Southampton Hospital’s doctors are rocking out in their free time.
This past summer, Side FX—a band composed mostly of doctors from the hospital—played to a crowd of about 700 at the Green in East Quogue.
The band, which covers every genre of music from Motown and classic rock to current chart-topping hits, has been together for about two years. At the East Quogue concert, Side FX played from a set list that included songs like “Honky Tonk Woman” by The Rolling Stones, “Already Gone” by the Eagles, and “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele.
The group originally formed as a type of “medicine” away from medicine: guitarist Dr. Ray Mantovani’s wife, Sue, was dying of ovarian cancer when the band first started rehearsing together. The couple’s daughter was friends with Dee Myers, a respiratory therapist at the hospital and suggested Mantovani and Myers get together to jam.
Before passing away, Sue asked Myers to keep the band going for her husband. And they have: Myers asked a few other musicians working at the hospital to join the group and Side FX was born.
According to Myers, “The band keeps rocking in her memory.”
Although the band plays gigs mainly outside their workplace, Myers says the group has an dedicated following from the hospital. “We started with what we thought was going to be a small show at 230 Elm Street in Southampton,” said Myers. Over 175 hospital employees showed up to the band’s first concert in Southampton, and the number of attendees has steadily grown. Since then, Side FX has played at Amagansett’s Stephen Talkhouse and Riverhead’s Indian Island Golf Course, among many other local venues.
“The mixing of the staff members is what it’s all about,” Myers added. “There are surgeons dancing with kitchen staff, engineers getting to know folks from medical records. Something magical happens—we become a family.” At the recent concert, the band sold merchandise and raised money for the Southampton Hospital Ellen Hermanson Breast Center. Bob Chaloner, President and CEO of Southampton Hospital, introduced
Despite the band’s popularity, rehearsing has been difficult since most of the band’s members work over 80 hours a week at the hospital. Myers, however, maintains that the hospital is supportive of the band. In reference to finding time to rehearse, Myers said, “The residents’ bosses are either in the band or are very fond of it, so they will allow for a little flexibility.”
Members of Side FX include respiratory therapist Dee Myers on vocals and guitar, Dr. Scott Hilton on vocals, Dr. Ray Mantovani on vocals and guitar, Dr. John Amado on vocals and guitar, Dr. Francis Yoo on bass guitar, Dr. Jason Argiro on saxophone, Dr. Rachel Hughes on keyboard, and Director of Security Steve Ormond on drums.
Side FX’s next performance is scheduled for October 17 at the Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett. For more information and tickets, visit stephentalkhouse.com