The Grandmother of all Rockers

The point of no return

We all have those moments when we realise we’re getting a bit past it. Mine came about two weeks ago at a gig. The (very very) few other people in the room around my age had all sensibly positioned themselves at the back and were bobbing gently along, while I had foolhardily gone right into the maelstrom up front. My reward for losing myself in the moment; a searing burst of pain that froze my neck stiff. A trapped nerve. Clearly, my days in the mosh pit were not even numbered. They were over.

Rocking granny

So it was with some delight that I read an article in ABC Madrid about Ángeles Rodríguez Hidalgo, a fantastic lady from Vallecas who got into rock music when her grandson took her to a heavy metal concert. From that moment on, she was hooked and soon became a fixture at all the big rock concerts. She was so popular that she ended up with her own “Consultant Grandmother” column in the magazine “Heavy Rock” and was also a regular on a late-night radio show.


Her notoriety was such that Chilean rock band Panzer put a photo of her holding up her fingers in the ‘sign of the horns’ on the front of their record “Toca Madera”. After her death in 1993, her likeness was cast in this pose and mounted on the Boulevard de Vallecas. The money for the statue was raised at a benefit concert held in her honor. Unfortunately, in the intervening years, her fingers have been snapped off by some disrespectful young scallywags and she now appears to be shaking her fist at the cruelty of a forgetful world.

Keen to find out more about the history of Madrid? See another side of the city with one of my unique walking tours.

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