Thursday, September 3, 2009

Rock out for the troops with Ridge's best

Tony Ieva is rockin' for our troops

By Meredith Deliso

It would be hard for Tony Ieva to forget the troops.

With a nephew in the Marines currently stationed in Iraq for a second tour, as well as multiple war veterans in his family, including his late brother and father, the Bay Ridge native is very proud of past and current members of the armed forces.

Three years ago, he decided to give back the best way he knew out – a night of rock and roll.

“I would hear so many people say they supported our troops but, I didn’t see anything but protest marches, and demonstrations on TV, so I decided something positive needed to be done,” says Ieva, the drummer for the local band Our Back Pages.

On September 12, the third annual Rockin for our Troops benefit returns, with a night of music and dancing this year at the Leif Erickson Bar in Bay Ridge.

“I learned they are not only a group of owners dedicated to the military, they have a lot in their family,” says Ieva. “It was a perfect fit.”

Local acts on the bill include British Invasion act Windsor Terrors, kicking things off at 3 p.m., followed by the Canny Brothers band, The Ridge, Pill Hill Radio, Our Back Pages, Prodigal Child, and, lastly, The Piranha Brothers.

“I chose a variety of music, from Irish to classic rock. We all know each other, all help each other out,” says Ieva, who, in addition to being the drumming in the Bay Ridge music scene, can also be found on the B1 bus as the driver.

Ieva also hopes to have the either the Fort Hamilton ROTC drill team and the color guard, or the Xavier high school team, at 2:30 p.m. outside Leif Erickson. The Liberty Bells, the USO’s own female act, a nostalgic 1940’s troupe reminiscent of the “Andrews Sisters,” will also be performing that night.

The money raised from the benefit Ieva will be donating to the USO of Metropolitan of New York, a nonprofit organization which sends entertainment to our troops abroad, the Wounded Warrior Project, which raises public awareness and enlists the public’s aid for the needs of the severely injured service men and women, and Operation Gratitude.

“That one’s a little special to me,” says Ieva. “It’s a mother in California who lost her son in Iraq. Instead of being negative and disgracing his name, she decided to start sending care packages to troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. She sends 70,000 packages a month. I especially want to help her out.”

Sounds like a perfect fit.

Rock for our Troops is September 12, starting at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20, which includes food donated by local merchants. Those unable to attend the event who wish to donate, or those who wish to become a sponsor, can contact Tony Ieva by calling 347-668-412, at, or through A full schedule can be found there as well. The Leif Erickson Bar located on 67th St. at Fifth Avenue.


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