Great Grandma, 90, Becomes One of Britain’s Oldest Drummers Thanks to Simply Red Star

Byvu lita

Mar 14, 2024

A 90-year-old great-grandmother has rolled back the years to become one of Britain’s oldest female drummers, thanks to a founder member of Simply Red.

Barbara McInnis says rocking out keeps her feeling young, with the help of tutor Chris Joyce, 66, who was in the group from 1985 to 1991.

The retired headteacher was not a fan of Simply Red when she first booked lessons six months ago.

But she has since been influenced by Chris – whose work features on the band’s hit singles Holding Back the Years and If You Don’t Know Me By Now.

Widowed great-grandmother-of-10 Barbara said: “It’s helped me roll back the years. It’s given me a new lease of life, a new interest, which I think is good at my age. It has brought genuine joy back into my life, and removed a few wrinkles.

Barbara said her drumming lessons have given her a new lease of life

Barbara said her drumming lessons have given her a new lease of life (Image: William Lailey SWNS)

“I was brought up on classical music. I was more interested in Messiah, and a bit of Fauré, and choral society work. I wasn’t really interested in pop stuff.”

Barbara, from Morecambe, Lancs, took up drumming after dabbling with percussion instruments in her local ukulele band. Now her repertoire spans rock and pop classics from Chuck Berry to The Beatles.

Chris, from Manchester, said: “She’s a great student. At her age, it’s inspiring for me and it’s inspiring for a lot of people that she’s so enthusiastic and has so much energy.”

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