Tea dances to techno: the rise of the older-school DJ


The decks are no longer a place for spring chickens. Superstar DJs are knocking on: Tiesto is 44, Carl Cox is 51 and Pete Tong is 53. These guys should probably be in their shed tinkering with the mower. But in fact, there are even older spinners on the decks.

The 82-year-old Ruth Flowers (pictured), aka Mamy Rock, has been DJing since 2010. Her bulging tour date list takes in Ibiza, Paris and Mallorca.

“I love to build the generational bridge between the young and the old with music,” says the Bristol-based spinner, who – incredibly – spends almost every weekend on the road at clubs while many others her age are knitting or at least slowing down a bit.

In Poland, Wirginia Szmyt, aka DJ Wika, is 75. Szmyt swapped tea dances for techno 13 years ago and spins for Warsaw's OAPs as well as at some of the city's coolest clubs. She recently played on a summer boat party in the Polish capital. Wika's fame has spread beyond the borders of her homeland – thanks to a recent documentary about her, which was shot by photographer and director Piotr Malecki.

But the world's oldest DJ is apparently Ziggy 420 – who passed on some tips to aspiring DJ Paris Hilton, at Miami's Ultra Festival earlier this year. The New Yorker refuses to reveal his real age, joking on Facebook that his birth date is 20 April 1000.

So why swap bridge clubs for dance clubs? “The kids give me so much love, that's why,” says Flowers.

Mamy Rock's new single, “69”, (feat. Riz) is out now