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Seattle Center Arena
Seattle, WA
March 9, 1977
JEMS Full-Track Tandberg Mono Master

Recording Gear: Sony ECM-22P Microphone > Tandberg Model 11 Portable Reel to Reel

JEMS 2016 Transfer: Master reel > Tandberg Model 11 > Sound Devices USBPre 2 capture (24/96) > iZotope RX and Ozone > MBIT+ convert to 16/44.1 > YOUR STUFF

01 Rock And Roll Band
02 Shattered Images
03 More Than A Feeling
04 Peace Of Mind
05 Something About You
06 A Man I’ll Never Be
07 Don’t Be Afraid
08 Smokin’
09 Guitar Solo > This Time
10 Foreplay > Long Time
11 Television Politician

Brad Delp – lead and harmony vocals
Tom Scholz – electric, lead guitar and acoustic guitars, clavinet, organ
Barry Goudreau – rhythm and lead guitar
Fran Sheehan – bass guitar
Sib Hashian – drums

With Jared’s passing in October 2016, the complete JEMS Archive was moved south from his home up north. That move, sad as its impetus was, presented an opportunity, however daunting, to go through and organize the collection. With the help of some amazing friends and experts (among them Slowburn, SS, RD and slipkid68), JEMS tapes are now accessible in ways they have never been before. SG was also on hand to help and fill in our taping history as he always does.

When the task was done and loaded into the truck, one box in particular captured my attention: master reels recorded by SG on his Tandberg portable reel to reel. We’ve posted some 20 or more of these on DIME over the years, but this box contained master reels that had never been digitized before and, in some instances, had never been traded or circulated.

If you don’t know about the Tandberg, it was a remarkable piece of gear in its day, not only capable of recording at 3-3/4 and 7-1/2 IPS, but in full-track mono. I won’t do the math, but compared to a cassette, the surface area of tape capturing the music is orders of magnitude higher, which is why so many of SG’s Tandberg masters from the likes of David Bowie, Elton John, Led Zeppelin and Bruce Springsteen are considered by some as audience-recording classics. The Tandberg required 10(!) D-cel batteries to operate, is roughly the size of a compact typewriter and weighs more than ten pounds. Imagine sneaking that into a show and your respect for what SG accomplished only grows.

This is the first in a series of Tandberg master reels digitized for the first time. Happily, the original Tandberg deck is still fully functioning, so these transfers offer full-track mono playback on the original tape recorder to maximize quality.

We open with Tom Scholz’ Boston, and yes, I am a closet fan. This early ‘77 set includes all the songs it should from the first album, two previews from the second, as well as a pair of songs that were only part of the band’s live set, “Shattered Images” and “Television Politician.” Criticize them if you must, but in an era of full live instrumentation, Boston’s ability to recreate its layered studio sound in concert is impressive, as are Brad Delp’s vocals.

SG made a point of attaching his microphone to some arena seating infrastructure and with his long microphone cord, he moved it away from any close-up audience. You’ll notice that here as there is really nothing in the way between the PA and the recorder on what for my money is a rather remarkable recording. Samples provided. If the file size seems small, remember it is a mono file, half the size of stereo version of the same thing.

Our hat goes off again to SG for his remarkable work in the ‘70s, ‘80s and beyond for capturing these shows in the first place, and to Jared, may his legacy live on as he rests in peace. Thanks as well to mjk5510, for his steadfast support of JEMS’ efforts.


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