Keanu Reeves plays guitarist in Dogstar
by Carol Teegardin
Looks like Keanu Reeves is a rock 'n' roll star. He strums bass in the grange-friendly band Dog Star, which is trying to ignite record label interest by touring the country.
Yes, that Keanu Reeves - action hero of the film ''Speed'' who recently played the title role in a Canadian production of ''Hamlet'' - will be on stage at the Ritz in Seville tonight. The show is sold out except for a few tickets that will go on sale when the doors open at 8 p.m.
''Everyone - lots of women - have been calling us about the band and Keanu. I expect long lines, there'll be at least an hour or two wait to get in,'' says Ritz spokesman Rand Michael.
You wonder how movie actor Reeves snagged a role as a musician? Reeves and drummer Rob Mailhouse met by chance in a supermarket when Reeves asked about the Washington Capitals jersey Mailhouse was wearing. Reeves and Mailhouse started playing hockey together. One thing led to another and they formed a band with Gregg Miller (guitar, vocals) and Bret Domrose (guitar, vocals).
They started out doing Grateful Dead covers, then began writing their own songs and a sort of post-punk '80s sound with a raw garage edge emerged.
But music is not yet Dogstar's main attraction.
''I want to see Keanu because he's a great actor. I could watch his movies over and over again. He's a hunk and I want to, um, see his other talents,'' says Jennifer Steensma, a 26-year-old college student from Rochester who already has her ticket to see Dogstar.
Only time will tell if Reeves is any more than a visual in Dogstar and if he has the commitment, much less the time to sign a long-term recording contract.
In the meantime, it might be fun to watch him roll around the stage with his bass guitar and catch him doing a solo riff or two.
Dogstar appears at 11:30 p.m. at the Ritz, 17580 Frazho, Roseville, after two warm-up acts -- Katie's Dimples and Mickey Strange & the Kings of Pain. Tickets are $14. Call 1-810-778-8150 anytime.