1991

Ian began to put himself before the band for the first time in a long while and was enjoying life. Learning to drive proved easier than he’d thought and Ian was soon a proud owner of Volkswagen Golf, chosen because of Volkswagen’s links to the Third Reich and Germany also made good cars. Ian had also found himself a steady girlfriend called Diane Calladine, the sister of his guitarist Stigger. Diane was one of maybe three or four girlfriends that he had taken seriously in his life. Later in the year he announced his engagement to her. They visited his family in Blackpool where the news was greeted with jubilation and the pair went off to Yugoslavia on holiday, probably the first holiday of Ian’s adult life. Ian hated the experience and came back with tales of rats running around the hotel and the sound of gunfire in the distance. Not everyone was happy about the union and many locals thought that she was just using him for the gifts he showered her with, and that she was distracting him from his mission in life. The relationship was not always smiles and was often as much off as it was on. Underneath there must have been something between them because he was never short of admirers but he always yearned for Diane.

In August Skrewdriver were asked to play for the Italian skinheads at the Ritorno Camelot concert. Alongside the top Italian RAC band at the time Peggior Amico. Keen to expand on the success of the Klansmen Ian again returned into the studio to record a Rock LP under the band name of White Diamond. Ian was also recording with Stigger an album of acoustic ballads titled Patriotic Ballads. The LP took no longer than two days to record. Germany was gaining an increase in political activities and skinhead numbers were also on the increase. Ian had been well aware of the situation in Germany. In the next Skrewdriver album ‘Freedom, What Freedom’ included One Land about the re-unification of Germany in 1989 and Stolz, a song sung in German about German pride. Skrewdriver received an invitation to play at an anniversary concert for the unification of Germany. The concert would be staged at Werben on the 3rd October 1991. On arriving in Germany the band were given a warm welcome and with a few days to go before the concert there was plenty of time for drinking and partying. With members of the most famous White Power band present, some locals fired up on beer, thought they’d prove their dedication. What started off as high spirits soon turned violent when skinheads attacked a youth club. This club was often used as a meeting place for leftwing socialist groups. Baseball bats were flying and a long-haired hippy was stabbed. When the police arrived they immediately picked up whom they could and arrested them. For the locals it was a regular occurrence, for the Brits it was a bad situation. Among the six arrested five were British, and three of those from the band. At the time of the incident Ian was asleep with his girlfriend in an apartment totally oblivious to what had gone on. In the middle of the night Ian was woken by the sound of hammering on the front door. Before he had time to get up and answer it the police had smashed into his room and were pointing guns at his head. Unlike western Germany virtually no one spoke English and so it wasn’t until he was taken to the police station did he find out what was going on. After about 6 hours both Ian and Diane were released. The remaining members of his band were not so fortunate. What started off as a small incident had spiralled out of control. About 300 skinheads had gathered armed with knives, pipes and firearms and were intent on freeing the captives. For a while the police station was under siege with the police barricaded inside. Eventually after 50 arrests and order restored. The British tabloid press was quick to notice the situation. Reports claiming links had been set up for British Nazis to join up with their counterparts in Germany in start a race war. Garry Bushell was quick to write his usual lies “Swastika junkies like Skrewdriver disgrace our flag and our country, they even manage to disgrace Skinheads.” In his column in left-wing and Jewish owned rag The Daily Star he ranted “If they love the Krauts so much why don’t they move there for good?” Back in Cottbus the police were expecting trouble. The concert went ahead with Ian backed up by Störkaft, and 400 police drafted in to control the 2000 skinheads that had travelled from all over Germany. As his plane touched down on home soil, Ian was pleased to be back in Britain and set to work on a protest recording and gathered some local musicians who promptly recorded a six track mini-LP titled Ian Stuart and Rough Justice – Justice For The Cottbus Six pushing the message and highlighting that the fellow British comrades were still locked up in Germany for no reason other than being in the wrong place and the wrong time.