Bass player looks to help aspiring stars
He has spent most of his life on stage, performing in big arenas and intimate clubs, alongside famous rock bands like Duran Duran, Talking Heads, and Cheap Trick.
Since his heyday during the 1980s as the bass player for the White Animals, the touring has slowed down for Steve Boyd, but his passion for music has not.
Boyd, who moved to University Park last year, recently finished constructing a studio in his detached garage, and hopes to work behind the scenes as a mentor and producer to young musicians looking to get their start.
“I’ve done the band thing, and I’ve done songwriting things,” Boyd said. “That’s something I really hope to share with people.”
He’s still doing the band thing and the songwriting thing with the White Animals, which developed a sizable following among college students during the early 1980s with their mix of punk and pop-inspired sounds.
The Nashville-based quartet had a couple of videos in major rotation during the early days of MTV, and toured as many as 250 days a year.
The founder and lead singer of the band is Kevin Gray, a Highland Park High School graduate who was finishing his residency at Vanderbilt Hospital in 1980 when he was looking for a bass player and met Boyd, who was 19 at the time, through a mutual friend.
“Steve is a brilliant musician. He’s incredibly talented,” Gray said. “He’s written some wonderful songs on his own. People could learn a lot from him about how to craft a song.”
Boyd and Gray went on to become the primary singers and songwriters for the band.
After releasing six albums, the band called it quits in 1987, and Boyd worked on various side projects. The White Animals gathered for a reunion show in 1999, and still play about 10 shows each year, still with the same lineup, mostly in the southeastern United States.
“Since that time, we’ve been sporadically playing. We’ve been getting back on the road,” Boyd said. “I still enjoy playing, just being able to get on stage in front of fans and relive what we used to do as younger men. But it’s never going to be full-time for me again.”
That’s part of Boyd’s motivation for the studio, which has its walls peppered with concert posters from his glory days.
He hopes it can be a creative space not only for him, but also for the next generation of rock stars.
“I can clearly remember as a kid, first playing the guitar and hearing how beautiful that sound was. That’s something I would like to bring to people and impart that wisdom,” Boyd said. “I hope to find some good, talented people. I want it to be fun for them to work with me, and fun for me to work with them.”
This story appears in the July edition of Park Cities People, on stands now.