Introducing the Joe Anthony Project

The Joe Anthony Project seeks to acquire, preserve, and present the historical memories, artifacts, and memorabilia of San Antonio’s hard rock and heavy metal community from the 1960s to 2015.

From the beginning, finding a dedicated home for this material has been an a priority of the project.  The University of Texas at San Antonio – Institute of Texan Cultures has generously agreed to hold, maintain, and preserve the digital and physical collections this project hopes to procure.  Here they will be held indefinitely, open for research to all interested parties, and preserved according to archival standards.

While many of the physical manifestations of this music community have deteriorated or disappeared over the years, a strong sense of pride and passion remains.  An active Facebook page facilitates an online community, while compilations of music playlists on YouTube ensure the music will never die.  Building upon these existing resources, the project hopes to organize and deepen the understanding of San Antonio’s unique role in the hard rock and heavy metal world.

The Joe Anthony Project seeks to accumulate oral histories from participants broadly speaking – musicians, members of the media, and fans.  These will be recorded and transcribed, with their final contents posted online for widespread and easy access.  Collections of artifacts and memorabilia, from shows, radio stations, promotional events, will be also scanned and uploaded as available images.  Relevant documents must be replicated and a definitive timeline or chronology established.  Attention to concert venues and the history of musical places is another priority of the project.

Cumulatively over time, the project will become a repository that not only preserves the experience of the individual but that of the community as a whole, placing it in a broader geographical, historical, and cultural context.

A further long term goal of the project will be to raise awareness of San Antonio’s contributions to hard rock and heavy metal to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.  The Hall of Fame has small sections dedicated to hard rock and heavy metal, as well as the history of rock ‘n’ roll radio.  San Antonio is absent from any of those discussions and such a rectification should be an eventual priority of the project.

If you have any questions or wish to participate in this project please do not hesitate to reach out and connect.

19 thoughts on “Introducing the Joe Anthony Project”

  1. How can I become a supporter of this great project? Although I’m from Germany, I enjoyed some time in Rockin’ S.A. in 1987, listening to (and taping!) Joe Anthony’s show on 99.5 KISS, and I’m still loving it. Just dug out my old tapes, and after listening to them again and again, I’d really like to contribute to this great project.

    So, if there’s a possibility to donate or anything else, just contact me, I’d me more than happy and proud to help you out in any way.


    1. Don – Greetings and thank you for your message. The project is still in its early stages but I am very happy to learn of you and your willingness to help. Perhaps we should communicate directly via email? My email is listed on the contact page:

      I look forward to speaking with you.

      -Gregory Peek

    2. Lou Roney and Joe Anthony Yanunzzi were both great friends and Joe Anthony a family friend, my father Ray Maldonado played as his house band at his famous Mr. Pizza’s in the Nw side of San Antonio, where I could tell you stories about the rock stars I had the privilege to party with. At 16 Joe let me Be guest Dj in his radio show, what a wonderful experience to have The Godfather of rock n roll in your life! Miss you much! The Godfather of Rock and Roll rocks the world!!!!!!🌎

  2. During normal business hours, the administrative employees were there to handle contest winners etc. But after hours, the doors were always unlocked with no security whatsoever. Either Joe Anthony, Lou Roney or Donnie Mills would be there.
    I have a few stories from the early days at 1100 N Main. I’ll never forget the words “KMAC” in all cap wooden letters on the left one of the double doors, and “KISS” on the right door, that led directly to the broadcast studio.
    One evening I snuck up the Godfather as he was introducing the next album. He was very startled once he turned and realized someone was just standing there. I didn’t want to interrupt him while on the air, ya know?
    We got a good laugh from it. He showed me pictures of the Runaways who has performed at Randy’s Rodeo recently.
    I had won an autographed album, the first from Starz. I still have it. It was also signed “Rock on, it’s reel with KMAC and KISS”.
    I have a few other prizes and many memories. Lots of concert tickets stubs, as well.
    They would take the time to talk to me for hours on the phone.
    It was very cool. I was 13/14 in 1976 when all that began for me.
    Joe Anthony was the best thing for music in San Antone… Remember that? “Rock and roll San Antone” has everyone forgotten that was, in my opinion, his most famous quote.

  3. This is a wonderful project. I grew up in the sixties and seventies and I fondly remember tuning in to KMAC during the early days since it came on AM radio. I was a teenager then and radio surfing and came across Joe Anthony playing the full side of Pink Floyd’s Echoes from the Meddle album. Later on in life when I joined the military and was stationed in Incirlik, Turkey, my wife would ship albums of Triumph, Riot, Moxy, Budgie, Riot, Saxon, Yesterday and Today, Rush, etc., and my friends asked where I got all that good rock and I proudly stated that San Antonio is known as the heavy metal capital of the world due to a certain DJ named Joe Anthony. They were simply amazed and we rocked Turkey loud and proud. I still have some of those albums. Long live the GODFATHER!

  4. The Godfather of Rock, that really brings back memories…
    I grew up in Cotulla, and I started listening to 99.5 KISS-FM as early as 1978-79, of course my parents did NOT approve of my choice of music at the time. 😛 I was an avid listener until the format changed in 1991.
    I went into the military in 1992, and when I returned to the South Texas area in 1996, 99.5 was no longer an Album Rock station, Joe Anthony was gone, and KISS-FM rarely played the music that I had grown to love. I remember going to see Def Leopard, Queens Ryche, Iron Maiden, Saxon, and so many others, in concerts and local venues in San Antonio. A pretty long trip from Cotulla, just to hope to glimpse one of the many DJs that I and my friends had idolized in our youth.
    So many bands and shows, the opportunities to meet some of the performers, in fact I actually met Aldo Nova once at one of his shows, things like that really made Joe Anthony and KISS-FM legends in my mind and so many others from San Antonio and beyond.
    I think that it would be awesome for Joe Anthony, 99.5 KISS-FM, and San Antonio to be accurately remembered as one of the greatest Rock-N-Roll cities that helped usurer in a new era of music and entertainment.
    To this day, one of my favorite rock songs is a song I’ve only ever heard played on 99.5, and by Joe Anthony, that’s “Battles” by the band AXE. I truly hope this project proves fruitful and cements the legends of Joe Anthony and 99.5 KISS-FM into the hearts and minds of all music lovers, Rockers, Head-bangers, and everyone in between for many years to come.
    Long Live the Godfather!

    1. Yea, you came back the year joe passed. Sorry. I was working at Bjorn’s at the time. I’ll never forget that Saturday morning. I knew it was over and I just sat there watching people drive by with their car headlights on as a tribute to Joe. The Hemisphere Arena came down shortly after that, and the Sunken Gardens just slowly stopped having shows. You get used to something and it catches you off guard when it suddenly isn’t there. San Antonio Had a decade and a half of being the Rock Capitol of the world and it was like a train ride out of control. Then the train stopped. I always miss the days when there was a Music Store on every corner and Sound Warehouse on San Pedro had bands every couple months for meet and greets. I met Cheap Trick, Saxon, Accept, Twisted Sister, and a few others. The last band I remember doing a public signing was Dream Theater shortly after Joe passed. That was the last one and fitting as that was the last great band Joe turned us on to.
      I got to re live some of that energy in Montreal and LA but now even those place are just becoming a Walmart mentality like all the other cookie cutter cities. That’s why this project is so important. For awhile we were it. LA’s bastard stepchild with the golden microphone that had joe as the mouth piece. No rules and even if there were, Joe wasn’t interested. That’s rock and roll. Not all these pussies who follow the cooperate playlist and spout their propaganda. Joe was going to pop a top and play Garfield whether you liked it or not. How about the ten in a row for the guy who called in to say Joe played too much Judas Priest?
      Long live The Godfather. PS Battles is a classic Joe tune for sure.

  5. Are there reels, tapes, anything of the shows? I used to tape battle of the bands on weekends and wish I could find the shows.
    Just hoping there is some actual episodes out there somewhere.

  6. Man, this is so great! Back in the 80’s we were it as far as heavy metal and hard rock, as well as all the killer local bands that were as good as the national bands for the most part. Heyoka, Winterkat, Prezence, Force and a ton of others. I was lucky enough to know some of the guys from Winterkat and just had a blast back in the day. Joe Anthony was the reason for the season and was the power generator that was getting everything on the airwaves. Bands like Rush, Triumph, Garfield and so many others had their careers jumpstarted by The Godfather. We were such a draw for bands that I remember once fanning out my concert tickets for my High School girlfriend like a full deck of cards. It was Saxon, Cheap Trick, Scorpions, Van Halen, and a few others that I could remember if I hadn’t been hitching a ride on the weed train. After moving to LA in 89, I would talk to guitar players who who knew, or knew of Joe. Ron Keel was one, and Michael Schenker.
    I’m so glad this project is coming along and even though I miss those days and know they will never return, I’m very grateful that the memory is going onto a hard drive.
    My best memory is Joe playing Saxon, “The Eagle Has Landed” over the air for my 18th birthday party. I know someone out there somewhere has that on tape from July 1984.
    Nothing else to say except “thanks” Joe for making my youth as fun and crazy as it could possibly get. Rock and Roll.

  7. I remember listening to KMAC back before there was KISS. If I remember KMAC only played rock from 12:15pm to 2pm each day. I guess that was about 1971? That was the only station you could find hard rock – everything else was pop. Then they expanded from 12pm to 6pm. Then KISS came online. 24hr rock.

  8. The Godfather of rock and roll… he also owed “” at the corner of Culebra and bandera .. Great food! Some groups would hang out there after shows… one day I walked into the kmac studios w/ our 45 in hand.. believe it or not.. joe played “ I’m ready” by “ the straw dogs” on the air ! I was also guitarist for “ heyoka” @ 10 yrs… I’d say… he was “ the one” responsible for the rock scene as it turned out… Joe… we love yas! Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts ..

    1. Freekin Heyoka!
      I moved here in ’82 from Selah Washington and Joe played this and some other local bands and couldn’t believe the local music was in league with all the stuff I’d heard on the radio up there. I guess I got here just a the peak of the scene for the most part.
      I got to hang out with Mike a few times when he was with Winterkat, ( RIP), and will never forget how fun it was here back then.
      Maybe another DJ like Joe Anthony will rise from the ashes one day and fix what has been broken.
      Man those were the daze!

  9. Joe Anthony MADE San Antonio, “The Heavy Metal Capital of the World”along w/Lou Roney. By the time I came into the fold at 99.5 KISS in the early 80’s it was a learning experience to work alongside Joe. His knowledge, experience, passion for music (all kinds not just “heavy metal”) you were truly watching a master paint on his musical canvas. Those that worked w/him will always have that connection to him. Not just music but a friendship as well. Joe was also a restaurateur. There was one station party I remember (surprisingly) where I guarantee you a good time was had by all! Every accolade that includes Joe Anthony, The Godfather, is well deserved! With much Love & Respect…Debbie Alcocer, “The Electric Lady”

  10. Hey Debbie!
    Yep I miss those days when all of you were on the air here in San Antonio. One of your relative’s, Your Uncle I think, came into the Shop I worked at a few years back and said you were in Corpus now.
    I miss it all-Radio, Sound Warehouse, San Pedro had a Music Store of some kind on every block. I guess all things must pass.
    Hard to believe we lost Joe 30 years ago. I was driving to my Job at Bjorn’s on Broadway that Saturday am when I heard. I still have the tribute cassette tapes I made that day from 96 rock I think.

    Long Live Joe Anthony. SA is not the same.

    PS I remember you judges a few Halloween contests back in the day. I think I came dressed as the “Lit” guy.

  11. I think the song I remember the most from Joe Anthony’s show was “Private Affair” by Garfield. Not a particularly heavy or hard rock song, but for some reason it’s still with me almost 40 years later. What a great time we used to have listening to KISS late at night in the 80’s. R.I.P. Joe, you are not forgotten.

  12. webmaster – I just did a post and no line breaks at all – even though I took care of format it. Please put a few line breaks to break up paragraphs where needed – and dont approve this post.

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