July 18, 1981
Mike Millard First-Generation Tapes via JEMS
The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Volume 132
Recording Gear: AKG 451E Microphones (CK-1 cardioid capsules) > Nakamichi 550 Cassette Recorder
Transfer: Mike Millard First-Generation Cassettes > Nakamichi RX-505 azimuth-adjusted playback > Sound Devices USBPre2 > Audacity 2.1 capture > iZotope RX > iZotope RX8 Advanced and Ozone 8 > MBIT+ resample to 16/44.1 > Audacity > TLH > FLAC
02 Over And Over
03 In The City
04 A Life Of Illusion
05 Lady On The Rock
06 The Bomber
08 Theme From Boat Weirdos
09 Funk #49
10 Turn To Stone
11 You Never Know
12 Life's Been Good
13 Rocky Mountain Way
14 All Night Long
15 Get Back
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 Mike, 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.
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 1993.
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.
Joe Walsh, The Forum, Inglewood, CA, July 18, 1981
It is a very special week in the aptly named Lost and Found series.
If you have been following our series since it’s inception, you know our quest is to find and release the work of legendary taper Mike Millard.
Our efforts began with the discovery of previously uncredited Millard recordings of Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan that had gone missing for 25 years. That trove accounted for our first eight volumes, the release of which spurred Bill C to reach out to us and provide two additional recordings Mike gave to him of Springsteen and The Eagles, Vols. 9-10.
Then we met Jim R and things got even more exciting as he had copies of a few dozen shows Mike made for him. Even more importantly, Jim was a first-hand witness to Mike’s taping efforts as they happened. From him we learned so much about Mike’s life and came to realize how much misinformation the internet had cooked up about Mike the Mike.
Volumes 11-17, plus many others along the way including the outstanding, recent Fleetwood Mac 1979 (Vol. 129), were transferred from Jim’s first-gen cassettes.
The Lost and Found series was putting new Millard recordings into the world and those reverberations eventually reached Rob S, who Jim tracked down after many years out of touch. Rob had the motherlode, nearly 200 of Mike’s original master tapes (the first in the series was Vol. 18, his transcendent Pink Floyd 1975) and DAT transfers of other legendary recordings like Mike’s Led Zeppelin and Queen work.
Since that time, JEMS has released a Millard recording every week for more than two years, most heretofore unknown, while others are upgrades of some of his most famous captures.
Blessed as we are by the bounty that has been uncovered after so many years of searching (and even more importantly the friendships forged along the way), there are still a good number of Millard shows we don’t have.
Mike made a typed list of his master recordings. The edition we have stops in 1983 when his hiatus from taping began. When we checked all of the aforementioned tapes against Mike’s 1983 list, there were gaps, recordings we know Millard made but copies or masters of which are not among the collections we have acquired to date. Tracking the “still missing” only made the desire to find these specific shows stronger.
Through our research, we’ve tracked down other friends of Mike for whom he made copies of his tapes over the years. In the last 18 months, we were fortunate to transfer first-gen cassettes Millard made for his good friend Ed F, which filled in about a dozen holes in our archive.
This week we are thrilled to release the first tapes transferred from the collection of Jim Ri, not to be confused with Jim R, though their last names are improbably similar.
While Jim R was there from the early days, Jim Ri knew Mike in his later years when he resumed taping after his self-imposed sabbatical.
As he did with all his friends, Millard made first-gen copies of shows for Jim Ri. While most were famous recordings already in the hands of others, as luck would have it a handful of them were unique to his collection at least in terms of what we have found so far. Jim Ri has kindly loaned JEMS first-gen tapes that add ten missing recordings to the series, starting here with Joe Walsh at The Forum in 1981.
After touring with the Eagles in 1980, Walsh followed up his successful 1978 solo album But Seriously Folks with 1981’s There Goes The Neighborhood released in May. Those albums drive much of the 15-song setlist, including the then-current single “A Life Of Illusion” and Walsh’s unlikely hit and signature tune, “Life’s Been Good.”
From 1979’s The Warriors soundtrack we get “In The City,” classics like “Rocky Mountain Way” and “Funk #49,” plus a show-closing cover of The Beatles’ “Get Back.”
Walsh is in fine voice and playing form, backed by an excellent band that features Russ Kunkel on drums, Mike Murphy on keyboards, George Perry on bass and Joe Vitale on backing vocals and everything else.
By 1981, Millard had the Forum on lock and this is another excellent recording with up-close sound. The audience around Mike is a little chattier than usual but not enough to detract from this fine overall document that should thrill any Walsh fan. Samples provided.
Rob S went to the show with Mike and here’s what he recalled about seeing Joe Walsh at the Forum in 1981:
I attended the Joe Walsh Concert at the Forum with Mike Millard on July 18, 1981. I met Mike at his house in Fullerton and he drove us to the show.
I can’t recall much other than that I really liked the opening act, David Lindley and El Rayo X. Their first album was getting some airplay, “Mercury Blues” in particular. Lucky for me, and hopefully more than a few of you all, Mike was up and running for the opener which was not always the case.
Joe Walsh was loved by every stoner, I was no exception. Of all the “missing” tapes, this one was high on my wish list. It should be a good one.
JEMS is proud to partner with Rob, Jim R, Ed F, Barry G and many 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.
Huge thanks to Jim Ri for contributing his tapes to the Millard archive. We are so thrilled to check more shows off the list as “found” and we hope there are others holding similar lost recordings. Professor Goody provided pitch guidance and, as always, mjk5510 handled post production and artwork.
Finally, here's to the late, great Mike the MICrophone. His work never ceases to impress. May he rest in peace.
BK for JEMS
Joe Walsh 1981-07-18 Forum - Inglewood, CA (Millard 1st Gen via JEMS Volume 132).zip - FileFactory
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