Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I Am Thor - documentary

My old pal Frank Meyer from the Streetwalkin' Cheetahs helped produce this bio-pic of the 70's rock star who went by the name of Thor. If you grew up in the 70's you most likely saw this man's album in the stores, but also most likely never got a chance to see him live, and this film helps to explain the trials and tribulations that ravaged this would-be god's career.

Growing up in the 50's and 60's, Jon Mikal was drawn to rock'n'roll (his 60's garage band, the Ticks, actually sound pretty cool from the brief snippet in the movie) but also, through his brother's influence, he became a professional body builder. From there, his life ran through many unique and crazy adventures - a stint in Vegas, a time as a male stripper - before he decided to seriously pursue heavy metal and signed to a major label. From here the story gets even weirder - kidnapping, porn stars, sabotage, breakdowns, b-movies, retirement, a failed marriage and a return to the stage.

The doc mostly concentrates on this return as it shows the many facets of this time and the many different musicians that has played with Thor, including, at times, Frank and his cohorts in the Cheetahs, Bruce Duff and Dino Everett. There are many small shows - one promoter bemoans the fact that there were 6 paying customers - some house parties with punk bands, and lots of couch surfing and slogging through towns to little interest. But then Thor is invited to play several festivals in the Netherlands, including one dedicated to Thor himself, so the film ends on a high note with the man finally receiving some notoriety.

I was reminded on the Anvil movie here and hopefully this flick with help to re-ignite Thor's fame, as well. Another rock'n'roll "what could have been"!