Gerry “Rocky” Seader and his Rollers are gearing up for their 20th anniversary celebration in The Villages and are heading to Las Vegas.
Way back in 1999 was the first time that the oldies band known as Rocky and the Rollers greased The Villages. The group will celebrate its milestone with a 4 p.m. concert on April 13 at Brownwood Paddock Square.
A huge crowd is expected, “and we’re going to have a lot of special guests,” Seader said. “We really are old rockers.”
Rocky and the Rollers also will headline the South Point Hotel Casino in Las Vegas on Oct 11-13.
“It’s the first time we’re headlining in Vegas and we’re excited,” Seader said.
Traveling is nothing new for the Rollers, as the band is considered one of the best on the oldies circuit and has played all over the world.
“I’ve been playing in bands for 42 years,” Seader said, noting the Rollers have played such major venues as Madison Square Garden in New York. He estimates the band has performed with over 260 musical artists.
“It’s a lot of fun, but it’s always great to get back to The Villages,” said Seader, who eight years ago bought a home in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.
“I’ll never forget our first concert at Spanish Springs; The Villages was a lot smaller back then,” Seader said. “The people here supported us right away. We’ve been playing here ever since.”
National performers are impressed by Rocky and the Rollers.
“Rocky always does his homework,” said Joey Dee, of “Peppermint Twist” fame. “They know all my songs. In fact, they know my songs better than I do.
“Rocky has played with everybody. And everybody respects him and the band because of their talent and hard work.”
Peggy March, best known for her hit “I Will Follow Him,” agreed. She will be appearing with Rocky and the Rollers at “Lady Legends of the ’60s” on April 2 at the Savannah Center. The Chiffons, The Chantels and LaLa Brooks, formerly of the Crystals, are also on the bill.
“I’ve known Rocky since the 1980s,” Peggy March said. “He has musical integrity and high standards. It’s great to have a band like that behind you. I trust Rocky and I know he’s going get the music right.”
“DJ” Al Brady works as an announcer with the Rollers and has known Rocky since the 1980s. That’s when Rocky played in the house band at Little Darlin’s Rock N Roll Palace in Orlando. That was the premier national showcase for oldies acts. And the late Wolfman Jack, who was discovered by Villages founder Harold Schwartz when he owned radio stations along the Mexican border, hosted a nationally televised show from Little Darlin’s.
“Rocky was really the first big (oldies) band to play The Villages,” Brady said. “It was a new thing back then when The Villages was a lot smaller. Rocky and the Rollers and The Villages have grown together.”
One thing that hasn’t changed is Seader’s passion for old-time rock and roll.
“He still loves it and he’s always loved it,” Brady said. “What better place for Rocky and the Rollers than The Villages?”
Tony Violanti is an award-winning journalist and writes for Villages-News.com.