Rifftides reader John Bolger writes with a suggestion:
Somebody has posted the legendary interview between Paul Desmond and Bird on YouTube. I had a seen transcript of this before but never heard the interview. Rare and wonderful! Thought you might like to know – might be worth piece in Rifftides.
It might, indeed. In the spring of 1954, Desmond and Charlie Parker were guests on John McLellan’s radio program on WHDH, Boston. In two previous shows, McLellan hadn’t been able to get much out of Parker. This time, Desmond gently hijacked the interview and Bird opened up to him. In a letter to his friend Jimmy Lyons, quoted in Take Five: The Public and Private Lives of Paul Desmond, Desmond wrote, “I don’t know whether it was professional courtesy or the half-pint of bourbon, but old Charlie talked up a storm.”
For more on the friendship between Parker and Desmond, and Desmond’s determination not to be a junior Birdman, see Take Five the book.