Keanu's a thrash fan
by Steve O'Baugh
IF America's experience is any guide, when movie heartthrob Keanu Reeves tours Australia with his band Dogstar, promoters can expect teenage hysteria not seen since Beatlemania and Monkeemania.
Since Dogstar began touring 12 months ago, they have played to sellout venues across America - despite being panned by nearly every critic in the business. But as one devoted fan said outside a Dogstar concert recently: "No one comes to listen to the music; they come to see Keanu Reeves!'
The tall, dark star of Speed, who plays bass in the quartet, describes their music as "folkthrash or middle-of-the-road punk". Reeves, who leaves the singing to his three mates, insists he takes a fairly unassuming role in the band but holds his end of a tight and energetic rhythm section.
"Apart from my acting, the band is my greatest joy in life," Reeves said in a recent interview. "We don't pretend to be the Beatles, but if our music brings happiness to other people, all the better." Despite the 29-year-old's enthusiasm, most music critics have suggested that Reeves should stick to acting.
Yet Reeves and his band remain one of the biggest drawcards in the music business and will be the support band for Bon Jovi on their Australian tour. To hordes of squealing girl fans, it seems the band's main attraction, pure and simple, is to be in the same room as their idol.
"I think he disproved the law that no one's perfect, 'cause he is," says 18-yearold Tricia Arnsdorf, another of the screaming army of teenage girls who saw Dogstar's latest gig.
When he's away from the cameras, Reeves says he prefers the quiet life.
And he says it's his music that helps him keep his balance. "I don't hang around with anybody famous," says the handsome star, who saved Sandra Bullock from a rampaging LA city bus in Speed. "In fact, I don't hang around much at all, except with a few friends and the guys in my band, where I'm just trying to play the bass."
* The Sunday Telegraph is giving one reader and a friend the chance to go backstage to meet the world's most desirable bass player and other members of Dogstar after their gig on November 18.