Why am I writing this book? So much has been written about Joe's life in the music world but nobody has written about the other side of Joe. From a strange beginning we became good friends and I like to think that I, together with my family, helped him get over the depressing years that followed his Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour. Joe became intertwined with my family, first with Sheila, my first wife, then my girlfriend, Sue and latterly Pam, my second wife plus becoming a celebrity at the Mid Surrey Squash Club. You will read how Joe became so special to us. So here goes.
Born 2nd May 1936 to a loving couple Alice & Jim who already had daughter Gladys age 8 and son Reg age 6 who spent their whole lives in Fulham SW London.
It was a happy childhood even when war broke out when he was 3 and spent a couple of years evacuated down to Worplesdon just 30 miles away. This was certainly different from the confined space of a terrace road in Fulham where the road was a major playground. In those days there were only a few cars parked but now cars are even double-parked.
Schooling was pretty basic, failed the 11 plus, got another chance at 13 to go to a better school and ended at the prestigiously named Balham & Tooting College of Commerce. The name was the only thing that was prestigious but he did manage to acquire 7 O levels, which were enough to get him articles to study for a chartered accountant. After 5 years hard study, while working as an articled clerk, he qualified in 1959 the same year that he married Sheila with whom he had three children Mark 1962, Michael 1966 and daughter Nicola 1968 all are happily married with children of their own.
After 21 years Sheila decided there was more to life and left for pastures anew, they have remained friends ever since. Then he had a most enjoyable 2 years when Sue, a junior typist in the office, came to live with him and the three kids. Sue was only 21 and deciding she wanted children, left. He had been very friendly with neighbour Pam and was so lucky when they got together in 1982 and together with her two children, Tracy & David and they all became one big happy family. Unfortunately the big C took Pam in July 2013 and Bernard was on his own.
It was during this time that he decided to write this book about his friendship with Joe and got in touch with many friends who had been around during those days and this included Sue who he had not seen for 33 years. By this time she had married had three grown up sons but when she accepted his invite for lunch at the RAC Club in Epsom the old love light bloomed and now they are together.
After qualifying Bernard spent 9 years as group accountant for a property company before accepting a friend's invite to become a partner in the chartered accountants firm, Nabarro, based in central London. Commuting got too much so he bought a Honda 400 and for 3 year motor biked to town. In winter this was too much so he decided to move offices locally to Surbiton. Reaching the ripe old age of 54 he sold the practice to his junior partners and has little since except pandering to the family especially his 14 grandchildren.