A New Bedford Tale of Two Abreus
Steve Abreu said his son, New Bedford At-Large City Councilor Ian Abreu, "was the only kid in grammar school who knew Andy Warhol and could sing along with 'Penetration' by Iggy and The Stooges."
Ian and his dad, there is no more of a mismatched duo are you likely to find, yet this father-and-son team have a lot more in common than what might appear on the surface.
Steve Abreu, now 65 years old, was a staple on the local music scene in the 1970s and '80s, playing in such bands as Stoney. Ian said John Stone, who owns Knuckle Heads Bar & Grill in New Bedford, was the band's drummer. Ian said one of his father's bands once opened for The Ramones.
Steve Abreu also hosted a program about music on New Bedford Cable Network.
"I always had bands and was into the glam rock thing big in England at the time," he said. He says he was "a punk before punk got fashionable."
Ian Abreu said his dad is "more of a free spirit, all about that T-shirt and jeans."
"Still a flower child," he said.
Abreu, whose position on the city council and role with the One SouthCoast Chamber finds him more often than not sporting a suit and tie, said he gets his "political and professional side" from his mother, Attorney Kellie Martin, an unsuccessful candidate for city council in 1995.
"I've only seen my dad in a suit once, and that was at my wedding," Ian said. "And even for that, he tried to weasel out of it."
Ian said he got his love of music, sports, and pop culture from his father.
"He's the reason I'm a huge Boston sports and classic rock fan," he said.
Steve Abreu, now retired, was a one-time production director for Silmo Syrup, a company launched by Ian's maternal grandfather Manny. Ian said his father is "the last and only person remaining on Planet Earth who knows how to make the (coffee) syrup." Ian is planning to relaunch the long-dormant Silmo company and said his dad will "at the very least be an advisor to the quality control of the syrup production" and probably help with deliveries.
Steve Abreu said he's learned from his son "about being committed to things." He said he is proud of what Ian has accomplished.
"Every time he does something special, I pop a few buttons on my shirt," he said, before adding, "I hope some of my silliness has rubbed off on him."
For all of their differences, there are similarities as well, and that's okay with Steve.
"Who wants to be like everyone else?" he said.