Costa Mesa, CA
October 20, 1991
Mike Millard Original Master Tapes via JEMS
The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Volume 27
Recording Gear: AKG 451E Microphones (CK-1 cardioid capsules) > Nakamichi 550 Cassette Recorder
JEMS 2020 Transfer: Mike Millard Master Cassettes > Nakamichi DR-1 (azimuth adjustment; Dolby On) > Focusrite 6i6 > Audacity 2.0 capture > iZotope RX6 > iZotope Ozone 6 > MBIT+ resample to 1644 > Audacity > TLH > FLAC
01 Your Flag Decal Won�t Get You Into Heaven Anymore
02 Sam Stone
03 Daddy�s Little Pumpkin
04 The Sins Of Memphisto
05 If You Don�t Want My Love
06 Everybody Wants To Feel Like You
07 Hello in There
-Your Flag Decal Won�t Get You Into Heaven Anymore: joined in progress.
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 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 nearly 300 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:
John Prine, Pacific Amphitheatre, Costa Mesa, CA, October 20, 1991
Our series continues with what is, sadly, a timely release of the late great John Prine opening up for Bonnie Raitt in 1991. While Mike Millard was a hard-rock fan first, his tastes were more eclectic than is widely perceived. From previous releases you know he loved Linda Ronstadt, but he also recorded Chick Corea on multiple occasions, Stanley Clarke, Al DiMeola, Chicago, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon and Steve Winwood.
We shifted Mike�s Prine recording to the top of the queue in light of John�s passing last week from complications due to Covid 19. We�ll get to the Bonnie Raitt set eventually but wanted to get this out now in tribute to Prine who was really a songwriter�s songwriter.
Mike must have arrived at the venue a little late because he joins �Your Flag Decal Won�t Get You Into Heaven Anymore� in progress, a timely song if there ever was one. Once Millard gets situated, he pulls a fine capture, similar in quality to his other work at what he called the Pac Amp.
Prine is in especially warm voice here and turns in a short, but sweet set that includes some of his best loved songs including �If You Don�t Want My Love,� �Hello In There� and �Paradise.� The absence of the majestic �Angel From Montgomery� is explained by the fact that he would perform it later that night with Bonnie Raitt during her set.
The flurry of high quality Prine recordings that came to DIME in the wake of his death was impressive, including many previously uncirculated board tapes. It is a reminder that Millard�s role and that of any taper in preserving the work of these artists is culturally invaluable.
JEMS is proud 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.
If at any point in your life you had a lot of cassettes, you know finding good storage solutions was always top of mind. There were zip-up cases one could buy and slotted wood racks. On occasion, you could buy bricks of ten tapes that would come in a reusable cardboard box. But if you didn�t have any of those on hand or didn�t want to spend the money, what would you do?
Millard, ever industrious, realized that a standard Kleenex box would comfortably hold 13 cassettes. Putting the cardboard back in the slot where the tissues pop up and reinforcing the whole thing with clear packing tape he created relatively durable storage boxes for his masters. Several of those Kleenex cases survive and we still have the tapes in them.
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 Rob 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 unwavering support of our post-production supervisor mjk5510. His commitment to this weekly schedule is the only way it would happen.
In these unprecedented times we will continue to put more music in your hands and ears while everyone is bunkered in.
Please stay positive, help your neighbors, help strangers and let�s get to the other side of this intact. Better still, make a donation to a food bank or other key support organization helping out those who are struggling even more than you are to get by.
Lastly, cheers to the late, great Mike the MICrophone. His work never ceases to impress. May he rest in peace.
BK for JEMS
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