Rocking for the ages

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Music is helping talented Queenstown teenager Timmy Doyle get through a year of family heartbreak. 

The 18-year-old Wakatipu High student is following in the footsteps of his dad Peter, a former professional drummer. 

The Doyles were devastated last July when Peter’s wife Marilyn, who played piano, died of cancer. 

Tragedy struck again in January this year when Timmy’s 19-year-old brother Richard, who blew trumpet for the Kaikorai Valley Brass Band, died while swimming on Australia’s Gold Coast. 

However, the family’s proud musical legacy has seen eldest son Matthew recently graduated with a degree in music from Otago University. 

And multi-instrumentalist Timmy, who sings as well as playing drums and bass guitar, is already a member of three bands. He’ll be on bass with heavy metal group Why We Need Darkness at tomorrow night’s Big Break gig at the Memorial Hall. 

“I’m extremely proud of all my boys,” Dad Peter says. “They’ve been through a tough time over the last few months and they’ve come through it with shining colours. 

“I’m really happy to have got them into something that occupies their minds.” 

Peter, the drummer in well-known 1970s jazz trio Cord 3, now plays in local outfits Remarkable Dixie, the Les Richardson Trio and the Arrowtown Miners Band. 

Timmy recalls being first inspired to play drums at the age of 10 while watching his father perform a solo in public.
“I’m proud to say he’s my dad,” Timmy says. 

But the pair have differing musical interests. 

“I play a lot more different genres than he does,” says Timmy, who loves metal, acou­s­tic rock, classical and jazz.
“Dad started off in a marching band then on to more standard stuff, but I learn absolutely anything.” 

Peter: “Timmy’s got some built-in skills, which is wonderful. He’s got a very good ear and good ideas for
performing music and behind the scenes.” 

The Big Break concert has opened other doors for Timmy. 

He’s studying NCEA Level 3 graphic design and, along with fellow rock wannabe Codie Westphall, 19, he’s been dreaming up and producing promotional material for this year’s gig. 

Timmy plans to set up his own graphic design business after attending Otago Polytechnic.