The Zimmers

The Zimmers are an English band formed in 2007 and are thought to have the oldest members of any group in the world.[1] The oldest member, Buster Martin, claimed to have been born in 1906, although some sources indicate he was born in 1913. Martin died in 2011. Former lead singer Alf Carretta died on 29 June 2010, aged 93.[2] The group takes its name from the Zimmer frame, the UK term for a mobility aid known in other countries as a walker.

The Zimmers
OriginUnited Kingdom
Years active2007–present
WebsiteOfficial website
MembersSee Members

The band was created as a feature in a BBC Television documentary which aired on 28 May 2007.[3] The feature of forming the band and recording a single was intended to give a voice to the feelings of isolation and imprisonment suffered by the elderly. The Zimmers' logo is a parody of The Beatles' logo, as is the image of them walking across Abbey Road.

On 7 April 2012, the band performed the Beastie Boys' "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)" on Britain's Got Talent. The band toured in 2013, performing in Warrington on 25 May that year.


The Zimmers released their first single, a cover of The Who's "My Generation", reaching #26 in the UK Singles Chart, on 28 May 2007. The song was produced by Mike Hedges, the video shot by Geoff Wonfor, and it was recorded in the Beatles Studio 2 at Abbey Road.[4]

On during the 13 July 2007 broadcast of the Richard & Judy show, The Zimmers announced their cover of The Prodigy's "Firestarter".[5] In September 2008, the band released their first full-length album Lust for Life, which featured versions of songs by Eric Clapton, The Beatles and Frank Sinatra.[6]

BBC documentaryEdit

Documentary-maker Tim Samuels travelled Britain, investigating the feelings of isolation and imprisonment suffered by the country's elderly, as part of the BBC's Power to the People series.[7] Samuels recruits pensioners otherwise stuck in institutions and towerblocks, and they air their grievances, culminating in the recording of the group's first single, where the group "sticks it back to the society that has cast them aside".[3]

Britain's Got TalentEdit

15 members of the band, aged 66 to 88, appeared on Britain's Got Talent on 7 April 2012, performing the Beastie Boys' track "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)".[8] They walked on stage with thick coats and anoraks. Their oldest member, 88-year-old Grace Cooke, started the audition by singing a slow version of "What the World Needs Now". They all then removed their coats, revealing ostentatious jewellery (described as 'bling' by one the judges) and hoodies and began to sing the Beasties track.[9] They received four yes votes and survived through the live semi-finals.

In the semi-finals The Zimmers again performed a pop song; LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It". They did not get to the finals.



  1. ^ "Power To The People: The Great Granny Chart Invasion". BBC News. 2 May 2007. Retrieved 28 May 2007.
  2. ^ Baker, Luke (30 May 2007). "British geriatrics take to the rock star life". Reuters.
  3. ^ a b "Rock elders aim for chart success". BBC News. 13 April 2007. Retrieved 18 April 2007.
  4. ^ "Talkin' 'bout OUR generation". London: Daily Mail. 12 April 2007. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  5. ^ Samuels, Tim (9 October 2008). "What The Zimmers did next". Retrieved 10 October 2008.
  6. ^ "Geriatric rockers live long enough to release long-play". 23 September 2008. Retrieved 23 September 2008.
  7. ^ "Power to the People – a three-part series of mischievous documentaries". BBC News. 8 May 2007. Retrieved 29 May 2007.
  8. ^ "Beastie Boys return to US top 20 - BBC News". Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Jack Beers' Life Inspires A Documentary - Thaindian News". 16 December 2009. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  11. ^ Doc Rock. "2011 January to June". The Dead Rock Stars Club. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  12. ^ Meyrem Hussein. "Islington OAP band The Zimmers voted off Britain's Got Talent". Islington Gazette. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ "Ask Geriatric". Ask Geriatric. 23 March 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  15. ^ Dennis Skillicorn obituary
  16. ^ "The Zimmers Winifred Warburton dies, aged 101 | Nottingham Post". 6 January 2009. Archived from the original on 18 September 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2016.