Dell McCormack with a photo of her son Michael and his son, George.
Dell McCormack with a photo of her son Michael and his son, George. Georgia Simpson

How to be a rock star: Mum's wise words of advice pay off

THE ONE piece of advice Dell McCormack gave to her son Mick that has always stuck in his mind was, 'You need a real job first.'

As a boy, Mrs McCormack's son Michael loved music, particularly the drums.

She said he would tap away on anything that would make noise - pots and pans and biscuit tins were among his favourites.

When he first floated the idea of becoming a professional musician, it was the aforementioned phrase that set him on a different path.

Now the Managing Director and CEO of energy company APA Group, worth billions of dollars, Michael McCormack is glad he listened to his mum.

Mrs McCormack recalls how Michael's first drumming teacher, Phyllis Maloney, saw something in her son from an early age - and ended up gifting him with her own drum kit when he moved away for boarding school.

It was 25 years before Michael started playing music again, and his first foray back into the game involved an electric drum kit that cost about $100, which he hid away in a supply closet at his office.

He was sprung by a colleague, and word slowly spread around the company.

Soon after that, the APA All Stars was born.

It's been 10 years since the band was formed, and Mrs McCormack saw her son play for the first time last weekend at the Whitsunday Sailing Club.

Prior to the event, Mrs McCormack said she had heard 'great things,' about her son's corporate band, and was very excited to hear them play.

She said she would love to hear the song, 'Goodnight Irene'.

Mrs McCormack has six children - and three of them still live in Proserpine.

She said she is very proud of all her children, and has supported each of them through their own career endeavours.

"As a mother, you journey through it them," she said.

"For Mick it's been a long journey. He's come from very humble beginnings."