‘I joined a cult for 4 years and lost $1m. But maybe, in the end, I won.’ –Desmond Child
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST BREAK AS A SONGWRITER OR PERFORMER?
When I was at school I met a girl called Debbie Wall, who was a singer and a songwriter. I made friends with her and we would go to her house after school drink English tea, eat brown rice and write songs. We had this idea to form a duo called Night Child. I came up with the name Virgil Night for her and I became Desmond Child.
By the time I was 18, we had run away to Woodstock and had just made our first demo when I got a call from a friend of the family who we always called Uncle Joe – this Hungarian guy with a very thick accent – and he said he wanted me to go and meet him in New York. So we drove down, and he told me he was my real father, which kind of turned my world upside down.
He gave me a few hundred dollars, told me to drive down to Florida and said he’d put me through college, which is what happened.
In early 1972, Virgil and I heard there was going to be a music convention on Miami Beach – and we decided to crash it disguised as John and Yoko. I had long hair, granny glasses and a white suit. She wore the big floppy hat, long dark hair and a little black suit.