The word “zimmer” is fairly unknown outside of the United Kingdom. For many, it was introduced as an odd song lyric in an Emmy-winning British science fiction comedy show, Red Dwarf…
For citizens of the UK, though, the word is fairly ubiquitous. It’s a specific brand of walker and is used interchangeably with that term in the style that “Jell-o” is used for any brand of gelatin in much of the United States.
And, starting in 2007, it became the name of a rock band. It was formed for a BBC documentary detailing the plight of the elderly in Britain, and after recording their first song they decided to do another one. And another, until they had recorded an entire album of cover tunes.
The videos were viewed millions of times. It was a rock band with a chorus of elderly retirees, whose combined ages totalled over 3,000 years of life on the planet. Of course they were viewed.
And, apparently, they are a real rock band. Not surprising, considering their rock credentials extend beyond charting on the UK top 40; one of the members was the mother of John Bonham, the drummer from Led Zepplin. From the BBC:
There have been artistic differences and temper tantrums that would do a boy band proud. Members have threatened to walk out, nearly walked out, and even have walked out…but come back through the door. Divvying up daytime TV appearances can be an egotistical minefield (proof again that human nature remains as our bodies age).
But an unusual rock band. From the same aritcle:
“It’s been so exciting, every day has been different,” says sextagenarian rocker Dolores Murray, who previously immersed herself in bingo. “One day in the studio, the next on a plane to Germany, then back for a radio show, a trip to a school, off to Downing Street and then onto a photo shoot. I never knew retirement would be so full.”
That wasn’t the end of it, though. After fading into obscurity for a few years and fostering the suspicion that it was over, about fifteen of them – most from the original forty or so – reappeared on Britain’s Got Talent, this time covering the Beastie Boys.
The band may be finished. Or maybe not; it took about five years for them to get back to the music business last time they faded into obscurity. They are maintaining a web presence, though, in possibly the most elderly way possible…
…their Myspace page.
Question of the night: What new thing would you like to try in your retirement years?