Fans Turn Out for a Glimpse of 'Keanu!'
by Miguel Bustillo
Oh my gosh, it's Keanu!
Sure, most of the girls milling outside the Ventura Theatre on Monday afternoon had admittedly never heard a note of Keanu Reeves' music with his new band, Dogstar. But who was actually thinking about music? He's Keanu Reeves!
"I don't care what his music sounds like," said Rene Miller of Thousand Oaks, attending the show on her 18th birthday. "I'll learn to like it."
The studly 29-year-old cinema heartthrob, star of "Speed" and "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure," was playing bass in Ventura on Monday night with Dogstar--an outfit whose musical bent was described as "folk-thrash" by the few who had actually heard it.
And dozens of girls and women were going nuts at the mere mention of his peculiar name.
"I think he disproved the law that no one is perfect, 'cause he is," said 18-year-old Tricia Arnsdorf of Fillmore, one of dozens of star-struck fans who had arrived two hours before the show.
When Reeves calmly stepped out from his tour bus for a few seconds, dozens of Keanuphiles--many of them well past their teens--shouted giddily and rushed forward.
Reeves signed a few autographs before quickly entering a car and driving around the side of the theater.
"Was that Keanu? Where did he go?" said Alice, a 56-year-old woman who drove from Los Angeles to see Reeves. She declined to give her last name. She was too embarrassed.
"I've seen all of his films," she said. "What is it, 24? It's his charisma."
By show time, the line for the sold-out show had wrapped around Chestnut Street onto Santa Clara Street.
Katie Alosi drove 12 hours from Arcata in Northern California to see Reeves, but she claimed it was his film work, not his boyish good looks, that brought her all the way to Ventura.
Although she had only heard a snippet of his music on MTV, she said an artist of his caliber could surely create some decent music.
"He has very special screen presence," said the 26-year-old student. "He was very good in 'A Walk in the Clouds.'"
Ana Chavez of Oxnard made no such pretensions. She wasn't expecting an exceptional artistic performance--she just wanted to stare at Reeves for a while.
"He's very good looking, very nice body," the 16-year-old Chavez said.
Beckie Jollie was not much of a Keanu Reeves fan, but her friend, Mia, ailing with cancer, is. Jollie, 26, drove to the show from Costa Mesa, hoping to give Reeves a personal letter from her friend.
"She's a big Keanu fan, but she's too sick to get around," Jollie said, the purple envelope in hand. "I told her I would get this to him somehow."
Reeves sold out three straight shows in Orange County, so 19-year-old Danielle Orrick had no recourse but to drive to Ventura on Monday.
"It was just great to see him up close and in person," Orrick said. "He was so cool."