Costa Mesa, CA
July 24, 1988
Mike Millard Master Tapes via JEMS
The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Volume 63
Recording Gear: AKG 451E Microphones (CK-1 cardioid capsules) > Nakamichi 550 Cassette Recorder
Transfer: Mike Millard Master Cassettes > Nakamichi CR-7A (azimuth adjustment; Dolby On) > Sound Devices USBPre 2 > Audacity 2.0 capture > iZotope RX8 > iZotope Ozone 8 > Audacity > TLH > Peak Pro 6 > 16/44 > xACT > FLAC
01 Freedom Overspill
02 Take It As It Comes
03 Help Me Angel
04 Put On Your Dancing Shoes
05 Hearts On Fire
06 Don't You Know What The Night Can Do?
07 The Finer Things
08 The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
10 I'm A Man
11 While You See A Chance
12 Split Decision
13 Roll With It
15 Higher Love
16 Back In The High Life Again
17 Gimme Some Lovin'
Introduction 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 the complete details on how tapes in this series came to be lost and found again, as well as JEMS' long history with Mike Millard, please refer to the notes in Vol. One: http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=500680.
Until 2020, 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, Bill C. 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.
The full back story on how Mike�s master tapes were saved can be found in the notes for Vol. 18 Pink Floyd, which was the first release in our series transferred from Millard�s original master tapes:
Steve Winwood, Pacific Amphitheatre, Costa Mesa, CA, July 24, 1988
More gifts from the Mike the Mike Archive are arriving this holiday season, including the first appearance in the Lost and Found series of Steve Winwood, recorded on Millard's home court, the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa, on July 24, 1988.
This date is significant as it is the first confirmed show Mike recorded after his self-imposed hiatus from taping that began in late 1983.
We are still trying to piece together the details of this period, but it does appear Mike was busted at a show in the second half of '83 and believed at that point he was a marked man. The last concert we know he recorded that year was the ARMS benefit concert which took place in December, but that may have been an "I can't miss it" one-off, as there is some evidence to believe the incident that caused Mike to hang 'em up happened a few months earlier at a Robert Plant show.
Regardless, Mike "retired" from taping after 1983 and there are no confirmed Millard recordings from January 1984 until this Winwood show in July 1988. However, it is possible, even probable, that others may have used Mike's gear to record shows during his self-imposed exile, one candidate being Yes at the same venue as this show on March 5, 1988.
Once Mike was back up and running, his prolific ways returned. He captured nine or ten shows over the remainder of 1988. In 1989, he grabbed at least another 27 performances, including one stretch of five nights in a row recording different artists across three venues.
Suffice it to say the master's game hadn't lost anything when he returned to the Pacific Amphitheatre for the Winwood concert. The tape starts strong and never wavers, with excellent up-close sound and a wide soundstage. Samples provided.
Winwood was riding high on the strength of back-to-back smash albums, Back in the High Life (1986) and Roll With It, released the month before this show in June 1988. The title track of the latter spent four weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song, as evidenced by the writing credits, bears more than a passing resemblance to Junior Walker's "(I'm A) Roadrunner."
Beyond his Costa Mesa stop, Winwood sold out four nights at the Universal Amphitheatre. Truly back in the high life.
His performance leans heavily on the aforementioned solo albums, but also dips into Winwood's past for a couple of Traffic classics ("The Low Spark of the High Heeled Boys" and "Glad") as well as his time fronting the Spencer Davis Group, with "I'm a Man" and the show-closing "Gimme Some Lovin'. It's a fine performance, sounding very much of its time, largely because of the distinct, period keyboard sound.
JEMS is proud to partner with Rob, Jim R, Barry G and others 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 Mike�s 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 releases would not be nearly as compelling without Jim�s memories, photos and other background contributions. As many of you have noted, the stories offer an entertaining complement to Mike�s incredible audio documents.
On the nice list this week: Professor Goody for pitch adjustments and to mjk5510 for handling post-production duties.
Finally, cheers to the late, great Mike the MICrophone. His work never ceases to impress. 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: