure in a London based Racist scooter club titled 'Gods Of War'.Ian would have to find someone else to back him on his trips to The Fatherland. For the short term Störkraft and Noie Werte were happy to help out.

Martin Cross -Guitar 1987-1988

Martin Cross joined Skrewdriver in early 1987 (he also played in Brutal Attack for number of years as well as on Razors Edge and on various other projects). Played guitars on After The Fire album. Cross was sentenced to two years imprisonment in 1992 after hitting his neighbour with an axe. After Ian's death Sargent brothers were running B&H magazine and Martin Cross was named as editor (which he wasn't though).I met with Cross various times in UK when I was filming concerts there, got him also to do introudction speech to Kriegsberichter vol.2 . Last time I saw him was 4 months before he commit the murder.After some internal feuds Martin Cross together with his close friend CharLIE Sargent had lured Christopher ‘Catford Chris’ Castle, aged 28, to a mobile home in Harlow, Essex, on 10 February 1997. There, Castle was ambushed and stabbed in the back by Martin Cross.The knife went in nine inches with such force that the wound was deeper than the blade's length with the hilt of the knife being buried inside Chris's back.Cross and Sargent were sentenced for life.

Jon "Smiley / Icky" Hickson -Bass 1990-1993

With Ross gone, Ian would have to reorganize the group. The new opening were filled by Lionheart bassist "Smiley Jon".

"Mushy" - Drums-1991 - 1993

The last Skrewdriver drummer, nicknamed "Mushy" used to play drums for a punk band Resistance 77 before joining Skrewdriver. After Skrewdriver he teamed up with Stigger and drummed for Warlord.

Steve "Stigger" Calladine -Guitar 1990 - 1993

Stigger was introduced to Ian Stuart by Stiggers sister Diane to whom Ian was engaged to. After Skrewdriver Stigger formed his own group titled Warlord and has been playing activly ever since, and was also involved in tons of projects.


Anonymous said...

I know Swainy, he's a legend..

kevinass said...

thanks this was great

Aaron said...

Great history of the members!

James Strong said...

Good information! I did not know a lot of this stuff, thank you

GBA MOBB said...


Great writeup,828

Wayne Munden said...

One of the top bands of all time a hero and friend 88

Rngr68 said...

No mention of Merv Shields. Bumped into him at Rejects Gig in Belfast, a couple of years ago.

Wayne Munden said...

One of the greatest bands of all time.........Skrewdriver ......out sold a lot of todays pop music.....which is a good feat for a skinhead band hail to w.r

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Allan Phillips said...

Hail skrewdriver. Al phillips

Scott Young said...

Great article.

Anonymous said...

Ask your son adam thomas about carl brunt

Unknown said...

I was at the battle of Waterloo in September 1992 and at the gig in the evening after an afternoon of total mayhem. I sometimes wonder what happened to all those skinheads, casuals etc who were that day and what they are doing now. Even now I still go to the occasional B&H gig. It's in your blood forever.