Saturday, August 16, 2008

An Unusual Rock Group

Life goes on until it doesn't: Young@Heart

Home_doraandstan Read "Retired, Yes, but Never Too Old to Rock" (NY Times) to learn about this singing group of people, average age of 80, and the just-released movie Young@Heart that tells the story of this unusual rock group.

. . .More than one member admits that his or her favorite music is classical, opera or show tunes. These rock songs are unfamiliar. Instead of comfortable walks around the block, rehearsals (there are three a week) are demanding hikes over hilly terrain. The challenge only makes it more exciting.

Late during the making of “Young@Heart” two members of the chorus, Bob Salvini and Joe Benoit, died within a week. Although neither death was a complete surprise, occurring so close together, they come as shock to a group dedicated to living in the present as fully and exuberantly as possible. The upbeat realism of everyone connected with “Young@Heart” might be summarized in six words: Life goes on until it doesn’t.

From "'YOUNG@HEART': RETIREES REVIVIFY ROCK 'N' ROLL" (Christian Science Monitor):

When we hear the group, which is backed by a professional band, belt out James Brown's "I Feel Good," The Talking Heads' "Road to Nowhere," Coldplay's "Fix You," The Ramones' "I Want to Be Sedated," and The Clash's "Should I Stay or Should I Go," the words carry a special significance. Each becomes, in its own way, an anthem of survival. This is not a group that indulges in the blues.

The Web site of the Young@Heart Chorus gives you more information and there you can find some great photos. YouTube carries several videos of them, including "Fix You" (you may need a tissue for this one), "I Wanna Be Sedated," "Staying Alive," "Walk on the Wild Side," and "I Will Survive."

Remember The Zimmers (click for their Web site)? The aging crowd is rocking. I have a feeling this is just the beginning!

Note: I have been enjoying a blog written by someone who is 90. Drop by Grandma Julia's My Life at Ninety: Looking Back and Moving On.


This is an article by Stephanie West Allen, an accomplished lawyer, author and journalist. She writes for various journals and magazines which includes The Complete Lawyer and the Denver Business Journal. It first appeared on her blog, Idealawg . It was Stephanie in this article who gave my blog, My Life At Ninety, barely a few weeks old at that time, its very first publicity. I am republishing it here as my way of saying thanks to Stephanie. But more than that, I have always longed to write about The Zimmers. I have been an avid fan of the group since I first heard of them. An article on my personal thoughts about the group is still on top of my writing agenda. This one by Stephanie should serve as a lovely introduction.


  1. CBS's "Sunday Morning" did a wonderful piece on the Young at Heart rock band. They were absolutely amazing. So inspirational. You see them and you feel you can do anything.

  2. This quite inspiring! Figure I could take up guitar in my 40's and by the time I'm 60, I might be able to join. Kinda like a Menuto (sp) but only allowing senior citizens?