Post by EPIC Sir Tinley on Jul 17, 2020 6:38:09 GMT -8
UK Jewish seniors go viral as they rock iconic album covers during lockdown
Keeping busy despite a ban on visitors, residents of Sydmar Lodge recreate famous images of musical artists such as Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, and Elvis Presley
Martin Steinberg’s jeans-clad tush has recently become nearly as famous as Bruce Springsteen’s, thanks to a new creative project currently going viral on social media.
Steinberg is among residents at a Jewish care home in North London who recently posed for photos inspired by famous record album covers from the 1950s through today. The photos — styled, shot and edited by the home’s activities coordinator Robert Speker — have become a global sensation to the surprise and delight of the unlikely models.
With Sydmar Lodge in pandemic lockdown mode since March 12, Speker has been working harder than ever to keep the residents busy and upbeat. The album cover photoshoots are merely one of many outside-the-box activities the award-winning Speker has come up with during this period in which residents have been unable to receive even family members.
Sydmar Lodge is an independent care home for approximately 50 individuals age 65 and up. People of all backgrounds are welcome to join the Sydmar Lodge community. However, the facility’s observance of Shabbat, Jewish holidays and kosher dietary laws tends to attract mainly Jewish residents.
Speker, 41, is the sole Jewish staff member, and it therefore falls to him to assist residents with Jewish rituals. (This Passover, when residents were not permitted to leave their rooms, he loaded up a cart with wine, matzah, and a seder plate and went from door to door holding a quick mini-seder at each one.)
According to Speker the album cover project is in line with the way he usually interacts with the residents.
“This really isn’t so different from other things we do. I tend to have madcap ideas and like to do things a bit differently. Laughter and fun is central to everything,” Speker said.
Apparently the residents are game. So far, 10 have modeled for the project, and there is a waiting list. One extremely enthusiastic participant named Sheila Solomons has been photographed three times already.
Speker, who has worked at Sydmar Lodge for five and half years, decided to let Solomons pose for Rag’n’Bone Man’s 2017 “Human” album after she had already wielded her cane like a smashed guitar on the cover of The Clash’s “London Calling,” and strummed it as Elvis did his guitar on the cover of his eponymous debut album.
“Sheila requested that we do the Rag’n’Bone Man album because I had taken her to one of his concerts at her request. We even got her a VIP pass to go backstage to meet him. He signed an album cover for Sheila, and we put the image of that cover next to her photo,” Speker explained.
According to Speker, some artists have reached out asking for one of their albums to be included in the project.