Jamming on his electric guitar on stage at a Patchogue bar, Ray Mantovani and his bandmates looked and sounded every bit like certified rock stars.
“Doctor, doctor, give me the news, I’ve got a bad case of lovin’ you,” his bandmate Scott Hilton belted, singing the words to the Robert Palmer hit.
It was a fitting song for the group — “Side FX” as in “side effects” of medication — whose members, including Mantovani, a pulmonologist and Hilton, an internist, work at Southampton and Huntington hospitals.
“Side FX” was the winner of five groups which performed for about 400 people at the battle-of-the-bands competition, called “Docs Who Rock,” Sunday at the 89 North Music Venue in downtown Patchogue.
In its second year, the event — the vision of a patient advocate, nurse and doctor at Stony Brook University Hospital — raised $8,000 for programming at its Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, trouncing last year’s $2,500 total.
Maggie Knight, a Stony Brook nurse on the bone marrow floor who helped organize the event, said the money raised will fund electronics, entertainment and events for the patients, many of whom are being treated with chemotherapy for leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma or other blood disorders.
Funds raised by the event will go toward one of the hospital’s most popular programs for those seeking a bone marrow transplant — “date night,” where the patients can invite spouses and children to visit and are served their favorite meals.
“The nurses were pooling all of our money together and so it started to get expensive, so we figured, we better have a fundraiser,” Knight said.
Nurses at the event took swabs from 40 people, who will be entered into the national bone marrow donor registry in hopes of a match for someone seeking a transplant.
It wasn’t difficult to find the doctors to compete, said Knight.
“There are tons of doctors with bands...They’re really competitive. They love to do this.”
Linda Bily, a patient advocate at Stony Brook who also organized the event, said the patients appreciated their efforts.
“It means so much to the patients, because they’re there for three weeks to three months and it’s a really long time to stare at the walls,” said Bily. “The patients, they made cards to say, ‘we appreciate you caring about us.’”
Dee Myers, a respiratory therapist at Southampton and female lead vocal for “Side FX,” started the band with Mantovani in 2011.
Mantovani, the pulmonologist at Southampton, has been playing the electric guitar since he was 12. By day, he treats patients with lung conditions such as emphysema.
“It’s always been a passion of mine,” he said of being a musician. “I’d much rather get paid to do this, except I gotta go to work tomorrow morning. Obviously, this doesn’t pay the bills.”
Among those swaying to the music in the crowd, was Cheryl Coye, a state auditor from Shirley who came with her friend who’s a nurse. Coye said she had not been expecting such great performances from the stethoscope-touting set.
“It’s wonderful that the doctors are giving their time,” she said. “I had a great time. I was really more surprised at how good they were. I was like, ‘Ok, this could be bad.’ I was really surprised.”