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DANGER! NEO-FOLK 'MUSICIAN' TONY WAKEFORD OF SOL INVICTUS IS STILL A FASCIST CREEP!
Since Tony Wakeford and his cronies are continuing to falsely represent the neo-folk scene as largely fascist-free, I thought I'd update my web entry on this illiterate Goth weasel by providing some vintage and apparently little known print references to the Nazi entanglements of the Sol Invictus (Wakeford's pop group) and Tursa (Wakeford's record label) gang. Even after the sheer weight of evidence forced Wakeford (following years of denial) to admit he was in Above The Ruins, he still refuses to say who else was involved in this National Front propaganda project.
Presumably the Fat Man understands that naming those he's spent years working alongside from the formation of Above The Ruins right down to the present day, would expose anyone who continues to maintain that neo-folk is not a Nazi-infected movement as either a liar or an idiot (obviously some of those involved in this scene have been duped by forked-tongued fascists and the quicker they break with the subculture, the greater their chances of maintaining some dignity). So let's start by looking at some of the press coverage Above The Ruins received in the eighties.
Under the headline "Behind The Ruins", the anti-fascist magazine Searchlight (October 1986, p. 8) ran the following story: "An interesting new association emerges from a few enquiries into 'Above The Ruins' an NF supported band which is trying to break into the market for racist rock music opened up by the unsavoury likes of Ian Stuart's 'Skrewdriver'. 'Above The Ruins' is not entirely unknown to the NF's current thug-in-chief Nicky Crane, gauleiter of their Avenell Rd, north London, rat hole…. A broadsheet advertising their album is published from a British Monomarks box number in London. And it turns out to be that of ever-so-respectable new rightist Michael Walker, editor of Scorpion. He has been, readers will recall, host to convicted terrorist Roberto Fiore, who shared his Pimlico flat."
Nicky Crane was a Nazi activist and bonehead poster boy (originally in the British Movement) with multiple convictions for vicious racist assaults. Crane organised 'security' for the Nazi band Skrewdriver, and also wrote the odd lyric for their singer Ian Stuart, as well as designing album covers for him. Searchlight readers would not have found it surprising that Ian Stuart's right hand man was also a part of Tony Wakeford's Above The Ruins set up, as despite stylistic differences in the way they presented their Nazi musical propaganda, Skrewdriver and Above The Ruins shared track space on the National Front benefit album No Surrender released by Rock-O-Rama records.
Curiously at least one contemporary Nazi source suggests that National Front boss Patrick Harrington was a member of Above The Ruins. See the review of the band's Songs of the Wolf cassette in issue 3 of the hardcore Nazi fanzine English Rose (undated but circa 1985):
I received this tape of Patrick Harrington and was quite surprised to hear what I heard. Side one opened with "Waiting"; it is a slow number with a really good beat to it and brilliant lyrics. The next track is "Stormclouds Over Europe" which is about the Berlin Wall and how Europe has been raped by the disease of communism. "Roses" the next track is about a soldier dying, the next track "Last Rite" is an instrumental which is very tuneful. The last track on side one is "Under Western Skies" which was very good. Side two kicked off with "Songs of the Wolf" which is the title track of this cassette LP. "100 Flags", the next track wasn't really my cup of tea, but a lot of people will like it. The second from last track "Progress" is one of the best with lyrics like "It's best to be humble and do as you're told, to speak as you're taught and die when you're old, for such is the meaning of Marx and his words, wine for the reds and chains for the herd". The last track "Make Us Strong" is very powerful and very good. The Above The Ruins "Songs of the Wolf" tape is very good and well worth buying.
Without access to the original cassette release of Songs of the Wolf it is difficult to know what to make of the identification of Above The Ruins with Patrick Harrington in this English Rose review. Other sources confirm the cassette version of this album differs from the subsequent vinyl and CD releases in that it contains an extra track Stormclouds Over Europe. Possibly this was removed from subsequent releases because Harrington rather than Wakeford sings the lead on it; and/or because it is a cover of a number by another hardcore Nazi band Brutal Attack (without hearing it I can't determine whether or not it is Wakeford singing lead on it, or if it is the Brutal Attack song, or simply shares a title with one of their 'tunes'). It is of course also possible that some or all of the tracks on the Songs of the Wolf cassette were re-recorded for their vinyl release in 1986 (and this might in part account for the ongoing confusion over the album's original date of release). Likewise, it is also possible that Harrington plays an instrument rather than sings on Songs of the Wolf, if he does indeed appear on the album as the English Rose review suggests.
The Fat Man's song lyrics were generally less explicit than those of Brutal Attack, Skrewdriver or No Remorse, but carried the same racist message. Leading 'intellectual' Nazi publication The Scorpion breathlessly quoted Wakeford's lyrics and said of one: "Progress (meant ironically) is a critique of the totalitarian homogenisation of the world:" (Scorpion, Spring 1985 # 8, p. 35). Yes, these crypto-fascist creeps really thought it was subtle to whine about multiculturalism being a form of homogenisation that is in its turn totalitarian! Wow, this must have kept the average liberal guessing as to where such 'arguments' were going to end up for at least a tenth of a second! The Scorpion doesn't carry the entire lyric for "Progress" but here it is in full:
All the same height and all the same weight
Such is the joining of people to state
Mongrelise, centralise, kept to your place
It's best to be humble and do as you're told
Wakeford was a Nazi street thug (and one who is said to have been adept at using his teeth to take 'anatomical samples' from those pointed out to him by NF leaders as enemies of the 'white race') and so his close association with other violent fascists like Nicky Crane and Ian Stuart Donaldson is only to be expected. Far more sensational is the link invoked by the mention of Michael Walker and a captioned photograph placed strategically beside the "Behind The Ruins" expose in Searchlight: "Out into the light of day at last comes long-time NF activist Richard Lawson, who till now has been playing a careful behind-the-scenes cameo role in the NF split. A former NF editor, he went on to publish his own 'Heritage and Destiny', and, more recently set up a 'cultural' society called Iona. He is seen here with Joe Pearce, Nick Griffin and Steve Brady." (Searchlight, October 1986, p. 8). Like Lawson, the others featured in the photograph were all NF leaders in the eighties – and Griffin (who appears to be sporting a 'White Power' T-shirt) remains very much in the public eye to this day as head of the BNP. Like Wakeford, Griffin was also involved with The Sealed Knot; this is a legitimate historical re-enactment society but one the NF abused to train street fighters and fish for new recruits.
Lawson and Michael Walker were close collaborators throughout the eighties and into the nineties in an attempt to erect an 'intellectually respectable' façade to shield the international Nazi movement from criticism; this is well documented in issues of Searchlight from that time, and is also evident from fascist publications they controlled such as The Scorpion. After collaborating with Walker in the matter of shaping Wakeford's fascist pop career, it would appear Lawson went on to act in concert with the likes of National Socialist Movement leader Tony Williams (more about him below) in the promotion of both Wakeford and neo-folk.
As recently as last year 'academic' muppet and neo-folk fan boy Peter Webb provides a source for information about Wakeford's ongoing contributions to Lawson's Fluxeuropa project (see the 'Neo-Folk or Postindustrial Music' chapter in Webb's book "Exploring the Networked Worlds of Popular Music: Milieu Cultures", Routledge 2007, p.. 89). However, just how close Wakeford is to Lawson is better indicated by the fact that Lawson acted as best man at Wakeford's wedding at Tonbridge Castle in Kent circa 1999. The reception was held in the castle grounds, and after this a select few were invited back to Lawson's home which is located nearby (he'd moved there from south London some time earlier). The anti-fascist magazine Searchlight paid a great deal of attention to Lawson, and I'm going to take a look at some of what they had to say about him. Under the headline "Recap: An A-Z of who's who on the far right", Searchlight provided this summary of Richard Lawson's fascist career up to the mid-eighties:
"Joining the NF while still at Grammar School in Plymouth, Richard Lawson rose quickly in the organisation in the early 70s. to become the joint editor of the then NF newspaper Britain First. (His co-editor was Dave McCalden, later to become a leading 'revisionist'). Under Lawson and McCalden, the NF's propaganda became both more overtly anti-semitic (a series called 'The Nation Wreckers' sought to expose the Jewish nature of opposition to the NF) and more 'left-wing' in tone, as the two young men sought to attract trade unionists by anti-capitalist rhetoric and calls for 'British jobs for British workers'. After the major split in the NF which occurred in 1975 - during which Lawson was accused by Richard Verrall of being a 'Racial Trotskyite' – Lawson joined Kingsley Read, Roy Painter and others in the split which led to the setting up of the National Party. Lawson continued at the helm of Britain First (which transferred with him), until both he and the party disappeared from view. Lawson re-emerged in the early '80s, as editor of Heritage and Destiny, one of the journals that sought to promote Strasserite ('left-wing nazi') and ruralist ideas, associated with the Italian 'Third Position'. He was a key figure in the Strasserite take over of the NF and at its 1984 AGM co-sponsored a motion on England's heritage. His co-sponsor, Michael Walker, safe housed Italian terrorist Roberto Fiore. Lawson now lives in South London." (Searchlight,, November 1985, p. 9).
"The Stingers Stung: Searchlight reports from inside a top secret London fascist conference" was a three page feature which brought readers up to date on developments in the Lawson/Walker axis circa 1989. It included the following additional information in a sketch of Lawson: "…Lawson, a university graduate, has become a one-man 'think' tank for the far-right on the environment and folk culture and history. His group Iona was formed five years ago…." (Searchlight, March 1989, p, 9). It was Lawson's ideas about folk culture that shaped the development of Sol Invictus (and through them much of the neo-folk scene) but he presumably opted to stay in the background because his political collaboration with Dave McCalden during the seventies had earned him a particularly unsavoury reputation as a hardcore Nazi anti-Semite. After the demise of the National Party when Lawson rejoined the NF, McCalden emigrated to California and set up the holocaust denying Institute of Historical Review with Willis Carto. See the April 1983 Searchlight (p 14) for one of many examples of this anti-fascist magazine stressing the extreme nature of Lawson and McCalden's anti-Semitism, even within the context of neo-Nazi politics. Likewise, the May 1983 Searchlight (p. 6) carries one of many stories the publication ran about McCalden's involvement with the Institute of Historical Review.
"Nazi International Think Tank Meets" was the headline the anti-fascist researchers at Searchlight used when reporting the attendance of Richard Lawson and Michael Walker at a gathering organised by the French language new right journals Vouloir and Orientations in 1989 (Searchlight, September 1989, p.15). Six months later Searchlight reported on a 1990 Iona/Scorpion conference under the heading: "World Nazis Confer in London", and used this to stress Lawson's standing as a key London link man for the international far-Right: "(Michael) Walker now resident in Cologne, played a smaller part than last year… leaving much of the work to Iona boss Richard Lawson, one of the best known Strasserites on the British far right in the last 15 years…" (Searchlight, March 1990, p.10). This was a major story (a journalist from the London listings magazine Time Out was also brought in to help cover it) which was continued in the next issue of Searchlight (April 1990 p.5) under the title "Lifting The Rock On The Scorpion Conference". This time the ongoing and active involvement of Sol Invictus members in the Iona/Scorpion fascist axis was exposed.
"Scorpion editor Michael Walker arrived from Cologne and was looked after by a small team of Nazis led by Ian Reid (sic, an accompanying photograph of 'Reid' reveals that this is in fact Ian Read then of Sol Invictus and Current 93, now leader of Fire & Ice; Searchlight corrected their spelling of Read's name and further identified him as a fascist musician and chaos magician in later coverage), who was dressed all in black and bowed and scrapped like an over obsequious butler. Steven Brady of The National Front and UDA was close at hand when Walker made his way from Bloomsbury to Bonnington.
Also present were two well known elder statesmen of the far-right, Dr William Mitchell, who was slung out of the army during the war for his pro-enemy stance, and Alastair Harper, co-founder of the notorious Northern League. This is an international neo-nazi quasi-cultural group formed by Roger Pearson in the late 1950s and packed with top Nazis including former SS officers… Lady Jane Birdwood's sidekick, Ralph Harrison was there. So was a loony Croatian professor from West Germany who did his best to send his audience to sleep. The highlight was Robert Steukers, a leading figure of the Belgian new right and a close associate of both Walker and Alain de Benoist, the French new rightist.
But the surprise of the day was the arrival of Patrick Harrington and his friend. Harrington is about to set up his latest attempt at a party, which he is calling 'Third Way'. Despite the young lad's claims that he is neither anti-Jewish nor a nazi any more, he seemed more than happy in the company of leading nazi activists and thinkers…." (Searchlight, April 1990 p.5).
I don't have access to the relevant archive, but I urge anyone who does to take a careful look at the footage and pictures taken by the Searchlight video and photographic team who caught the 1990 Iona/Scorpion conference on camera. If they do this having familiarised themselves with the neo-folk scene they may well be able to make some further identifications. Likewise if a Searchlight surveillance team was on hand to cover the 1986 National Front march in Bury, I would again suggest they take a close look at the various flag bearers and banner carriers to determine if any of them later became leading figures within the neo-folk subculture. In relation to the Bury march, Searchlight was able to happily note: "The Albert Mariner banner, pride of the East London branches, was captured and destroyed." (Searchlight August 1986, p. 6).
Searchlight followed up on their 1990 exposure of Ian Read's role as the organiser of Iona's Nazi street fighters in an article entitled "Rocking For Satan" (Searchlight November 1997, pages 6 & 7). This begins by reiterating the material quoted above about the 1990 Scorpion/Iona conference, before continuing:
"Another participant was Ralph Harrison, a former schoolteacher, civil servant and close associate of the criminal antisemite Lady Jane Birdwood. Harrison and Paul Stedman, an artist who joined him at the (1990 Iona/Scorpion) conference, were active supporters of the pagan Odinic Rite, then headed by the veteran Mosley blackshirt John Yeowell… (my understanding is that this was actually a period of transition for the Odinic Rite during which Wakeford's friend Jeff 'Heimgest' Holley took control of the group; while I would not say Searchlight are wrong to describe Yeowell as head, a successor was clearly being put in place).
A group of Chelsea Headhunters and other thugs were recruited to stage an attack against the radical gay bookshop Gay's The Word on the day of the 1990 conference. This was to be a display of organised nazi terrorism staged for the benefit of the conference delegates. The bookshop could be viewed from the Bloomsbury Crest Hotel, the original venue planned for the Scorpion event.
Following a Searchlight tip-off, police forced the cancellation of both the hotel booking and the terrorist plan. However, a Searchlight surveillance team observed a heavy nazi security team on the day of the conference, hastily rescheduled to the Bonnington.
The security team, which included several football thugs, was led by Ian Read. At the time, Read was already an established figure in a scene that blended several musical styles with occult philosophy and nazi politics. He had worked on albums with two of the major bands on this scene – Current 93 and Death in June – and was a founding member of a third Sol Invictus…
After leaving Sol Invictus, Read set up Fire and Ice, a band that is even closer to international pagan and satanist movements – its very name being derived from the proto-nazi occult brotherhood Fraternitas Saturni. The Fire and Ice album 'Hollow Ways' features a collaboration between Read and Freya Aswynn, author of a book on runes. Aswynn now denies all nazi connections, yet she was once legendary on the far right, as much for her foul language as for her vicious racism and antisemitism. She attended the 1989 Scorpion conference and helped to plan the subsequent campaign against the 'f***ing nigger' opera singer Willard White. Her old friends in the British Movement tell interesting stories about Aswynn's youth in Holland.
Read is now head of the Rune Gild UK and editor of Chaos International, which is described as 'a magazine that deals with Chaos Magic theory and practice'.
Regular readers will be familiar with two other leading nazi practitioners of chaos magic, David Myatt and Joe Short….. (contra Searchlight my view is that Myatt is an old school Nazi Satanist and not a chaos magician, but there was a tie up between Myatt's ONA and Read's Chaos International, which is presumably why Searchlight viewed Myatt as a chaos magician).
One of Read's closest collaborators over the years has been Tony Wakeford, who is a key figure in his own right in the occult-fascist music axis. In the late 1980s Wakeford was heavily involved with Richard Lawson's fascist 'cultural' group Iona, which co-sponsored London conferences with Scorpion...
Wakeford built his musical career as a member of Death in June, from which he split to form Sol Invictus with Read. It seems that Wakeford's involvement with heavy duty nazism was too much for his Death In June partner Douglas Pearce. The dispute centred on Wakeford's mid-eighties project, Above The Ruins, whose name (derived from the Italian fascist guru Julius Evola) reflected contemporary developments in the NF and its splinter groups…
In an interview… with the Arizona Satanist magazine Vor Tru, Wakeford, obviously referring to Read, said: 'One of my very closest friends is a big cheese, numero uno and ace face in Odinism'. (On this I think Searchlight are mistaken; Wakeford is referring to Jeff 'Heimgest' Holley and definitely not Ian Read here - Read's greater 'success' at 'magick' had roused Wakeford's jealousy and they'd fallen out by this time. Likewise my feeling after spending time looking into the matter is that Doug Pearce's disgust at Wakeford's heavy duty nazism - see above - was feigned and he was very much involved with it; but there was a time when I would have concurred with Searchlight on this) Note that Vor Tru is unashamedly aligned with the most pro-nazi elements on the satanist scene, unlike the Rune Gild, whose affiliations are more ambiguous…..
While non-nazi pagans and music fans usually rally to defend their subculture, the record of certain individuals, especially Wakeford, Read and Myatt, is undeniably disturbing. A recent statement by the Black Order, supposedly a new alliance of nazi satanists, quotes Wakeford and describes him as one of the key figures in what it heralds as the political and religious awakening of Europe. The Order's agenda lays heavy emphasis on the cultural struggle and offers this analysis: 'One of the most important factors in the battle for the soul of Europe is that of music. The metal, skin and industrial genres all playing significant roles.'
With the skin scene in confusion, the likes of Wakeford and Pearce may now be Myatt's best hope. Adherents of goth and industrial subcultures need to choose their friends carefully lest they be drawn into Myatt's kulturkampf." (Searchlight, November 1997, p. 6-7).
This Searchlight exposure caused widespread panic on the scene that would shortly be known as neo-folk (as did some more or less concurrent police heat on a select few individuals active in these circles). So those like Wakeford and Read with a severe right arm problem adopted their usual tactics of attempting to cover their tracks and keeping a low profile.
Running his own Nazi Satanist coven evidently proved too much effort for Wakeford who is lazy, and although it struggled on into the early 1990s with the performance of late night rituals in a hired railway arch in the Elephant and Castle (south London), eventually it just fizzled out. At this low point in his 'magickal' career, Wakeford is said to have been jealous of Ian Read's greater success at such activities, and the bad blood this created seems to have contributed to Read setting up his own band Fire and Ice.
Having been pressed about the matter of his National Front membership for many years, Wakeford finally issued an ambiguous public statement on 14 February 2007 in which he appeared to claim he had ended his involvement with fascism before the 'formation' of Sol Invictus in 1987 (and he has told roughly the same story in various interviews). However, if this was in fact the case then Wakeford would have broken with Richard Lawson rather than continued working with him to this day both publicly (as Pete Webb notes, see above) and in other less visible ways. At various points in his Nazi career, Wakeford apparently informed confidants he was terrified of being sent to jail. Wakeford didn't break with the far-Right, at some point he simply decided to concentrate on the fascist ideological struggle because he didn't like the risks involved in doing anything else. My guess is this shift away from activism took place around the time of Wakeford's marriage, when there was a lot of heat on those who moved in National Socialist Movement and Combat 18 circles as the cops investigated the murder of Chris Castle, and then subsequently the London nail bombings; on top of which Wakeford had been exposed relatively recently as a leading Nazi Satanist in the November 1997 issue of Searchlight.
The original Sol Invictus line-up contained three identifiable fascist activists - Wakeford, Read and in the early days bassist Gary Smith of No Remorse and Combat 18 infamy - which is an unlikely tally for an ostensibly 'post'-Nazi band. I currently know nothing about Liz Grey, the fourth founding member of the group and can't find anyone else who does either. In light of the 1986 Searchlight report about Above The Ruins and ongoing rumours, I am left wondering whether 'Grey' was British Nazi bonehead Nicky Crane (or some other equally notorious fascist such as Ian Stuart Donaldson of Skrewdriver or Nazi Chris Henderson of Combat 84) using a pseudonym? Related speculation centres on Gary Carey of Joy of Life possibly having a hand in shaping the early Sol Invictus sound, and other 'musicians' Wakeford has worked with in a public way making secret guest appearances on Above The Ruins tracks.
Although in terms of image Above The Ruins/Sol Invictus project themselves as more 'sophisticated' than Nazi skinhead bands like Skewdriver and No Remorse, in practice Wakeford and his cronies were initially marketed by the National Front alongside such acts and they came from the same milieu (the Sol Invictus membership is known to have overlapped with that of No Remorse and in its Above The Ruins incarnation is rumoured to have crossed over with Skrewdriver too).
The description Nick Lowles offers of original Sol Invictus bassist and unrepentant Nazi buffoon Gary Smith in his tome "White Riot: The Violent Story of Combat 18" (Milo Books, Bury 2001, p.115-116.) provides insights into one side of Wakeford's life-style at the time Smith was a member of his band (a decade or so before the pathetic scenes described in "White Riot"). However, it should be stressed that when the Fat Man was hanging with middle-class Nazi 'intellectuals' like Richard Lawson and Michael Walker, his behaviour was necessarily very different, if it hadn't been he wouldn't have been tolerated by them. Returning to Smith, Lowles writes of him and No Remorse:
"Sometimes the London band Chingford Attack accompanied No Remorse on their travels. Their lead singer, Mick Dunne, was a close friend of (Will 'The Beast') Browning (No Remorse guitarist and Combat 18 leader) and the two bands shared Jean-Charles (Tanzi) as drummer. In the autumn of 1996, both bands were due to play in Chemnitz, East Germany… during the evening Browning broke off from one discussion only to see a drunken Smith slumped in the corner of the venue with a girl on each leg. Jean-Charles was also the worse for drink…. Within minutes of starting their set, Browning had to unplug the bassist's guitar; as he was so drunk there was nothing remotely tuneful coming out of his instrument. A short time later Browning looked round in horror to see the bassist and the drummer exchanging blows… The set was abandoned and Browning stormed out of the hall.
"The problems were not yet over. The concert organiser had provided a chalet for the visiting C18 contingent. Browning… arrived there to find Dunne and Tanzii parading round in stolen Nazi regalia. The others were interrogating a German who some believed was a police informer. Convinced of his guilt, Thomas Wells rammed a champagne bottle into the German's face. 'Great shot,' remarked Gary Smith, to break the silence. Some time later, police arrived and dragged the English from their beds…
"On another occasion, Smith was left with a bag of CDs, including copies of Barbecue in Rostock, and some money to catch a separate flight home. He decided to return the joke by going back to the city centre to spend the airfare on drink, then raise more beer money through the sale of the CDs to local skinheads. Several days and hangovers later, he finally ran out of money, and approached the British consulate claiming he had been robbed. The officials were unsympathetic to his plight, as it appeared that this was not the first time he had pulled this stunt. A few very reluctant and annoyed Milano skins were forced to pay out for another air ticket."
This is simply a slightly more jet-set and less violent version of the activities Searchlight characterised as typical of those connected to the Avenell Road house mentioned in its October 1986 exposé of Above The Ruins. That particular fascist 'rat hole' was one of a series that those associated with it infested, and links Above The Ruins via the bad company they kept to an ongoing series of stories. Related pieces include: "Nazi Youth Hostels" (Searchlight November 1985, p. 5) "Terraces of Terror" (Searchlight August 1986, p.9) and "Not So Gentle But Certainly Touched" (Searchlight September 1986, p. 6-7). In these one can find accounts of violent racist assaults, collusion with fascist terrorists from across Europe and drug dealing (which was carried out in part to finance the Nazi movement). Incidentally Ian Read allegedly squatted with Gary Smith at one time; this was not the house known as 'The Enclave' which Read shared with Freya Aswynn, Doug Peace of Death In June, David Tibet of Current 93, and others.
But let's return to the Lawson/Walker international crypto-fascist axis and their ideological grooming of Wakeford. On the one hand Lawson and Walker wanted to make fascism appear respectable by giving it a more 'intellectual' veneer, while on the other they were cultivating links with and providing support to neo-Nazi terrorists (Walker notoriously safe-housed Roberto Fiore in London – see the citation from Searchlight above; and, of course, some of those who engaged in these safe-housing activities have yet to be exposed). While Wakeford mixed in happily with the thugs and terrorists, Lawson in particular helped with his make-over as a New Right 'intellectual' (the fact Wakeford was barely literate was irrelevant, this was about creating a public image not 'truth'). Thus when Above The Ruins cobbled together their mini-album "Songs Of The Wolf" (cassette release 1984, vinyl release 1986), it was endorsed with a review entitled "Illiberal Rock" in Walker's magazine "The Scorpion" (Spring 1985 # 8 p. 35): "Rock music is seldom associated with the defence of European culture, but the message can transcend the form. Such is the case with a new audio cassette, Songs of the Wolf, the first release by 'Above The Ruins', a group whose name is inspired by the Italian philosopher Julius Evola. The title track employs the wolf as a symbol of strength, revenge and ruthlessness: an illiberal antithesis to the decadence of the 'west'. 'I hear your liberal bleating/Its time for you to pay/Your sheep won't last forever/You'll meet the wolves someday…" No doubt Fiore and his fellow Bologna train station bombers (who murdered 85 people and injured another 200 in a single 1980 attack) represented the wolves, while those of us from outside Wakeford's immediate circle of thugs and fascist butchers constituted the sheep.
From Wakeford's point of view (and that of his elitist neo-folk comrades such as David Tibet), the biggest sheep of all are the fans who attend the gigs and buy Sol Invictus and Current 93 releases. In a problematic and in places wildly inaccurate essay dealing explicitly with Wakeford and neo-folk, Stéphane François correctly observes: "The master of the self, the Superman, is an important theme for some of the performers in this scene, who believe themselves to be part of a self-proclaimed elite, the rest of the population being the masses. In fact, although some of these people may have a poor mastery of the Nietzschean concept of the Superman, this elitist message has been present in most of these circles since their origin… The praise of the figure of the "warrior" is also often present in this elitist message… To this elitist message is added another form of inegalitarianism, with a naturalistic content dominated by social Darwinism and misanthropy. The deification of the laws of nature by certain groups suggests the label "social/racial Darwinism," a doctrine that emerges from the observation that nature is hard on the weak animals, which serve as food for the predators. It is therefore right, in the opinion of these groups, to imitate nature and respect its laws by getting rid of weak individuals." (Journal for the Study of Radicalism, vol 1 #2, 2007, p.49). In Wakeford's case we can read the figure of 'the warrior', alongside that of 'the wolf', as a coded reference to right-wing terrorists.
Returning to Walker and Lawson, for these two schemers Above The Ruins and later Sol Invictus (and the entire neo-folk scene) acted as an outreach operation to push the Scorpion/Iona cypto-fascist agenda into a wider rock and subcultural arena. The Scorpion "Songs of the Wolf" review highlights lyrics and ideology, completely ignoring the 'music', viz: "Other tracks include 'A Hundred Flags', which heralds the birth of a Europe of the Peoples: 'The old gods are calling/From the hills across the sea/A hundred flags are waving/On a northern breeze/Two tyrannies stand naked/'Neath the setting sun/A hundred flags are waiting/For justice to be done'…" Rather unsurprisingly the well worn New Right slogan of "A Europe of a Hundred Flags" was also used as the theme for the 1987 Iona/Scorpion London conference (see The Scorpion # 12, Winter 1988/9, p. 3, for details).
Wakeford used The Scorpion to summarise his views during the Above The Ruins era as follows: "In the end economics, even politics, doesn't matter and only a living culture can guarantee a people's, a nation's future." (Scorpion # 9, Spring 1986 # 9.p. 31). Lawson put it this way in the same publication: "for me the assertion of an ethnic and cultural identity is in the forefront of the struggle against the dehumanisation of modern life" (The Scorpion # 12, Winter 1988/9, page 9). In other words, as one would expect of Nazis, Lawson and Wakeford were racists chasing the chimera of a 'white' ethnic identity and racial nationalism. Hence the involvement of Ian Read too, who played with Wakeford and organised security for Iona and The Scorpion.
Since the Above The Ruins name was umbilically tied to the National Front and its predominantly bonehead music programme, in 1987 it was changed to Sol Invictus. What was overlooked in this attempt to create a new and cleaner image for the group was that three of the members were relatively easy to identify as Nazi activists, and needless to say the group's imagery and ideological orientation remained unchanged too.
Like the Above The Ruins moniker, the new name was a reference to Julius Evola, as was the title of their second mini-album (the first as Sol Invictus) "Against The Modern World". The song remained very much the same. However, by the end of the eighties it was clear that Lawson in his role as the Larry Parnes of Nazi Pop would never succeed in getting Gary Smith to even pretend to be a New Right intellectual, so the bassist was slung out of the band. Like Smith, 'Liz Grey' left Sol Invictus after playing on the "Against The Modern World" mini-album, and non-political musicians were recruited into the band (most seem to have been introduced to Wakeford by his one time flat-mate David Tibet of Current 93). This was done in part to bolster the credibility of the utterly spurious claim that Sol Invictus were 'post'-fascist, and in part because they were competent musicians (which was not something that can always be said of the fascist boneheads Wakeford had recruited in the past).
With a mixed membership, most of whom were genuinely in the dark about the coded Nazism conveyed by the band's lyrics and imagery - since they believed what they'd been told by Wakeford, and others such as David Tibet, that the original members of Sol Invictus had put fascism behind them - the band promised to become a more effective vehicle for Lawson's propaganda. Whether Wakeford left the official National Front in 1987 as he seems to claim in his ambiguously worded 2007 statement, or stayed in the NF until its disintegration in 1989, is unclear. Regardless, right into the 1990s Wakeford maintained a friendship with latter-day National Front boss Patrick Harrington, a relationship that Lawson and Walker were able to exploit. If the widespread rumours that Wakeford was at one point dating Harrington's sister Lorna Martin (and she apparently appeared on recordings by Wakeford too) are true, then this presumably helped cement the relationship with Harrington.
That said, Sol Invictus were an Iona/Scorpion (later a Transeuropa/ Fluxeuropa) band, rather than an official NF act as they had been in their Above The Ruins incarnation. Likewise, Harrington's control of the Nazi rock scene was effectively smashed in 1987 when Ian Stuart, Nicky Crane and their followers, angrily broke with him over money matters (see "Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity" by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, New York University Press 2003, p. 195). Therefore for Harrington maintaining a cordial relationship with Wakeford and company (including inevitably Richard Lawson) was his only means of keeping a rather ineffectual oar in waters he had once presided over.
Attempting to cultivate a respectable image did not mean that Wakeford dropped his hardcore Nazi interests and beliefs. Rumours continue to circulate that National Socialist Movement (NSM) boss Tony Williams was greatly impressed by the potential of Sol Invictus; so much so that in the early nineties he was ferrying Wakeford about in a flash car with a personalised number plate. An indication of how stupid and vain Nazi leaders can be is the fact that this number plate allegedly began with the letters NSM (it was sold when it finally dawned on Williams that it drew attention to his supposedly clandestine movements)! Among other things Wakeford and Williams are said to have been chummy enough to take a holiday together in Cornwall. On another occasion I'm told Wakeford spent a week with Williams in York. An early music festival apparently proved less interesting to Wakefrod than other attractions. Note, the significance of this city to the far-Right is clear from the following (extracted from a history of Anti-Fascist Action):
"In the North, meanwhile, the Northern Network mobilised against the BNP's Remembrance Sunday meetings at Clifford's Tower, York. The BNP chose Clifford's Tower as it was the site where many of York's Jewish community were burned to death in the middle ages… Again, after a few years, AFA tactics were successful." (See the full article this is taken from at libcom.org).
It should not need saying that Williams was not the most insightful of men, since in the nineties he was involved with Combat 18 and Nazi Satanist David Myatt; and felt compelled to shut down the National Socialist Movement to save his own skin when it emerged that the murderous London nail bomber was none other than his Hampshire and Surrey organiser David Copeland (see "White Riot" by Nick Lowles, page 299). Copeland murdered three people and maimed 140 in three 1999 nail bomb attacks directed against gays and ethnic minorities. Williams was a big deal on the British far-right way before this, as is indicated by top British Nazi Colin Jordan picking him to not only attend but participate in Savitri Devi's 1982 funeral (see Goodrick-Clarke's "Black Sun", p. 105).
In the post-war period Devi set about rebranding National Socialism as a religion and through this activity she established herself as a leading figure within the Nazi international. Devi particularly fixates Wakeforrd's former flat-mate and fellow neo-folk 'musician' David Tibet (of Current 93). As the overtly Nazi Savitri Devi Archive note, among the most important musical tributes to her are: "Current 93's 'Hitler as Kalki (SDM [Savitri Devi Mukherji]),' Changes' 'Mahabharata of the Soul,' and Scorpion Wind's 'Paradise of Perfection' (which uses words from The Lightning and the Sun)." The latter group is a pet project of John Murphy, long time drummer for Death In June, Knifeladder and Naevus, and features Doug Pearce of Death In June and American Front poster boy Boyd Rice (both of whom have worked closely with Wakeford on other 'musical' ventures). Alongside Julius Evola (who via Lawson serves as Wakeford's principle ideological inspiration) and Francis Parker Yockey (his book "Imperium" provided David Tibet's Current 93 with the title of a 1987 album, but he was primarily a fascist activist, not a writer or 'philosopher'), Devi was the most important ideologist of the Nazi international in the period immediately after the fall of the Third Reich.
Returning to the man who mentored many on the neo-folk scene in these esoteric strands of Nazism, Wakeford's political activities mirror Lawson's to this day, but on a lower level. In 1989 Lawson played a key role in setting up the Transeuropa Collective to discuss "European identities, autonomies and initiatives" (see Searchlight, April 1997, p. 14. for more details). The magazine "Perspectives" published by the Transeuropa Collective is graphically indistinguishable from Sol Invictus/Tursa designs of the same period (one can therefore conclude they were probably produced by the same person). "Perspectives" was attacked by a number of leftist publications for its anti-Semitism and attempting to infiltrate the green movement (see for example Searchlight, August 1995, p, 12.). In the late nineties Lawson launched the Fluxeuropa website as a corollary to Transeuropa (as the names indicate) with which Wakeford admits ongoing involvement (see above - an 18 July 2008 search on web information site Alexia showed that Fluxeuropa is still controlled by Lawson).
Around the time Lawson set up Fluxeuropa, he also got involved with "Alternative Green" magazine alongside fellow 'national revolutionary' and ex-NF activist Troy Southgate. Despite Wakeford having until recently had Southgate as a friend on the social networking site MySpace, 'academic' muppet Peter Webb conveyed to me via email last year Wakeford's implausible denials of any connection to this particular fascist activist. In 1997 Transeuropa launched a new magazine called "Radical Shift". Searchlight denounced it as an attempt "to delegitimise anti-racism, anti-fascism and liberal democracy in favour of... ethnic separation, bigoted regionalism and chauvinistic nationalism" (Searchlight, April 1997, p 15.). This last quote also very succinctly explains what Wakeford and Lawson have done and are continuing to do with Sol Invictus and its various splinter projects.
Quite clearly Tony Wakeford has not broken with Nazism. Like Troy Southgate he is still a fascist activist waging a far-Right 'war of position' in a cultural arena - albeit in Wakeford's case under the guiding hand of Richard Lawson. Neo-folk is not particularly lucrative but making money (albeit small amounts) from their music is clearly important to the musicians involved in this scene. Foreign concerts (and the main market for this genre is in Germany and surrounding terriotories) at least cover travel and hotel costs and allow international neo-fascist contacts to be maintained. Merchandising can at times prove relatively lucrative for some of the bigger names on the scene (T-shirts and in the days before downloading, also limited releases and live CDs, far more than anything as expensive to produce as a well recorded studio album). Neo-folk acts as a social and ideological glue holding its Nazi adherents together, as well as drawing in a smattering of younger followers who start out as music fans and end up full blown mystical fascists, and without this, the ease with which these rats are able to collaborate politically would be massively reduced. Removed from the access, distribution and networking points provided by neo-folk, the individual and collective influence of this subculture's fascist inspired ideology would be massively reduced.
Stewart Home, 28 July 2008.
I don't link to slime but much of the unpleasant material invoked here can be found through web searches by anyone who wants to see it. There is a lot more information about Wakeford and his more recent activity on some of my other pages. The latest wheeze of Wakefraud (oops I mean Wakeford) and his supporters on Wikipedia and similar sites is to list as EPs what he used to tout as albums ("Songs of the Wolf" and "Against The Modern World") because attention has recently been drawn to their problematic content and personnel (even by Sol Invictus standards)! These are mini-albums with short running times but their downgrading by Wakefraud (oops I’ve done it again) to EPs is designed to minimize their significance because they are somewhat difficult to explain away. Perhaps after reading this Wakefraud (sorry that’s just the way I see him) and his chums might start changing the information back to what it was before (or perhaps not). Regardless of what these creeps do, Wakeford (see I can still spell it correctly) remains a Nazi slimeball.
PLEASE NOTE: I am not currently updating my pages about Wakeford and am for now leaving them as they have been since 2008. Further exposure of Wakeford's fascist activism and that of some of his neo-folk fellow travellers can be found at http://www.whomakesthenazis.com/ - this site has dug up a lot of interesting material that I was unaware of, and while I think it is doing a good job, I do not agree with all the positions it takes. The main blog posts on Who Makes The Nazis are on the whole very good, the comments are often extremely tedious due to trolling by fascists and neo-folk fan boys.
The McGonagall Syndrome (on the intellectual and aesthetic failings of a sad man who enthuses about Death In June, Sol Invictus and neo-folk)
You're Never Alone With A Schizophrenic (on Wakeford's pal Pete Webb and the Industrialised Culture Research Network)
The Sound of Sadism: Whitehouse & the 'New' 'British' Art (post-aesthetic fascism)
Skrewdriver (chapter from book on punk rock Cranked Up Really High)
The UN on No Remorse, the band whose bass player Gary Smith simultaneously worked with Wakeford's outfit Sol Invictus while pursuing an openly Nazi 'rock' 'career':
Note: due to fresh and more relevant information about Tony Wakeford's involvements with fascism (and his ongoing attempts to conceal them) coming to light, this page has been updated. The more recent of the old material has been moved to a second page, and the oldest stuffl from this page can now be found on a third page.
Lard Arse Wakeford: Still A Fat Fascist Weasel After All These Years
This new MySpace interview with Wakeford was undertaken with the participation of Reeve Malka and orchestrated by Peter Webb (a University of Birmingham sociology lecturer who actively promotes the far-Right neo-folk music scene). Wakeford's 2007 rhetoric claiming he planned no more public statements on his fascist involvements is the kind of stupidity to be expected from him (at less than 200 words this planned 'last' statement was also his longest on the subject at the point it was made), and his failure to stick to his intensions is indicative of both a weak personality and the ways in which he matches the fascist character type delineated by Klause Theweleit in the two volumes of "Male Fantasies". As had been the case when Wakeford made his previous statement, his hand was forced by others making public facts he wished to keep secret and his band Sol Invictus having upcoming concert appearances; thus through dissembling and lies he hopes to defuse the protests that inevitably accompany his public appearances.
Webb's interview with Wakeford is an attempt to deflect criticisms already made on this page and elsewhere, but anything tricky is avoided, and so for example none of those participating come clean about Wakeford's involvement in and commitment to organized Nazi street violence (Webb should have been aware of this when he made the interview, Malka may not have been).
After I criticized Wakeford for selling his openly fascist Above The Ruins album via his website, he dropped it from his mail order operations and brought Malka in to help him run the business, but this pair are still peddling early Sol Invictus releases featuring old school Nazi Gary Smith on bass. All of which raises the question of whether Gary Smith still receives monies for the jackbooted anchor he contributed to Sol Invictus recordings.
However, even if the original Sol Invictus bassist doesn’t benefit from ongoing payments for his contributions to the band, all the group’s recordings need to be deleted (no loss to the world since the throughput in question is musical garbage) if Wakeford expects anyone to believe he has broken with fascism, since the origins of this band lie in the neo-Nazi National Front and the lyrics reflect official NF ideological interests of the eighties.
Webb's interview with Wakeford demonstrates the latter still adheres to the political line of those with whom he exited the fascist National Front, by for example stressing the socialist aspect of national socialism and further instrumentalising the anti-Semitic content of Nazism by using purely rhetorically formulations to make it appear they oppose genocidal ideology (when in practice the political activity of this fraction served to buttress all forms of racism including anti-Semitism, and the main reason for the stance they took in the late-eighties was the vain hope they might jettison the Nazi tag they'd very justly earned; likewise, as Wakeford's obsessive racial stereotyping in his lyrics demonstrates. the fascist current to which he belongs is in no way averse to rhetorical anti-Semitism despite claiming to have abandoned it as a principle of political organisation).
Wakeford was initially a part of the fascist faction centred on Patrick Harrington who split the official National Front by suggesting it work with the racial-separatist rabbi Mayer Schiller (something Harrington continues to do). Emphatically demonstrating political link-ups with the likes of Schiller did not represent a break with fascism, in 2006 Harrington became General Secretary of Solidarity (the 'Union for British Workers', a front of the neo-Nazi BNP) Likewise while anti-Semitism is central to Nazi ideology, it is not a core element of all fascist creeds; that said when Nazism became the internationally dominant form of fascism in the late 1930s/early 1940s, the Hitlerites were able to push all other types of fascism (such as the Italian and Finnish varieties) into actively participating in their genocidal frenzies.
There have always been competing brands of fascism and the fact that the one to which Wakeford adheres appears to be less rabidly anti-Semitic than that of those who adopt a more openly Nazi stance, does not mean he is not contributing to a new swell of anti-Semitism. Historically fascist tendencies of the type in which Wakeford forged his belief in a far-Right cultural ‘war of position’ played a significant role in clearing a path to power for those who wished to practice genocide, so even if these fractions are unlikely to achieve power in their own right they should not be viewed with indulgence since they soften the naive up for more hardcore forms of Nazi barbarism by creating an ambience in which the racist ideology of the far-Right can grow. Likewise, Wakeford’s direct connections to Nazi bonehead bands like Skrewdriver and No Remorse (including appearing on a fascist benefit album with the former and sharing a bass player with the latter) serves to underscore the fact that the benefits old school fascists accrue from the activities of 'Nazis without Swastikas' is a matter of conscious strategy rather than being merely accidental.
To make his alleged break with fascism a reality, Wakeford needs to end his involvement with neo-folk - a 'music' scene that is stuffed full of figures with whom he shares Nazi entanglements (even if a number of these scumbags including Lard Arse are now 'sophisticated' enough to eschew waving swastikas around in public). If a group of kiddie fiddlers were standing beside a school playground and claiming it was just chance that they'd met there and everything they were doing was completely above board, no one would believe them; it is clear that the shrill assertions of those involved with neo-folk that they are no longer fascists should be treated with similar disbelief (especially when they link themselves – as Wakeford has - to web based forums such as "Neo-Folk Against Racism" which rather than challenging dominant white racism seeks to redefine what racism is in a bid to make fascist bigotry more acceptable across the social and political spectrum, a trick those involved seem to have learnt from the fraction of the 1980s National Front grouped around Patrick Harrington).
As has happened before with various ex-members of Sol Invictus and others, some of those currently collaborating with Wakeford (for instance Malka and possibly even Webb) may have been conned into accepting Lard Arse has broken or is breaking with Nazi activism and genuinely believe the lies he’s been spinning them. If this is the case then they should use their involvements with Wakeford to encourage him to completely break with fascism and the fascist neo-folk scene, and if he refuses to end his involvements with those who share his Nazi entanglements then they should have nothing more to do with him. Wakeford is an illiterate posing as an intellectual. He relies on others whose reading and writing skills are more developed than his own to provide him with fascist ideological support. On his own Wakeford is insignificant, it is because he works in concert with both the rest of the neo-folk scene and his former NF controllers that his cultural dribblings have their poisonous effect.
"Searchlight Extra" on Wakeford and Neo-Folk February 2007
From the front: " 'a pamphlet is read only once, but a song is learnt by heart and repeated a thousand times, ' Ian Stuart Donaldson, the deceased frontman of the legendary Nazi rock band Skrewdriver, once reputedly remarked. It is a lesson that the far-Right has taken to heart in the battle to win the hearts and minds of white youth."
On page 10 of this edition of "Searchlight Extra" is a piece entitled "The Alternative Scene", which features photos of Michael Moynihan and his wife Annabel Lee of Blood Axis, alongside information about them and Tony Wakeford:
"The rise of a racist folk music scene shows how the far-Right has extended the breadth of its cultural embrace to include a range of musical forms that one would not traditionally associate with fascism and which many "traditional" fascists would doubtless find a challenging listen. These include Neo-Folk, Darkwave and National Socialist Black Metal [NSBM].
"The far-Right has not invented these musical subcultures any more than it did the "punk" sound of white power music. Rather it has tried to exploit them, fully aware that their adherents who number tens of thousands share at least some of the Nazis' Nietzschean contempt for the masses, their elitism, their esoteric interest in the occult and pagan religions not to mention their overarching belief that traditional VOLKISCH culture has been supplanted by a "plastic" culture imposed by US cultural imperialism. Many of these themes and interests, prevalent in the New Right, are reflected in the ideological content of the records produced by its artists. The band Sol Invictus, led by Tony Wakeford, a former National Front activist, recorded a series of albums in which the influence of Julius Evola, the high priest of post-war Italian fascism is noticeable.
"Others seem fascinated with projecting a violent totalitarian aesthetic in their lyrics and stage shows. Those involved in the "industrial" end of the scene often seek to enhance the martial bearing of their performances by wearing uniforms similar to those of the Nazi SA and SS. Most famously the industrial band Laibach did this as part of a sophisticated critique of fascism. For others it translates as a transgressive act designed to outrage and provoke, like the Sex Pistols wearing swastika armbands. But not always; for some artists the wearing of Nazi uniforms on stage appears to be a genuine reflection of their political sympathies.
"Another important artist in this respect is Michael Moynihan, leader of Blood Axis. This band arose out of Moynihan's involvement with Boyd Rice's San Francisco based Abraxas Foundation, which has been described as an "occultist-fascist think tank" and which was linked to the Church Of Satan. It would not be unfair to characterise such artists as propounding a form of avant-garde cultural fascism not dissimilar to the Italian Futurists or the French "literary fascists" of he late 19th and early 20th centuries.”
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