The “Death metal grandma”, Inge Ginsberg, has died at the age of 99. Ginsberg became infamous when she discovered heavy music in her 90s and formed a metal band called INGE & THE TRITONE KINGS.
INGE & THE TRITONE KINGS released a video for “Totenköpften” (Laugh at Death), a song which references Ginsberg’s escape from the Holocaust during World War II. The Austrian-born Inge didn’t just escape to a Swiss refugee camp as the war broke out, but she also helped pass messages between Italian resistance fighters and the American O.S.S. (which later became the CIA).
Ginsberg and her husband, Otto Kollmann, would move to Hollywood after the war ended and made a career writing songs for artists like Nat King Cole, Doris Day and Dean Martin.
A New York Times documentary based on Inge and her discovery and embracing of the metal genre came out in 2018.
“In American, and even European culture, old people are excluded from life….Nobody really cares what you have to say,” Ginsberg said. “My concept of Heaven and Hell is that in the moment of death you realize your life was full and good – that’s Heaven. And if you think, ‘Oh, I should have done this or that,’ I think that’s Hell.”
Ginsberg’s bandmate Pedro da Silva is the one who revealed to the New York Times that the frontwoman had passed away due to heart failure.
She will be greatly missed.