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THIS WEEK @RWW - 11/13/02
Boyd Devereaux enjoys life outside of hockey
Boyd Devereaux knows that even Red Wings cannot live by hockey alone. Although playing the sport occupies most of the 23 year old forwards time, his life off the ice is usually as full as his athletic schedule.

Recently, Devereaux talked about his love of music, playing the guitar and what hockey was like for him as a youngster who came from a small town in Canada.

Devereauxs birthplace of Seaforth Ontario is a picturesque city roughly two hours southwest of Toronto known for its agriculture and quiet rural setting. But like so many other towns in Canada, Seaforth is also a place where youth hockey is a staple of the local community.

A small grin broke out on Devereauxs face when he recalled his childhood hockey experience.

Oh it was awesome, said Devereaux. I grew up in a small town and everybody, you know, pretty much all the kids in the town were playing on the team. Saturday morning like hockey it was awesome. Those days were great.

Devereaux found that the more recreational style of hockey he played as a youth was an advantage to his game because he didnt feel any pressure to perform well. Although his team mainly played teams from the other small cities that surrounded Seaforth, he noted that coming from a more rural area didnt necessarily mean that you couldnt be discovered.

A lot of great players would come out of these small towns, recalled Devereaux. But you know, it wasnt that (competitive) mentality at all, it was just playing for fun and I think it was a really great way to play cause you just get to develop.

It was when Devereaux got older and began to advance in his skills as a hockey player that he began to notice the scouts who would attend his games. Around that same period he began to pursue another passion in his life: the guitar.

You know, my dad always played so I was always kind of around it, Devereaux said. I took some lessons like when I was 10 or something, but Ive always been kind of around it. It wasnt until high school that I really got more seriously into it.

Devereaux now has at least four guitars in his collection which includes a Fender Stratocaster, Gibson Les Paul and two acoustics. They suit his varied love of music and allow him the freedom to play with different styles depending on how the mood strikes him.

I have a wide range of tastes, Devereaux said. Sometimes I feel like turning the amps up and sometimes Im into quieter stuff.

Bands like Tool and Sparta are favorites of Devereauxs and have had an influence on the music that he plays. But he also cites lesser known bands like the Icelandic ambient group Sigur R
s as being worthy of his attention.

Devereaux also enjoys going to concerts in the local area and had nothing but good things to say about his show experiences thus far.

Detroit has a great scene right now, Devereaux said. I caught the White Stripes on Aug. 8; that was a great show. Detroits great, theres lots of great bands coming through.

I love St. Andrews, Devereaux added, speaking of Detroits own St. Andrews Hall. I love that place. He also gave one of the citys other well know concert halls high marks. The State Theatre rocks.

Teammate Mathieu Dandenault affirmed Devereauxs love of music even if he doesnt always recognize what he is listening to.

Well, he lives near my place, so sometimes we ride together to the airport. I ask him, Give me something good to listen to. You know, I wont have a clue what it is, and hell just put something on, Dandenault said.

Recently, Devereaux was spotted watching fellow teammate Darren McCarty perform with his band Grinder at St. Andrews Hall. He praised their lead guitarist Billy Reedys riffs, but has never performed with the band himself.

Ive seen a couple Grinder shows but I never got up there, Devereaux said. They are fun shows to watch. Its fun to see Mac do his thing.

Devereaux got to show off his own guitar skills, however, when he traded licks with Detroits own Kid Rock and his band at a private party last June that celebrated the Wings Stanley Cup victory. Devereaux downplayed his own performance at the event but explained what it felt like to be a rock star for a night.

Those guys were really good to a hack like me up there, that was a lot of fun, recalled Devereaux. Theyre really good guys. Theyre good to the guys in the locker room, and we always have a lot of fun. You know, that was one of the best parties ever. The guys had a great time and they were really great to do it, so it was a big thrill. You know, I like jamming, I jam around by myself, but to get up there with accomplished musicians was a lot of fun.

Besides following different music scenes and playing his guitars, Devereaux also talked about his passion for skateboarding. A sport he used to love but had to give up when he began playing professional hockey.

The guys tease me about it but I enjoyed it. I enjoy watching it. I had a lot of fun as a kid with it, but you know, I certainly cant do it anymore or Id get hurt.

Devereaux still keeps up on the skateboarding world by reading skating magazines and watching it on TV. He says that skateboarding has progressed greatly from when he used to do it, and still remembers the fun he used to have skateboarding in Seaforth.

I had a mini half-pipe in my back yard when I was just 17, Devereaux said. I was on that thing everyday.

Besides hockey and skateboarding, Devereaux played soccer and baseball growing up. He is also a football fan, but never really had the chance to play. After attending a recent Detroit Lions game and seeing the little tykes playing football at halftime, he commented that youth football didnt exist where he grew up.

It was really fun to see the little kids play, Devereaux said. I would have liked to have tried that as a youngster. It would have been a lot of fun.

Outside of the sporting world, Devereaux is also a movie aficionado whose tastes are as wide ranging as his music. If the team is on a road trip, or even at home in Detroit he enjoys catching a good film.

Oh, I like all sorts of movies, Devereaux said. You know, I can be a little bit of a critic, but I try not to be. I enjoy every movie for what it is. I go to the odd art films in Royal Oak, but I like all the blockbusters too.

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