Ruth Flowers, 68, Who Did Not Go Mad

At 68, Ruth Flowers decided to become a club DJ. By 72, she played several shows a month, performs in the best clubs around the world, and practically lives in airplanes, flying from one corner of the globe to the other.

It all started when Ruth became a widow. It happened so suddenly. Just the day before, Ruth was sufficiently content living out her retirement with her beloved husband in a coastal vacation village in Portugal. But, in one day, her cozy house with a pool, her comfortable life, her daily routine, all of it only reminded her of the loss. Ruth and her husband lived together for 40 years. His death was the collapse of her world. All that awaited her ahead, just like myriads of other widows, was a future of quiet aging, surrounded by memories of the past.

Instead, a few years after her husband’s death, Ruth announced that she wanted to become a club DJ. She was 68. She had zero experience.

Ruth’s friends concluded that sorrow drove her to madness. She had spent the majority of her life teaching children’s singing lessons and studying the works of Charles Dickens.

There was a prologue to Ruth’s mad idea. It started when her grandson invited her to his birthday party… at a night club.

The bouncer gave her one critical glance and said, “I am not sure someone your age belongs at a night club.”

“And I am sure I do,” Ruth replied.

The bouncer shrugged indifferently.

“If I wanted to, I could even be a DJ!” Ruth snapped, hurt by his comment.

In response, the bouncer smirked with such insulting condescension that in that moment, Ruth realized she would either need to become a DJ or lose all self-respect.

Where did the idea that people my age can’t have fun come from, Ruth wondered the following morning. Why is everyone so convinced that we are supposed to sit quietly at home, not dance at night clubs?

Ruth Flowers decided to become a DJ to add a new interest to her life and also to prove that people her age know how to have fun on a level the youth couldn’t even dream of.

Just a few days after the incident with the bouncer, Ruth’s friends (didn’t they think she was crazy?) introduced her to a young French music producer — Aurelien Simon. He was intrigued by her idea and offered his help.

For the next two years, Ruth learned how to lay down tracks and come up with DJ sets — skills to which her voice lessons experience was not very applicable.

Aurelien, meanwhile, unsuccessfully tried to book shows for Mamy Rock (the stage name Ruth and Aurelien came up with) — not a single decent gig. Club managers just laughed: a 70-year old grandma, retired music teacher, who used to lecture on Dickens, turned DJ? No thank you.

Their first serious opportunity, and what seemed like their only chance, came in Cannes. Miraculously, Aurelien managed to add Mamy Rock’s set to the program for one of the film festival’s parties.

Aurelien and Ruth anxiously wondered how the audience would respond to their unusual project. Their nerves calmed immediately after Ruth’s first performance: the crowd was ecstatic. Dozens of requests to book Mamy Rock started flooding his desk from clubs around the world.

And so it began.

Within one year, Ruth became a global celebrity. The young club-going demographic was thrilled about her personality and her musical sets. She is now recognized in the clubs and on the streets; she is often asked for autographs.

In the past two years, Flowers performed over 80 times. She’s played the best clubs in London, Ibiza, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo. She’s circled the world: from America to Japan, Russia to Singapore.

Her performances generally start at midnight and last one hour. For this hour, Ruth holds the attention of a crowd of two to five thousand.

During one special performance at Privilege on Ibiza, one of the biggest clubs in the world, over seven thousand bodies danced to her music.

Ruth insists that the constant traveling doesn’t tire her. She often flies into a city, performs, drinks her mandatory post-show glass of champagne, and flies to the next gig.

“I love airports,” Ruth declares. “I love to walk around them, browse the shops, watch people. The only downside is that there is no time left for my Dickens lectures!”

Despite all the glamour of club life, Ruth has not fallen into any romances. On that subject, she answers with full conviction: “I was very happy with my husband. I don’t want to disturb those memories.”

On May 27, 2014 Ruth Flower died. Her last single “Kissy Kissy” was released on 7 April 2014.