Wilshire Ebell Theatre
Los Angeles, CA
December 12, 1981
Mike Millard Original Master Tapes via JEMS
The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Volume 29
Recording Gear: AKG 451E Microphones (CK-1 cardioid capsules) > Nakamichi 550 Cassette Recorder
JEMS 2020 Transfer: Mike Millard Master Cassettes > Nakamichi RX-505 (azimuth adjustment; Dolby Off) > Sound Devices USBPre 2 > Audacity 2.0 capture > iZotope RX6 > iZotope Ozone 6 > MBIT+ resample to 1644> Audacity > TLH > FLAC
01 Outside The Rain
04 After The Glitter Fades
05 Gold And Braid
06 I Need To Know (Tom Petty cover)
08 Bella Donna
09 Blue Lamp
10 Leather And Lace
11 How Still My Love
12 Stop Draggin� My Heart Around
13 Edge Of Seventeen
Known Faults: Missing the first two songs �Gold Dust Woman� and �Think About It�
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:
Stevie Nicks, Wilshire Ebell Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, December 12, 1981
Our series marches on with another Millard favorite, Stevie Nicks, recorded on her first solo tour in support of Bella Donna.
The Bella Donna tour was a short one, just over a dozen dates in theaters and a few arenas, mostly in the west. The tour wrapped with a multi-night stand at the intimate Wilshire Ebell Theatre in LA. Mike recorded the fourth show; the next night was filmed by HBO and later released on home video, though it didn�t include all the songs performed.
The setlist mixes most tracks from Bella Donna with Nicks� best known Fleetwood Mac turns, including �Dreams� and �Rhiannon� (with a lovely, slowed down introduction) plus a cover of Tom Petty�s �I Need To Know,� which makes sense given the Heartbreakers� Benmont Tench served as musical director for her crack band which also featured Bob Glaub on bass, Waddy Wachtel on guitar, Russ Kunkel on drums, E Streeter Roy Bittan on piano, Lori Perry and Sharon Celani on vocals. Nicks herself is in excellent voice and quite humble about the experience of her first solo album and tour.
Millard was a Mac fan, recording them several times in the �70s and �80s. He also taped Nicks as late as 1989. On this night he and Jim were recording from Orchestra section resulting in an excellent, clear capture that sounds theatre-y if that makes sense as the volume levels at the Wilshire Ebell would not be at the level of an arena show. Any fan of Fleetwood Mac and Nicks is sure to enjoy this. Samples provided.
As to why the first two songs of the show were missed, memories are fuzzy, but it likely had something to do with a delay caused by the method by which Mike�s gear was secreted into the venue as alluded to below.
Here�s what Jim R recalled about the Nicks show:
I attended the Stevie Nicks concert with Mike Millard on Dec 12, 1981 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in LA. We sat together in the Orchestra section Row E Seat 110-112. That is 5th row center in a theater built for plays and classical music, with a capacity of around 1200. Sweet!
The wheelchair was not used for this event. A payoff was involved, facilitated by GW, a big fan of Fleetwood Mac and Nicks, I'm sure he got a copy of the show for his efforts. We decided against the wheelchair because we were not sure what to expect for the "new to us" venue and went with the sure thing, paying off an inside man or woman.
Mike and I were both very excited to see this show from Nicks� first solo tour. Stevie was our favorite member of Fleetwood Mac by far. We attended many of her shows in the tours that followed.
As expected, the sound was excellent and reflected in Mike's recording. Her band was tight. Stevie's voice was in good shape. Unlike a Fleetwood Mac show, she got to sing lead vocals on every song. I know I came away even more smitten with her than before.
Included are a handful of pictures I took. I hope you enjoy them.
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. 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 be dormant without the critical contributions of our post-production maestro mjk5510. Thank you so very much for your on going friendship and support.
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
Images for all shows as well as full size images for this show.
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