August 30, 1977
Mike Millard Original Master Tapes via JEMS
The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Volume 21
Recording Gear: AKG 451E Microphones (CK-1 cardioid capsules) > Nakamichi 550 Cassette Recorder
Transfer: Mike Millard Master Cassettes > Yamaha KX-W592 Cassette Deck > Sony R-500 DAT > Analog Master DAT Clone > Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 > Sound Forge Audio Studio 13.0 capture > iZotope RX6 > iZotope Ozone 6 > Audacity > xACT 2.39 > FLAC
01 Say You Love Me
02 Monday Morning
04 Oh Well
06 Oh Daddy
07 Never Going Back Again
09 Over My Head
10 Gold Dust Woman
11 You Make Loving Fun
12 I�m So Afraid
13 Go Your Own Way
14 World Turning
15 Blue Letter
16 The Chain
17 Second Hand News
-Gold Dust Woman: start slightly cut
Intro to the Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Series
Welcome to JEMS� Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone series presenting recordings made by legendary taper Mike Millard, AKA Mike the MICrophone, best known for his masters of Led Zeppelin done in and around Los Angeles circa 1975-77. For further details on how tapes in this series came to be lost and found again, as well as JEMS' history with Mike Millard, please refer to the notes in Vol. One: http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=500680
Until this year, the Lost and Found series presented fresh transfers of previously unavailable first-generation copies made by Mike himself for friends like Stan Gutoski of JEMS, Jim R and Barry G. These sources were upgrades to circulating copies and in most instances marked the only time verified first generation Millard sources had been directly digitized in the torrent era.
That all changed with the discovery of many of Mike Millard�s original master tapes.
Yes, you read that correctly, Mike Millard�s master cassettes, long rumored to be destroyed or lost, have been found. Not all of them, but many, and with them a much more complete picture has emerged of what Millard recorded between his first show in late 1973 and his last in early 1992.
The reason the rediscovery of his master tapes is such a revelation is that we�ve been told for decades they were long gone. Internet myths suggest Millard destroyed his master tapes before taking his own life, an imprudent detail likely concocted based on the assumption that because his master tapes never surfaced and Mike�s mental state was troubled he would do something rash WITH HIS LIFE�S WORK. There�s also a version of the story where Mike�s family dumps the tapes after he dies. Why would they do that?
The truth is Mike�s masters remained in his bedroom for many years after his death in 1994. We know at least a few of Millard�s friends and acquaintances contacted his mother Lia inquiring about the tapes at the time to no avail. But in the early 2000s, longtime Millard friend Rob S was the one she knew and trusted enough to preserve Mike�s work.
Here is Rob�s account of how Millard�s master tapes were saved:
After Mike left us, I visited his mom Lia occasionally, usually around the holidays. She�d talk about the grandkids and show me pictures. She had no one to help out around the house so I did some minor improvements like fixing a kitchen shelf that collapsed and another time a gate that hadn�t worked for years.
After a few visits, I explained to Lia how the tapes were metal, up to 25 years old already and would eventually deteriorate. She agreed to let me take the tapes and make copies. We went into Mike�s bedroom and it was exactly like I remembered it when I was there years before. I loaded up every tape I could find and went to work copying them. Oldest first, some requiring �surgery.�
Months later when I was done copying, I compared what I had copied to a list Mike had compiled of his masters and realized there were many shows missing. I returned the tapes and asked Lia if we could see if there were any more somewhere else in the house. We went into a back bedroom and found a bunch of boxes filled with more original master tapes. I loaded them up, thanked Lia and left. This was the last time I would see her. I copied the rest of the tapes and stored the masters in a cool dry place until late last year when Jim R. reached out. We had known each other through Mike. After speaking with Jim and later BK who had tracked him down, I knew their partnership was the �right way� to get this music out to everyone who wanted it. I�m sure Mike would agree.
Initially, Rob copied a large batch of Millard�s master cassettes to DAT and returned them to the house. The second time around, he was given a large portion of the cassette collection, different from what he had copied to DAT.
The first round of DAT transfers features some of Millard�s most famous recordings of Led Zeppelin, ELP, the Rolling Stones and Jethro Tull. The second traunch of actual cassette masters includes his captures of Yes, Genesis, Peter Gabriel, Rush and Pink Floyd.
As exciting as it is to access Millard�s masters of the shows we know and love, there are many new recordings in both batches from artists like Elton John, Queen, Thin Lizzy, Eric Clapton, The Who, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, Guns N� Roses, Linda Ronstadt, David Bowie, the Moody Blues, U2 and more.
Even with an information gap in the mid �80s (when Millard was surely taping but there is no tape or written evidence as to what he captured), we have confirmed over 290 shows Millard did record. Of those, there are master cassettes for approximately 100 shows, DATs off masters of another 75 and first generation analog copies for 30-35. Collectively, that nearly quadruples the number of extant Millard recordings.
Our original master tapes series began with Pink Floyd, which you can find here:
Fleetwood Mac, The Forum, Inglewood, CA, August 30, 1977
We continue our series with another recording we believe to be previously uncirculated, Fleetwood Mac at the Fabulous Forum 1977, a show that lands pretty damn close to the apex of the Rumours tour. It is the second night of a homecoming stand and the crowd lets the Mac know how excited they are to see them. Mike and Jim were set up in Section B, row 2. The quality of their pull is similar to the recent Queen �77 release, with just a touch of distance back from the PA and a very excited crowd. By any standard it is an excellent recording and certainly one of the best I�ve heard from the �77 tour. Samples provided.
The performance is equally compelling. I always find it interesting to hear what would become a band�s most famous songs performed on the first tour they were played and here the Rumours material sounds fresh, the arrangements not always fully adhering to the album versions with several moments of stretching out or pulling back. All the big songs��Dreams� �Don�t Stop,� �Go Your Own Way,� �The Chain,� �Second Hand News,� �Gold Dust Woman�fare well, though �You Make Loving Fun� is surprisingly reserved.
As the lineage above notes, this was one of the master tapes Rob borrowed and transferred to DAT in the early 2000s. That DAT was digitally ripped earlier this year and provides the source for this torrent.
Here�s what Jim R remembers about the show:
On August 30, 1977 Mike and I attended Fleetwood Mac at The Fabulous Forum. Wow over 42 years ago. We sat Section B Row 2 (2nd row center) on the floor. I pushed Mike in the wheelchair on this, the second of two nights at the Forum.
Due to the huge popularity of the Rumours album, tickets were in extremely high demand. Fleetwood Mac had an upscale demographic, so choice floor seats were very costly. Therefore we attended only the one night. Sitting 2nd row center means we are about 10 feet or so from the "security brutes" positioned along the front of the stage. We could get spotted and busted at any time!!! But second row center does have it's benefits:
Mick Fleetwood's facial expressions are quite entertaining.
John McVie lays down a great bass line.
At times, Lindsey uses a banjo-type method of playing guitar.
Christine is a steady mother figure.
And last but not least there is Stevie. Let�s just say it's hard to take your eyes off her.
Unfortunately all my rolls of slides were damaged somehow, the images got washed out.
Included are a couple photos that we were able to be partially restore.
Second row center was our "Sweet Spot" for sound, as we could pick up the stage monitors as much if not more than the main PA. This result is a typical Millard Forum recording in its excellence.
Thanks to Rob, last week Jim and I had the opportunity to see Mike�s original Nakamichi 550 cassette deck on which he made all his fabulous recordings. I also learned that Rob borrowed Mike�s rig (including the AKG mics) on several occasions in the early �90s to record shows himself. We look forward to sharing some of those tapes along the way as well.
As I examined Millard�s Nak 550, I noticed there were strips of tape on the Record, Pause and Stop/Eject buttons, and each of the tape strips had different textures. Jim and Rob explained that Mike deployed this tactile system so he could reach into his bag hiding the Nak and operate the controls without having to look at the deck. His fingers could tell which button they were on by the texture of the tape strips. Genius!
JEMS is thrilled to partner with Rob, Jim R and Barry G to release Millard's historic recordings and to help set the record straight about the man himself. We can�t thank Rob enough for reconnecting with Jim and putting his trust in our Millard reissue campaign. He kept these precious tapes under wraps for two decades, but once he learned of our methods and stewardship, he agreed to contribute the Millard DATs and cassettes to the program.
Our series would not happen without the support of our post-production leader mjk5510, whose essential work is the straw the stirs the drink and he certainly deserves a drink on all of us.
Finally, cheers to the late, great Mike the MICrophone. May he rest in peace.
BK for JEMS
Images for all shows as well as full size images for this show.
Images for this show: