Speakers Profile - Patrick McMahon

The Superman of Entertainment

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Collectively, Patrick McMahon's achievements in the music industry are as remarkable as they are varied. From winning a talent quest grand final in Western Australia, TVW 7's "Stars Of The Future", at the tender age of 16, to performing his own brand of Aussie country rock at the New York New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in the summer of 2004, and all the milestones in between, Patrick says his life in show business continues to be an amazing series of incredible and defining moments.

Born and raised on a sheep farm in the small town of Nannup, Western Australia, Patrick's career in show business began at an early age, where as a young boy he became well known in the local district for strumming his guitar and singing while riding along on his horse "Chips". The locals referred to him as their own "Wild Colonial Boy". It wasn't long before Patrick started touring his show and learning his trade, singing and song writing while performing at the cattle stations and mining camps along the West Australian coast.

As a teenager, Patrick listened to an amazing cross section of music that would later influence his songwriting. He listened to Willie Nelson, Pink Floyd, Slim Dusty, Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker, Neil Diamond, Gordon Lightfoot, John Denver, Kenny Rogers, The Band and of course his greatest influence by far -- Bob Dylan.

At age 17 he hosted his own teen music show "Hey Jude", for TVW 7 in Western Australia. And his appearances on Australian TV continued when he moved to the east coast where, along with Jane Scali, he co-hosted the Rolf Harris Show for ABC TV, which aired nationally. Over the years, he has continued his special guest appearances on such shows as The Don Lane Show, Blankety Blanks, Hey Hey It's Saturday, In Melbourne Tonight, Good Morning Australia and others.

Patrick was only 25 when he was invited to Los Angeles by Lelan Rogers, brother of Kenny Rogers and CEO of the Kenny Rogers Organisation, to expand his education in music. It was the first of many trips to the USA for Patrick. He spent six months at Lion's Share Recording Studios honing his songwriting and studio skills. And by the kind invitation of producer Quincy Jones, Patrick was able to sit in on the recording and mixing sessions of "We Are The World."

Building on the American experience, Patrick went to Canada for two years. He arrived with little more than a suitcase and a guitar and within 6 weeks had hooked up with a west coast band and had become a huge success touring the live rock circuit. Patrick had also invited his long time friend, renowned Sydney guitarist Joseph Calderazzo, to join him. "Together, we just had so much fun playing great music and loving the spectacular countryside of British Columbia. And how lucky could two Aussie boys be? Our sponsor was Carling O'Keefe, Canadian distributor of Foster's Lager!" Patrick, Joseph and the band also played many high profile events including three weeks in Toronto at the Canadian National Exhibition where they performed to large crowds every night in the prestigious Fosters Lager Arena.

Patrick's 'life on the road', has given him an outstanding level of understanding and compassion for humanity. He says "the years of travel and meeting people from all walks of life is one of the greatest gifts of my career. Farmers, movie stars, waitresses, Prime Ministers, truck drivers, sportsmen, businessmen, Mums and Dads, they all have a story, a perspective on life that is uniquely theirs. I love to connect with people and their situation. My songwriting material will go on forever. I can honestly say there are more songs in my lifetime of travel than I could ever possibly write."

Patrick writes from the heart in a beautifully accessible way. His songs are about life, it's myriad experiences and the people in it. He says "for me, once I have my subject, the creative process is completely introspective. I like to find that sweet spot balancing the melody and the story." His ability to communicate with honesty is outstanding and his gift of course, is telling and selling a story.

During a trip to New York in 1991 for the New Music Seminar, Patrick's song "Same Old Feeling" from his album "Let It Burn" made it onto local radio playlists due to it's poignancy in questioning the concept of going to war. In 2001 his 5 track CD "Ain't That Alright", received wide acclaim not only from radio show hosts, but also from his contemporaries. It received extensive airplay on city and country radio stations around Australia, with the title track from the CD making it to the Qantas In-flight Country Program playlist.

A valued and privileged experience for Patrick has been the chance to open for and perform on the same stage as such respected and seasoned performers as Sir Cliff Richard, Dionne Warwick, Joan Rivers and Charley Pride.

Invited by his good friend, South Australian Event Producer Don Moir, Patrick was given the honour of opening Olympic football at Hindmarsh Stadium for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. His stellar performance to a live audience of 17,000 and a viewing audience of millions, helped to create a positively electric atmosphere in the stadium.

Well known and highly respected Sixty Minutes journalist Liam Bartlett, has been a Patrick McMahon fan for many years. When Liam was with ABC Radio in Perth, Patrick appeared on his "Live and Dangerous" show and played his song "Travellin' Dreams" live on air. It was the song's first radio appearance. Liam said "Patrick, our listeners love the song, mate. They're calling in from all over the state! Tell us about the song." "Thanks Liam, I wrote it about my beautiful old Jeep Wagoneer in America. She's a real beauty, a classic piece of American motoring history! And it's about some of the adventures my wife Cherylanne and I have had with our gorgeous old car." "Well it sure is amazing how you can conjure up images for us, of highway life, and campfires and wide open spaces." "Well, the Jack Kerouac book "On The Road" had a profound influence on me. And there are references to it in the song. I mean, Cherylanne and I travelled Route 66 in our Wagoneer! Its perfect songwriting material." " Is this song part of an album Patrick?" Yep, sure is, and "Travellin' Dreams" is the title track. I'm working on it now with my producer Andrew Legg."

Patrick says his greatest joy still, is sharing his experiences, his love, his lyrics and his music, with what is, according to him, the most important ingredient of his career -- his audience. Patrick and his band continue to tour throughout Australia, Asia, USA and Canada.

Renowned for his extraordinary ability to motivate any crowd, he is, without exception, Australia's most popular and successful corporate entertainer. Patrick's energy and enthusiasm for life is totally infectious.

He is Australia's ultimate 'motivational singer' -- The Superman of Entertainment!