23 Apr 2018

Tim Keller, Heavy Metal Mayor


Photo by Heath McCarty

A recent story in the New York Times profiles Tim Keller (MBA 2005), the mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and a major heavy metal fan. The piece details a scene from earlier this year, when Keller—clad in a black T-shirt and pumping his fist in the air—got up on stage at the El Rey Theatre during a sold-out Anthrax concert and grabbed the mic.

Tim Keller, the mayor of this city of 560,000 still struggling to emerge from a long economic slump, left some in the audience with jaws agape when he shouted above the shredding of Scott Ian, the Anthrax guitarist, “I believe in the power of metal!”

Mr. Keller, 40, a Democrat who took office in December, is making his enthusiastic embrace of heavy metal a signature feature of his administration, introducing metal bands onstage at gritty downtown venues, publicly extolling the music of his favorite band, Sepultura of Brazil, even fondly reminiscing about how he once got booted from an Ozzy Osbourne concert after jumping off a wall and into the audience at Tingley Coliseum.

Born and raised in Albuquerque, Keller attended Catholic schools and studied art history at Notre Dame. The Times article details his previous stints as state senator and state auditor before running for mayor, and cites Keller’s belief in heavy metal music for its capacity to bring people from varied backgrounds together—particularly in the Southwest. “Despite a reputation for metal skewing Anglo, it doesn’t in New Mexico and never has,” Keller is quoted saying.

Read more and listen to the mayor’s Spotify playlist

Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 2005, Section A
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