Keanu Reeves’ Strange Connection to David Bowie

The renewed fascination for Keanu Reeves is just another life pointer that we often take good people in pop culture for granted. Just because Reeves hasn’t made headlines about a messy divorce, being arrested, or walking out on a movie, he was probably ignored too long for being a little “boring.”

Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

In a time when we’re looking for reliable heroes from Hollywood, Reeves now fits the bill for many. What makes him continually fascinating is all the paths he’s crossed in his 35-year acting career.

If you think his brushes with icons occurred only on the big screen, you don’t know everything about Reeves. He once had an interesting connection to the late David Bowie thanks to a major side project.

Keanu Reeves always had another interest in music

It’s hard to believe Reeves has been acting since the early ’80s, but acting wasn’t always his main interest. Once he became a successful mainstream actor by the early ’90s, he started a rock band you probably remember hearing about. Dogstar may sound like a very 1990s-era alt-rock band in today’s terms. This became a serious pet music project for him and his musician friends.

Even back then, it might have sounded cliched for an actor to start a rock band since there were decades of history where actors sidelined rock bands or became solo artists. Some of those were very successful if you include iconic names like Rick Nelson, plus more recent stars like Jared Leto, Zooey Deschanel, and Donald Glover.

Whatever you thought of Keanu Reeves’ Dogstar is entirely subjective. After all, they did play some major music festivals. Because Reeves is known for his humility, he’s recently said he wished his band was “better than it was.”

If you can argue they were just an experiment, it allowed Reeves to rub elbows with a few musical legends.

How Reeves connected with David Bowie

As enigmatic as Reeves is sometimes, David Bowie was even more so for years. Despite being mysterious icons, Bowie was as generous and genuine in real life as Reeves is.

You could say it was inevitable they’d find themselves crossing paths eventually. Most likely, it was due to Reeves’ respected acting pedigree that allowed his Dogstar to play some important music gigs. One of those was becoming an opening act during a 1995 David Bowie tour in the U.S.

Some of the celebrity rock bands mentioned above would have given anything to tour with the likes of Bowie. Dogstar also managed to open for Bon Jovi for a time, plus had the band Weezer famously open for them at one time.

In the case of Bowie, many might wonder what the legend saw in Dogstar to give them such a prestigious spotlight.

Bowie was always promoting experimental artists

Maybe Dogstar has to be reanalyzed when the reality hits us Bowie was basically sanctioning the group. Music critics have been saying recently Dogstar might have been more important than Keanu realized, no matter if they were following in the footsteps of the grunge rock scene.

Because Bowie would never hesitate to promote bands that had fierce individualism and innovation, he might have heard something others didn’t in Dogstar. They certainly did influence other grunge bands later, though mostly were influenced by the arrival of Nirvana in 1991.

Maybe Bowie was simply a fan of Reeves who was known for taking adventurous roles in films then. The acting commitment, plus attention to being a serious musician, was Bowie’s own trajectory when younger.

Many details of this relationship are still unknown. Regardless, we have to think maybe Bowie saw Reeves as somewhat of an apprentice. It just adds another layer of fascination to Reeves who continues being Hollywood’s most appealing enigma.