Life advice from Alan Doyle

Life advice from Alan Doyle
Photo by Brian Ricks

“I’ve always been a bit of a story teller like everybody from Petty Harbour – certainly all the Doyles from Petty Harbour.” Even so, Alan Thomas Doyle never dreamed he’d be an author until he met with the folks at Random House Canada. Now, this fall, the world will read Alan Doyle’s story in Where I Belong: Small Town to Great Big Sea.

He describes it as “a rowdy journey through the cod tongues, altars, girls and guitars of my young life …”

It reads like the man himself – charming and funny, down to earth, eager to entertain and naturally entertaining. Doyle weaves stories of his formative years into a tapestry of great adventure, lessons learned, principals instilled and loads of laughs. You’ll discover delightful characters amidst colourful settings and not one mention of destiny. No, Alan attributes his many achievements to something else entirely…

“If my folks hadn’t insisted that I learn to play music, and worked like dogs to make sure our house was happy, then none of this would have happened. My success is a direct result of the hard work and awesome parenting of my mom and dad.”

That vision of work as a labour of love, a philosophy inherited from his parents, is an ethic Alan now extends throughout his life and into his work. From writing hit songs for his own band, to co-writing tunes with artists like country music’s Dean Brody or “Inner Ninja” hitmaker David Myles and more, and most assuredly through his many acting roles as well – it’s all a joy. “I love when Russell (Crowe) or Allan (Hawco) ask me to be in their shows – I get to do a little piece of someone else’s big thing, that’s a thrill – and with co-writing I feel the same way. I just love hearing what other people would do in the moment. Musically, they (David and Dean) have almost nothing in common but they’re two guys who are in love with the opportunity to get to play for a living – that’s home sweet home for me.”

When he’s not touring the globe, home for Alan is St. John’s, N.L. His book will be released October 14, 2014. Tune in to CBC this Fall as he reprises his role as Wolf for the final season of Republic of Doyle and in 2015 he’ll go to work on the movie Strike, a musical film about the Winnipeg General Strike.

A numbers game…
ONE best piece of life advice?
Be good. (That’ll make even more sense once you read Where I Belong.)

TWO for the road: cross country car trip – who’s your co-pilot?
My wife Joanne.

THREE for the show: your choice triple bill – what’s playing?
The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Gladiator (2000), The Big Lebowski (1998).

FOUR seasons: which one is your favourite?
Fall always! It’s a new beginning. People finish their summer haze and everyone gets back to doing what they do for a living. I love September. It’s my favourite month of the year by a long stretch – it’s cooler and it’s the month in N.L. when the weather is the nicest.

FIVE-alarm fire: five things you would take?
The only thing I’m super-sentimental about is my main Great Big Sea guitar, the one that has the little stickman drawing on it – but that one’s never in my house, it’s always on the road. So I’d take my Citation (first guitar), my Harmony four-string tenor guitar because you can’t find them anymore, my big Gibson SJ-200 because they don’t make ’em like that anymore, my Deering banjo and my Gibson mandolin. Wow – it’s all instruments… the only things I really hold dear are instruments.

Stephanie Beaumont
About Stephanie Beaumont

Stephanie Beaumont is the president, CEO & creative director of Sea and be Scene, an entertainment-based magazine-style website designed to celebrate the four Atlantic provinces. She’s also the executive producer & host of SEA AND BE SCENE TV broadcasting on Bell Aliant FibreOP’s Community ONE. Visit and follow her on Twitter @seaandbescene

4 Comments to “Life advice from Alan Doyle”

  1. Avatar Linda Markowitz // September 4, 2014 at 3:56 pm // Reply

    Can’t wait to read it!! Have been a Great Big Sea and Alan Doyle fan for years!

  2. Avatar Katherine Stevens // September 4, 2014 at 7:17 pm // Reply

    I am so looking forward to Alan’s book. I have had mine ordered for months. Very glad to here the weather is great in NFLD in September.
    Flying into St John’s on the 11th. Can’t wait for that either.

  3. Avatar Dixie Pansky // September 4, 2014 at 9:08 pm // Reply

    I love how this article of Alan Doyle’s made it into Atlantic Business. He himself is Smart Sophisticated Provocative Powerful. Had the pleasure of seeing GBS at an outdoor concert in Banff, Alberta and at the Jube in Calgary, Alan is damn impressive. One of my favorite guys in the world today. Love his style of writing, his intellect and how he views his world, and the world at large. Can’t wait for the book. What a man.

  4. Avatar Dixie Pansky // September 4, 2014 at 9:09 pm // Reply

    PS. Hats off to the journalist for this entry. Awesome job.

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