Musician, Author, Inspirational Speaker
Carl Dixon was at the height of his musical career as the lead singer of the iconic Canadian band The Guess Who, when he was almost destroyed – mentally, physical and financially – in a head on car crash. He was left with a brain injury, assessed as having 75% disability and PTSD. On top of that he could no longer work, his family fell apart and his business advisor left him with a mountain of debt.
Yet with perseverance, Carl survived the accident and went on to rebuild his career and reinvent his life, achieving six-figure success. Today he is back on tour as a solo artist and with his original band Coney Hatch.
Carl’s inspiring story of how he overcame adversity can be applied across business to personal, mental health & worker safety.
More about Carl Dixon:
Carl is a legendary Canadian rock musician who originally hails from Sault Sainte Marie, in Northern Ontario. He was signed to his first international record deal at just 22-years old with his break through band Coney Hatch.
Carl toured North America, opening for Iron Maiden for 40 shows and Judas Priest for 27 shows. He went on to tour with some of the biggest names in North American music. Carl became lead singer of The Guess Who after Burton Cummings left the iconic Canadian band. Carl held that position for eight years until he suffered a head on car accident in Australia. It was 2008 when Carl took leave from The Guess Who to sort out family issues in Australia but the stress took its toll. Distracted and worried while driving at night, Carl was involved in a horrific head on car collision in rural Victoria. He sustained 52 injuries including traumatic brain injury, crushed legs and crushed internal organs. Trapped in the mangled car wreck for one hour and forty-five minutes there seemed little hope.
Remarkably, ten years on, Carl Dixon is walking tall. His rescue by dedicated volunteers and emergency surgeons and staff in Australia is the stuff of legends. His unlikely survival was followed by family and business difficulty. When the dust settled his business was in tatters and he was left with a mountain of debt.
Doggedly Carl returned to doing what he loves: music. His injuries caused him to rethink his approach and Carl became an author and inspirational speaker sharing his survival story. Ten years on from his accident Carl sings better than ever, he’s rebranded his business to six figure success. His book of memoirs was published in 2015. In 2016 he had a triumphant return to The Guess Who as special guest, then he returned to touring as a solo artist and with his original band Coney Hatch to sell out events!
Carl Dixon talks about:
Carl’s story of rebuilding his life and coping with traumatic brain injury is inspiring, remarkable and entertaining as he weaves his story in words and music with a dynamic video backdrop.
- The five pillars of rebuilding
- Survival of the organism
- No illusions
- No fear, no weakness
- Perseverance & mental health
- Collaborate for the future
Carl almost instinctively tailored his message to enhance our key message that zero injuries are achievable. He also showed how a few seconds of not focusing on the right thing can result in a life changing experience. His presentation style is engaging and the emotion of his very personal incident captivated the audience which gave him two standing ovations. If your company needs a powerful message mixed in with world-class music for entertainment, then I believe that Carl Dixon may be your best choice – I highly recommend him.
Carl Dixon was a keynote speaker at our Global TapRoot® Summit. Carl shared his riveting account about his life as a musician who, faced with overcoming catastrophic injuries sustained in an automobile accident, triumphantly returned to music. Carl also rocked our reception with a solo acoustic set that included his original music and well-known classics providing an unforgettable evening of inspiration and entertainment. I highly recommend Carl Dixon for professional keynote speaking engagements. He goes the extra mile, and is passionate about both his music and his message. We look forward to working with him again.
-System Improvements, Inc.
Thank you for inviting me to attend Beyond the Open Door with Carl Dixon. The evening surpassed my expectations and made me glad I had braved the snowstorm to attend. Hearing Carl's story was incredibly moving, and the way Carl was able to incorporate his songs into the conversation made the evening a wonderfully meaningful journey. Having the opportunity to hear Carl's music in an intimate, storytelling setting like Beyond the Open Door has made me come to appreciate Carl's talent in a whole new way. I would recommend Beyond the Open Door to anyone who appreciates good music, an inspirational story, and just an all round great evening of entertainment.
To the utter delight of everyone there, Carl wove his beautiful music seamlessly into his talk, providing a depth of feeling one seldom gets to experience first-hand. I have been working in the field of rehabilitation for the past 33 years, and have been speaking professionally for most of that time. From my perspective as a practitioner-patient-survivor, Carl’s compelling and profound story is engaging, enlightening, and moving. He is well-spoken, intelligent and so very enjoyable to listen to. Carl already knows how to connect with an audience, and his professional grace on-stage is obvious. Carl’s story is one that I believe everyone must hear.
-Northern Lights Canada
Wow, an incredible story!” Your warm and honest delivery of your life before and after the accident, pulled the audience into a very “real” story. You were careful to remind them how important it is to always stay focused without preaching to them. We especially enjoyed the entertaining element of your keynote with the power of song. This was very engaging for the audience! Our attendees were still talking about Carl the next day!
Carl is a passionate speaker that inspired and entertained the audience in his presentations. I have included some excerpts from our delegate evaluations below: “Very powerful message about how a moment of distraction can change your life forever” “Wanting to get back what he may have lost, Mr. Dixon is a real life example of the indomitable human spirit” “Touching, moving, a perfect end to the conference” Carl’s presentation will capture the audience’s attention from many different perspectives as he talks from the perspective of a professional musician, a person and a patient
-Annual Industrial Safety Seminar
Absolutely incredible is Carl’s Story that he shared with hundreds of attendees at the National Utility Training and Safety Education Association (NUTSEA) Annual. Carl’s journey from his youth to world-class rock star, then to the event that changed his life forever. The audience of safety and training professionals listened as Carl delivered an emotion filled message all the while drawing parallels between his personal incident and challenges we face at our workplace. His interactive style was so compelling as he spoke of lack of focus, distractions, teamwork, job briefings and planning. The connection was immediate. Carl displayed his gifts and talents by incorporating songs during the story. Such a passionate and exceptionally gifted speaker! We look forward to working with Carl again in the near future.