"It's a matter of waiting to see what comes my way.
If there's an opportunity to continue with music
I'll be grabbing it with both hands."
Henderson, a builder, expected to walk away with nothing. "There is a small bit of disappointment but I can honestly say we were just so amazed that we got to the stage we did," he said. Henderson was quick to praise the efforts of his 17-year-old son. "He has just handled himself so well. He was 16 when he started this competition and every time I see him on TV and say that's my boy." Taylor was also overcome with emotion. "I'm very happy for my dad, I'm over the moon."
Cameron said the chance to sing on the hallowed turf of the MCG on that day in September would be nerve-racking. "I get terrified just singing here ... so that's going to be way too scary. I hope I can do an acoustic version, that's all I can say. I'm very uncomfortable without my guitar," he said.
Henderson was last night uncertain of what might come on the back of his success in the prime-time talent show. "It's a matter of waiting to see what comes my way. If there's an opportunity to continue with music I'll be grabbing it with both hands."
|CAM HENDERSON – BIOGRAPHY||| Print ||
If you need proof that it really is never too late to follow your dream, just think about Cam Henderson. The 43 year-old builder and runner-up in this year’s “Australia’s Got Talent” television series, is as surprised as anyone that he’s been able to realise his dream. Born in Geelong and raised on a thousand acres in Ceres, western Victoria, Cam’s family were cattle farmers. Their tools of trade were horses and dirt bikes, certainly not guitars, but the music was always there.
“I remember being in the car with my Dad as a young kid, listening to songs and singing along with him. Then, the first time I heard James Taylor sing, I thought to myself ‘Man, I want to sing and play like that!”
The desire to “sing & play like that” culminated in Cam getting his first guitar at age thirteen and once a mate showed him a few chords to get started, “I haven’t been able to put it down. I practiced non-stop, often sitting on the edge of the bath, because the acoustics were so good”. It was probably those acoustics that also inspired young Cam to sing along with his guitar playing. “Once I was singing a Neil Young song in bedroom, and when I came out with my guitar, I saw a family member who’d been listening and said, “Was that you singing? I thought it was the CD!” That’s when I started to think that maybe I could sing.”
Cam’s early attempts at song writing came next. “It’s funny, when I wrote my first songs I thought they were amazing and I was so proud of them but when I sing them now I don’t like them much. One of my first songs that I still like is ‘How Blind’. I was about 18 when I wrote that.”
In those days, there were a few attempts to utilise his talent. “I began singing at a restaurant on weekends to earn a bit of money. It wasn’t that great because people were talking and eating and at the end of a song, I was lucky if there was maybe one person clapping. I also sang in church and at a couple of my friends weddings, but that was about it”.
That was about it for the music in Cam’s life, and a “normal” career as a builder and making a family took priority over the music which just became his hobby & release. “I am always flat out with my business so I didn’t really have much time for music, I would honestly just pick up the guitar after a hard day’s work and have a strum in the kitchen. I find it to be a means of therapy or an escape from the stress of things in life.
”And that’s how it was until Seven’s Australia’s Got Talent 2010. “My wife saw the ad on TV and thought that my son, Taylor and I should give it a shot. When we were lining up, I actually went and sat back down with the rest of my family and left Tay to do his own thing. I was worried I’d ruin it for him - ‘cause he’s young and I’m not. At the last minute my family and Taylor talked me into it, so I went up and registered with him. Turned out to be a really good move because the experience was great fun and brought us even closer together.”
The rest of the AGT story was played out on TVs across Australia - the moving father/son duets, the reluctant separation of Cam & Taylor, the emotive, original songs and the amazing performances in the Grand Final. “The experience on Australia’s Got Talent was amazing. It was the first time I heard my songs with the backing music I’d always heard in my head, so this was a huge motivation to pursue my music. It rekindled my love for music and I realised that doing it everyday as a career was now option for me.”
So how does it feel to be recording and releasing a debut album?
“This is such a surreal experience. Being able to work with professional musicians, playing my music is a dream come true. I hope that my songs will be able to speak to people in some way or another and that people like it.” Cam’s music has already touched millions of Australians who clearly connect with his songs, heartfelt lyrics, natural performance and genuine Aussie character. “I have had heaps of letters and emails asking me to record an album because they have enjoyed my music which is great encouragement. I had one man write to me and tell me that he and his son had had a huge falling out and hadn’t spoken in years. He said that after watching the relationship that my son and I share, he had decided to call his son to work things out. That really touched me.”
And what about the music that has touched Cam?
“James Taylor was my greatest influence. Even as a ‘young fella’, I felt his lyrics spoke to me. I could really feel what he was singing about. His whole feel and tunes and tempo’s I loved too. He’s so natural and real - which is what I wanted to be like if I had a chance to do music as a career. AIso, really loved Elvis Presley as a kid. I love the bluesy feel he has in some of his records and the Gospel songs too.”
So what comes next for Cam Henderson?
“Australia’s Got Talent has given me the chance to do what I love. I think I forgot how much I love music, but I never thought that singing, let alone singing my own songs was a possibility for me as a lifestyle. Especially now, I thought my time had passed but I suppose it’s never too late. It means another chance if it goes any good, and I will be able to spend more time with my family and doing what I love.”
Is there a message to other Australians who’d like to have a go but hold back for one reason or another?
“Just go for it. You never know what will come of having a shot. I never expected it to have come this far. I’m having my album released soon, that still doesn’t even sound real but it’s been a great ride -meeting new people and seeing new places. There’s no harm in doing what you love. Just don’t forget where you came from.”
Written by Bridey Henderson & Chris Bent
Cam Henderson’s debut album “Angel Without Wings” features
And is released Saturday 2nd October on Lifestyle Music through Sony Music Australia.