FB: Meanwhile back in Boston, your stock has risen being with Bu for three years. And then as a teacher you were back in the saddle here at Berklee? BP: I came back I was offered a full time job which they allowed me to come back, to have a semblance of middle class lifestyle. I guess that's what I was going for, I don't know. FB: You were doing better than minimum wage now. BP: Yeah, oh yeah. I was doing the $5 an hour again like when I started out. I had some perks: I was a teacher, so I got some better deals and then Berklee had their strike which changed the whole way things were formatted. Better conditions for the faculty, so Berklee stepped into the modern version of Berklee at that point. FB: Did you have any pleasing exchanges with Larry Berk or Bob Share, or any of the administrative cats? BP: Well, when I was a student here I knew both guys. I mean Bob Share was I forgot [FB: some kind of dean.] something like that, but he basically ran the school. Two people ran the school. Well three: Dick Bobbitt [?], Bob Share, and Larry Berk. Larry was always kinda funny because every year I would begin teaching even before I went out on the road. Larry would ask me, "Oh, Bill, you're about ready to graduate, aren’t you?" So every year I would wait for that chance meeting in the hallway as I'm about to go teach a class, "Oh, Bill, you're graduating soon aren't you?" “Mr. Berk, I've been working here for 3 years." Bob I knew, I knew him as the guy who did the recordings, used to have the recording band at Berklee and he was the engineer for all those things. I knew him as an administrator; I had to deal with him as a student and as a teacher too trying to figure out what the hell I would get paid here. Which wasn't very much. FB: What saxophone students are you proudest of? BP: Oh, man. Let's see: Javon Jackson, ???, Mark Gross. There's a lot of guys whose names escape me now who even just as individuals -- Jaleel Shaw -- a lot of kids who I can't remember their names who I enjoyed as much, if not more so, than the guys that got names. FB: That's why I asked you that question. BP: Well, because I just saw them I was some guys who were less talented I was able to impart information so they really went from nothing to something. These other guys were so talented that I didn't have that much to do with it, I had a small amount to do with their development but sometimes more so. And in some cases they just became really nice people. They were nice people to begin with. I wish I could remember their names. But all the years I can’t begin to imagine how many students I've taught. Those guys...The famous guys I remembered because they're in front of me. [FB: Sure.] There were a lot of students that just as people just as individuals -- oh, man I -- some of 'em I really do know but when you ask me a question like that it's really hard for me to think because there's so many. [FB: That's cool.] It's really, even some of the students now and in the past who I didn't have direct contact with might have been their ensemble teacher. Like I got Christian Scott, who's a kid I really really love. He was a nice young man; he was just like James. A lot of the Southern guys, he was a Southern guy. Real ?? he was old school Southern, man. He spoke to people he called you Mr. Pierce. That used to be weird for me; I'd say, “No, man, just call me Bill.” "Yes Mr. Pierce." Real Southern guy, like the way I was raised: you spoke to elders or you spoke to grown ups in that manner. It's always kinda cute or funny when you still hear people talk like that. Just a lot of students. I've had a lot of students that I'm really fond of. FB: A little respect does go a long way. BP: Well just the acknowledgement of it. I've got a lot of wonderful kids here at Berklee. Some of ‘em I haven't had any relationship with other than just chatting with ‘em. They seem like such nice people. And sometimes I hear a concert in the hall, I see some kids I notice walkin’ around. Doin’ what they do, and I'm just like, “Wow. this kid's really talented.” Really got something there. Some kids I meet once, even woodwind students, I see them the first semester and then I don't really have a much real communication with them except occasional administrative stuff. You know they're all wonderful; there's really, I say this specifically about young black men but it relates to all kids all students here at this college. My point was when I did a record with Javon, I made the comment that working with people like Javon, it's really refreshing to be around young men and women that are doing something positive with their lives. I use it to refer to specifically black young men because of all the negative shit that goes around. All the stereotypes, but it's the same for all kids who are here at this school and all kids from all the countries, and people who I had predisposed ideas about culturally. I know this guy's gonna be a pain in the ass 'cause he's from this place or that place. And you just, you meet kids and just break... totally different from what you assumed. Even the kid you meet the first time. This kid is being a jerk; I don't like this kid. You know you think this and then you meet him and get to know him and realize he's a wonderful person. So the thing about education, I feel more like educator over the years than I did when I first started is that you meet these really wonderful people from different cultures, from different backgrounds from all over the world and more than likely more than not, they're really some of the nicest people you would ever wanted. Some of em are so talented and so gifted that it's really remarkable that this thing still continues the way it’s always done. FB: Bill, let's face it: we're in music because it's so uplifting and beautiful. It makes you mellow more than hard-edged and mean. BP: Yes it is. Well, what I think about when I go home and I see all of my friends, I was kinda younger, 'cause they were graduating from high school a couple of years younger or earlier. I see all of these people they're worn out and broke down look like old people. And when I look at the people and the teachers around here at Berklee, they're all so vibrant. They're all so young for the most part. I think it really has to do with being involved with the arts. FB: Absolutely. BP: It really makes you young. It's like Art Blakey this guy was 70 years old man he was still producing kids. He enjoyed life. I mean to the every fullest extent. I mean there's just something about music there's something about the arts. FB: You check the median age of conductors, a lot of ‘em are working into their 80s. BP: Yeah. FB: You know all that contact with music is invigorating. That's why we're always giving something back. BP: And the young people that you sort of exchange ideas. You have these relationships with these situations. It really is meaningful. Sometimes I think it's better for us to do this than for them. FB: It will give us another 10 or 15 years Bill. It'll add to our life. BP: I think so. FB: Bill, this has been great BP: Thank you. FB: I think we're coming pretty close to the end of the tape. And I've enjoyed this enormously. Thanks for participating in this series. People can go to the library take it out and see what we said. BP: Thank you very much. Cool. FB: Thanks, Bill.