Activism & Advocacy

Grandma sings Death Metal

Inge Ginsberg became an unlikely rock star when, at the age of 92, she fronted the Tritone Kings, a death metal band, in a European talent contest in 2014, singing her own poetry.

She didn’t win, but her spunk and spirit captured worldwide attention. Now 97, the “Death Metal Grandma” and Holocaust survivor is the star of a new documentary that traces her life; a powerful testimony to resilience and zest for living for anyone at any age.

And what a life.

Ginsberg was a WW2 spy for the Allies, a journalist, and a lyricist with her husband for the likes of Dean Martin and Doris Day. (To learn more about her life history, visit here.)

Her experiences drive the passion in her poems and performance, and helped make her a viral sensation. She has hundreds of thousands of YouTube followers and a Google search reveals 245,000 hits.

And it’s not because she’s a novelty – she really rocks. Her lyrics are raw and powerful.  This one, “The Universe Echoes Back” is simply amazing – defiant, hopeful, resilient.  Just listen:

Her unlikely story inspired Leah Galant, a documentary filmmaker, to create short film under the aegis of the New York Times:

“Old people are excluded from life,”  Ginsberg says in the film.  “You have to have a chance to be heard,”  And if you aren’t given a chance…make your own.  Talk about Aging with Attitude!

This film was supported by the Creative Culture Program at the Jacob Burns Film Center, Helen Gurley Brown’s Glassbreaker Films, and Bering Pictures.


8 responses to “Grandma sings Death Metal

  1. I love this STORY. Having reached 85, life is great, still! So, What’s Next? I joined Bob Cilman’s Young@Heart Chorus and with a terrific BAND now perform TALKING HEADSs, LIFE DURING WARTIME.

    You have to care about something, other people, a cause, your god. Joy is the most powerful signal you can send your body. Quote from Prince: Music is spirit, it’s therapy.

    Anita Shumway

  2. Describing someone as a “granny” is inherently ageist. There must be a less patronizing way to describe an older woman. Expressing amazement that this “granny” should be doing anything as unexpected as playing rock music simply illustrates the ageist assumptions you’re making. Senior Planet do better.

    1. Right on, Tosia, about “granny” being ageist. Why do we categorize “old” people with labels? She’s a 97-year-old woman — end of sentence. Inge may not be a “granny” — why presume to call her that? Another word I hate is “senior” — it has so much negative imagery and expectations attached to the word. What is wrong with “mature” and let it go at that?

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