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Documentary chronicles ‘Rock Camp,’ a life-defining experience for ABQ mayor’s elder brother

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

Richie Faulkner of Judas Priest; Scott Keller, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller’s brother; Rob Halford of Judas Priest; and Lachlan Keller, Scott’s son, in a scene from “Rock Camp.” (Courtesy of Rock Camp)

Heavy metal music is the soundtrack to Scott Keller’s life.

Keller – elder brother of Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller – has been influenced by the musical genre for the majority of his life.

The spark happened in 1982. Soon after, he picked up the guitar.

“Part of the appeal of heavy metal to me was that it was something my parents didn’t listen to,” Keller says. “I remember listening to 94 Rock in 1982, and there was a clip from (Judas Priest’s) ‘You’ve Got Another Thing Coming’ on the radio. I was in my brother’s room, and there is a moment where the drums hit. I felt the energy, and it changed my life.”

Keller would see his first show – Iron Maiden – at Tingley Coliseum.

“I had a chaperone,” he says. “That was my first concert, and I’ve never looked back.”

Keller, a business consultant, is one of four people chronicled in the documentary “Rock Camp,” available on demand beginning Tuesday.

The film chronicles the rise of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp,” founded by David Fishof in 1996.

The camp brings together musicians from all walks of life for an unforgettable experience with legendary rock stars. These musicians teach, inspire and jam with the campers over four days, concluding with a live performance at a famed venue.

Keller has been attending the camps for years.

His first camp was with Judas Priest – which fulfilled a childhood dream.

At one camp, he met Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine.

“In the film, Dave plays my guitar,” Keller says. “What they didn’t show is he started playing and we were rocking out to ‘Peace Sells.’ Every experience has been life-changing for me.”

Scott Keller, with guitar, and Dave Mustaine of Megadeth, front right, teaching campers at Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp on April 21, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Courtesy of Rock Camp)

Being the elder brother, Keller influenced his younger sibling.

“Tim is known as the Metal Mayor, and I like to think I had a hand in that,” Keller says. “We were never in the same school at the same time. When Tim was in high school, he started to listen to heavy metal. We definitely began to bond more over that. He used to sneak into my room and listen to the metal albums while I wasn’t there. I knew about it and never told him anything. I thought it was cool.”

It wasn’t until the brothers were adults that they attended concerts together – something they still try to do once a year.

“We were at a Slayer concert in Las Vegas years ago,” he recalls. “Tim was already thinking about running for mayor. We were in the pit, thrashing around, and Tim turns to me and says, ‘I’m doing it. I’m going for mayor.’ I was an eyewitness to this major moment in his life.”

Keller, now living in Seal Beach, California, says the genre has brought him and his sons closer together.

The film chronicles how Keller has taken his sons, Lachlan and Jackson, to the camps.

“I took Lachlan to his first when he was 12, and he was scared,” Keller says. “Our experience at rock camp was so bonding and exhilarating that we started a cover band.”

Jackson was born with special needs, and Keller stepped away from music for some time to care for his son – even moving back to Albuquerque for seven years and living with his parents.

“Jackson wasn’t going to be part of the film, but the producers were around the day he told me he wanted to play bass,” Keller says. “I’ve been able to play with both of them in camp. Now my youngest is interested in guitar, just like his dad.”

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