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A.R.M.S. Concert
The Forum
Inglewood, CA
December 6, 1983
Mike Millard First Generation Tapes via JEMS
The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Volume 65

Recording Gear: AKG 451E Microphones (CK-1 cardioid capsules) > Nakamichi 550 Cassette Recorder

Transfer: Mike Millard First Generation Cassettes > Nakamichi CR-7A (azimuth adjustment; Dolby On) > Sound Devices USBPre 2 > Audacity 2.0 capture > iZotope RX8 > iZotope Ozone 8 > Audacity > TLH > FLAC

ERIC CLAPTON
01 Everybody Oughta Make A Change
02 Lay Down Sally
03 Wonderful Tonight
04 Rita Mae
05 Sad Sad Day
06 Have You Ever Loved A Woman?
07 Ramblin' On My Mind
08 Cocaine

JOE COCKER
09 Don't Talk To Me
10 Watching The River Flow
11 Worried Life Blues
12 You Are So Beautiful
13 Seven Days
14 Feelin' Alright

JEFF BECK
15 Star Cycle
16 The Pump
17 Definitely Maybe
18 Blue Wind
19 People Get Ready
20 Going Down

JIMMY PAGE
21 Prelude
22 Who's To Blame
23 City Sirens
24 Boogie Mama
25 Midnight Moonlight
26 Stairway To Heaven

ALL-STAR FINALE
27 Layla
28 With A Little Help From My Friends
29 April Fool (Ronnie Lane)
30 Goodnight Irene (Ronnie Lane)

Known Fualts:
-Everybody Oughta Make A Change: joined in progress

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: www.dimeadozen.org :: EzTorrent v0.7.0r495 :: Login.

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.

A.R.M.S Concert, The Forum, Inglewood, CA, December 6, 1983

We close out a horrible year in general but a remarkable year as it relates to legendary taper Mike "The Mike" Millard with what we hope is another special release from his incredible archive of master recordings: The A.R.M.S. Concert at the Forum on December 6, 1983.

These special shows united the three legendary guitarists from the Yardbirds--Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton--plus Joe Cocker and an all-star backing band to benefit Action Into Research for Multiple Sclerosis. Small Faces/Faces bassist Ronnie Lane suffered from MS and was the catalyst for pulling the incredible line-up together. The original benefit gig took place in London, followed by nine U.S. dates spread across Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.

Mike and Jim were in the crowd for the second night in LA, and as we alluded to in our Vol. 63 release of Steve Winwood, the A.R.M.S. show proved to be the last recording Mike would make for four and a half years until Winwood in '88, as he retired from taping, the specific impetus for which we're still trying to sort out.

In fact, Mike hadn't recorded a concert since September 1983. Though we are as yet unable to corroborate details, it has been suggested (through admittedly fuzzy memories) an incident took place at a Robert Plant show that may have contributed to Millard hanging up his mics. But then why record again in December? It is pure speculation on our part, but the line-up for the A.R.M.S. show may have been just too special to miss, so Mike elected to go out on a high note and risk it one last time.

Beyond the guitar heroes, the US A.R.M.S. shows featured Joe Cocker, Paul Rodgers and a backing band that included the Stones' Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts, Andy Fairweather Low, Ray Cooper, Kenny Jones, Jan Hammer, Simon Phillips, Chris Stainton, Ian Stewart and Fernando Saunders.

Clapton, Cocker, Beck and Page played their own mini-sets, Clapton playing familiar classics, Beck mixing in a little fusion and Page drawing from the Death Wish II soundtrack, plus his set-closing instrumental version of "Stairway to Heaven." Page's performance also featured Paul Rodgers, with whom he would go on to form The Firm. The finale was led by Clapton and Cocker, then Lane took over for "April Fool" and "Goodnight Irene."

It seems the December 6 show is the rarest of the domestic A.R.M.S. performances in the collecting world. The extant recording of the complete show is mediocre, and a higher quality partial version (Mike's recording perhaps?) only has the Page set + "Layla."

This should be the first release of Mike's complete recording, transferred from first generation cassettes he dubbed for Ed F, another close friend in Mike's circle of taping and concert-going friends.

Mike's capture is excellent, with up-close sound and wide fidelity. The only quibble is beyond his control, which is the use of multiple drummers and percussionists results in an occasionally busy mix. Samples provided.

Here's what Jim R recalled at the A.R.M.S Show on December 6:

I attended the A.R.M.S. Benefit concert with Mike Millard at The Forum on Dec 6, 1983.
This was well after the wheelchair era. Our equipment was smuggled via a "tip" to a security staff member.

If memory serves, we sat around the 5th row center on the floor. This can't be verified since my ticket stub is heat damaged and not readable. I happened to notice the heat damage after the show and while we were still on the floor, I found a Loge ticket stub lying on the ground and picked it up to include in my collection.

This concert interrupted the beginning of Mike's multi-year retirement from taping, but as a one-off show with an all-star line-up, the temptation was too great. Come on, Page, Clapton and Beck on the same bill? We had to at least try to tape it. And we were successful.

It was a fun night seeing each major artist take their turn. The instrumental "Stairway," followed by "Layla" was worth the price of admission alone.

I hope you enjoy the recording.

As BK writes, Mike retired from taping for several years after this show. Beyond speculation about a specific incident, I can think of several factors that could have influenced Mike to stop. Thanks to scalpers, tickets were getting very expensive and as we got older with full-time jobs, we couldn't camp out for tickets. So Millard's relatively modest income as an A/V clerk at a small college made it challenging to buy the seats he wanted. Also, the absence of a taping buddy with the financial means to purchase tickets and help Mike record at the venue is another factor. In the middle of Mike's retirement period, around the end of 1985, I stopped going to concerts due to health reasons, so Mike lost me as a taping buddy.

In addition, the Nakamichi 550 was breaking down a lot and expensive repairs were frequently needed.

In terms of Mike getting busted, while I don't recall one specific event, there is no doubt Mike was getting pretty well known as a taper by the security company that was hired at most of the venues in the LA area. In late 1983, Mike the Mike was a marked man.

###

JEMS is proud to join with Rob, Jim R, Barry G, Ed F 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.

We close out 2020 with several thank you, first and foremost to Rob and Jim R, for their partnership over the last 12 months. That we have reached Vol. 65 in our Millard series is nothing short of amazing and we have them to thank. Better still, this is but year one in what will be a multi-year campaign. And tapes or no tapes, they have become good friends. Shout outs to Barry, Ed and others who have contributed their stories and tapes as well. Professor Goody also chipped in many pitch checks and on occasion some heavy heavy lifting to ensure these recordings are presented to you in the best possible quality. Slipkid68 is always in the JEMS mix, carrying the always important Who torch among other artists. Finally, the unwavering work of mjk5510 is the engine behind the entire JEMS team. Without him, our output would be sporadic at best. He is the JEMS MVP 2020.

Because this is the final Millard release of the year we wanted to do something extra special and our pal JR created wonderful original cover art for this release. She's a student of vintage bootleg LP design like the work of William Stout, who drew many of the original TMOQ cover inserts. Her A.R.M.S. cover is an homage to the colored paper artwork that adorned so many early bootleg vinyl classics, but in her own marvelous style. Thank you, JR.

Finally, 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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