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Albuquerque, NM Mayor Tim Keller Knows How to Dress for a Bill Signing

The mayor chose a heavy metal sweater as his bill signing attire.

Happy new year, Resurgent readers!

I had it in my head that my first piece for 2019 would be Trump-free (unless I woke up to something that was too hot to ignore).

I’m thrilled to say that a story out of Albuquerque, New Mexico is the first thing I stumbled across today, and it’s like it was meant to be! It’s tailor-made for me!

This particular piece deals with Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and legislation he recently signed that grants paid parental leave for city workers.

So Mayor Keller is a Democrat. I don’t live in New Mexico, and I’ve got no dog in the hunt, as far as city employees or their paid parental leave.

With that in mind, why did this story leap out at me?

It would be Mayor Keller’s chosen attire for the event.

In this case, it was a lovely Pantera sweater, gifted to him from fellow Albuquerque resident, Rex Brown.

For those as cool as me and Keller, you know (A) who Pantera is, and (B) that Rex Brown is the bassist for the heavy metal band.

And for folks that didn’t know, I’m a longtime heavy metal fan. I don’t hit the shows these days, the way I used to, but I still love the music.

I’m a Pantera fan, just like Keller, so seeing this story really pleased me.

Keller, a longtime fan of metal music, said in an interview with The New York Times last year that “Albuquerque has always been pretty strong on the heavy metal front.”

“What can I say, this is something I’ve been into for a long time,” he added.

Good for you, dude.

Pantera, for those getting a metal education right now, are no longer an active band. The last Pantera studio album was “Reinventing the Steel,” released in March 2000. They last played together live in Japan, in August 2001.

Tensions over the erratic behavior of vocalist, Phil Anselmo, drove an irreparable chasm between he and the other band members.

While Anselmo took on numerous side projects, such as Superjoint Ritual and Down, brothers Vinnie Paul (drummer) and “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott (guitarist) realized there would be no mending of fences. They officially closed the door to a reunion with Anselmo in 2003. They went on to form a band called Damageplan, with their first album, “New Found Power” being released in February 2004.

Tragically, on December 8, 2004, a minute into their set at the Alrosa Villa, in Columbus, Ohio, a crazed man by the name of Nathan Gale entered from a side door of the club, took to the stage, and shot Darrell at point-blank range.

A crew member managed to wrestle Vinnie away from the stage, as he struggled to get to his fallen brother.

At least one fan, and several club employees and security personnel were either killed or injured, before a Columbus police officer responded and managed to kill the shooter.

To this day, there’s no clear motive for Gale’s actions, but friends have suggested that he was schizophrenic and that he claimed Pantera had stolen songs he’d written.

Equally tragic was the unexpected death of Vinnie Paul in June 2018, of coronary artery disease.

There have been talks over the years of a Pantera reunion, but Vinnie always resisted. His resentment towards Anselmo was too deep, and to him, a reunion of the band he began with his younger brother just didn’t feel right.

Now, with both brothers gone, those of us who loved the band will have to continue on with our memories, in the albums, the videos, the concerts we’ve attended, and yes, whenever possible, with the occasional ugly Pantera Christmas sweater.

Good on Mayor Keller for keeping the metal alive.

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