My guest in this episode has two names! In his day to day life he is Noury Bernard-Hasan , or in true rock star style simply ‘Noury’ to anyone who knows him. However, for the last 15+ years he has also been a semi-professional Blues musician and he performs under the name of ‘Son Jack Jr’.
Born in 1962, shortly after his parents emigrated to England from India, Noury grew up around West Kensington and the Hammersmith Road. His love of music started at an early age when he was given his first guitar by Manny Elias who went on to be the drummer with Tears for Fears in their heyday.
Noury was not a fan of Progressive Rock or Disco and in 1973 the film American Graffiti resulted in in a dalliance with playing Rock & Roll over the next couple of years. But all that changed on his 15th Birthday (7/02/77) when he went to The Nashville Room and saw a band he’d never heard of – The Jam! The world was never the same for Noury after that night and subsequently he was in a band who released an album and were well known on ‘the London Scene’.
As is so often the case though the band eventually petered out and in the early 80’s, encouraged by his girlfriend at the time, Noury enrolled on a programming course convincing himself this was another creative outlet. Cobol and writing Capex systems for Hertz didn’t initially deliver against that brief but it did lead to a successful 30-year career with Microsoft and then Amazon from which he recently retired at the end of last year.
Whilst working for Microsoft he moved to Seattle in 1997 which reignited his interest in music and resulted in a massive life change. In the city of grunge Noury developed an interest and then a deep passion for the Blues which kick-started his semi pro career as Son Jack Jr. His passion for the Blues comes across loud and clear in this episode and I for one learnt a lot. It’s also great to hear him talk how he got to support Charlie Musselwhite and Chuck Berry amongst others.
Noury moved back to the UK in the summer of 2020 with his wife and their 17-year-old daughter and in December of last year he announced his retirement from corporate life. Which of course leaves a lot more time for music. A new band is being put together as we speak, and I can’t wait to see them live.
I hope you enjoy our conversation half as much as I did.
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