Jon Mikl Thor, born in Vancouver, BC, started out as a bodybuilder in the 1970s and moved into the theatrical world of heavy metal. His shows featured feats of strength to the adoration of screaming fans. But as he tells it, taking the God of Thunder as your stage name doesn’t grant you immunity from trouble…
“There are many dangerous parts about being Thor in New York. One time I did a TV show and had the make-up on and long blonde hair. My wife likes Bojangles chicken, right? So I went to a Bojangles in a sort of shady area of New York City and then I was calling her, ‘Hey, I have some Bojangles chicken!’
“Suddenly this guy punches me in the back and I pretty much dropped the phone. There’s these two guys saying, ‘Hey pretty boy, what’re you doin’ here?’ I had a partial Thor outfit on still.
“I say, you know, ‘What do you mean?’ These guys start ripping my brand new shirt that [my wife] Cherry bought for me and punching me, and I was getting pissed! I started punching these guys, and they were on crack, so they start coming back up like those blow-up clowns. I was getting exhausted so I started running and they chased me. I had the Bojangles chicken in my arm the whole time.
“I was getting deeper into a darker area, and my shirt was totally ripped and there was blood all over the place. This one cab driver pulled up, but took off when he saw these guys chasing me. And I was thinking, ‘Oh no, I’m gonna get attacked with cinder blocks by crackheads. They’re gonna kill me.’
“And suddenly this other cab came up and saw what was happening. He opened his door and I jumped in, but the guys chasing me jumped on top of the cab! He took off and they finally slid off. This guy saved my life.
“When I got back home with the Bojangles chicken in arm, my wife saíd, ‘Ah, you let those girls [in the audience] rip your shirt again!’”
Jon Mikl Thor lives in Vancouver, BC and Seattle, WA.
This article originally appeared in Lögberg-Heimskringla, December 16, 2005