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San Antonio D.J.: `There's quality metal, and there's scrap metal'

One wouldn't expect the ``godfather'' of heavy-metal music to be a longtime lover of classical music who also sports an open-collar Mexican wedding shirt. But that is the image Joe Anthony presents at the Villa Italia restaurant, which he runs. When he's not at the restaurant, he's spinning the heavy-metal music of Judas Priest, AC-DC, and similar groups at KISS-FM radio here. This music ``has a lot more to do with Bach and Beethoven than all this violent and sexual stuff the City Council is talking about,'' Mr. Anthony observes.

The council recently passed an ordinance which aims to keep youngsters out of city-owned facilities hosting rock concerts containing obscene language or actions.

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If any one man is responsible for San Antonio's reputation as the capital of heavy metal, it's Anthony. A 28-year veteran of San Antonio radio, he's been playing the music for 15 years. The early heavy-metal rockers ``were excellent bands, but they were new, and they couldn't get air time anywhere else. In that sense what happened to San Antonio could've happened anywhere in the US.''

No doubt a number of city parents wish it had. But Anthony compares today's heavy-metal concerts to his generation going to Frankenstein movies: ``We didn't want to be Frankenstein, but it was a release.''

Sorting through his latest bunch of albums, Anthony says there are some aspects of the concerts that understandably cause concern among parents -- the four-letter words being a personal pet peeve. He says the answer is not an ordinance, but responsibility: on the part of the promoters, performers, radio stations, and the city. ``Why didn't they all come together and discuss their concerns? I was never approached by the city,'' he says.

Anthony says he never plays any of the satanic or overtly violent rock that many parents are worried about. And, contrary to what many people believe, he says, ``A lot of that stuff is fast dying out. It was the old sensationalism to get a little attention. But there's quality metal, and there's scrap metal.''

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