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Led Zeppelin
The Forum
Inglewood, CA
June 25, 1977
Mike Millard Master Tapes via JEMS

The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Volume 150

This is a remastered by dadgad transfer directly from Millard Master tapes to DAT

Recording Gear:
AKG 451E microphones (CK-1 cardioid capsules) > Nakamichi 550 cassette recorder

Transfer: Mike Millard Master Cassettes > Yamaha KX-W592 Cassette Deck > Sony R-500 DAT > Analog Master DAT Clone > Sound Devices USBPre2 > Audacity 3.1 capture > iZotope RX > iZotope RX9 Advanced and Ozone 9 > Dadgad Mastering > FLAC

01 Intro
02 The Song Remains The Same
03 Sick Again
04 Nobody's Fault But Mine
05 In My Time Of Dying
06 Since I've Been Loving You
07 No Quarter
08 Ten Years Gone
09 The Battle Of Evermore
10 Going To California
11 Black Country Woman
12 Bron-Y-Aur Stomp
13 White Summer > Black Mountain Side
14 Kashmir
15 Trampled Underfoot
16 Out On The Tiles > Moby Dick
17 Guitar Solo
18 Achilles Last Stand
19 Stairway To Heaven
20 Whole Lotta Love
21 Communications Breakdown

Known Faults: Cut at the end of Moby Dick

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.

Led Zeppelin, The Forum, Inglewood, CA, June 25, 1977

At the 150 show milestone in the Lost and Found series it was always going to be Led Zeppelin.

Not only was LZ Mike "The Mike" Millard's favorite band, but more so than any other artist, it was Millard's recordings of Zeppelin that built his legend

This week we return to 1977 and one of the four nights at the Forum Mike and Jim recorded including Vol. 50 in our series, the legendary Listen To This Eddie performance from June 21.

June 25 was the fourth show in the run, not as famous as some of the other sets, but an epic show in its own right, as the band began to play longer sets. Whatever you think about the excesses of the 1977 tour, there's a consensus among collectors that the Inglewood shows were Zep's best of the year.

The performance takes a few songs to get going but starts to soar with "In My Time Of Dying," in its last-ever appearance with John Bonham. "Since I've Been Loving You" follows in a terrific version. Same for "No Quarter" which is another wonderful reading. Even the resurrected "Communication Breakdown" is highly credible.

As is the case with all of Mike's Led Zeppelin recordings, our source transfer was made by Rob S in the early 2000s from Mike's cassette masters to DAT. The DAT was then ripped to a .flac file. That .flac was provided to esteemed LZ mastering engineer dadgad to again assist on this release. He prepared both a flat transfer edition (fixing only levels, phase issues, with no EQ or other mastering applied) and a second, "respectfully mastered" edition as he puts it, that fine tunes the sound for what we feel is optimum listening pleasure.

In this case, dadgad's mastering arguably makes the biggest difference yet of our Zeppelin releases. We'll leave it to others to compare this to other incarnations. Samples provided.

Here's what Jim R recalled about seeing night four of Led Zeppelin at the Forum in 1977:

I attended the Led Zeppelin concert with Mike Millard on June 25, 1977. A Saturday night with LZ--Party time! The gig was at the very familiar Fabulous Forum in Inglewood, Zeppelin's US home court if there ever was one. The band had the previous night off, so they were more rested for this one which was one of the best of the six concerts they played at the Forum that year.

June 25 was the fourth night out of six. Mike and I sat third row, dead center on the floor, maybe 15-20 feet from the stage. The perfect seats within our much discussed Sweet Spot. A great spot capable of picking up the stage amps, the stage monitors and the huge PA as well.

In hindsight, this turned out to be the next to last time we were to see the Mighty Zep, the last being the June 27 show, closing night of the run. That proved to be the final time they played in the LA area. Ever.

This show was a three and a half hour marathon that left us drained afterward. Longer than the standard show, there were many extended solos and extra tidbits thrown in like a mini "You Shook Me" at the end of "In My Time of Dying." It has been said that June 25 was one of the better performances by Jimmy Page on the tour. The rest of the band was spot on as well.

Summer 1977 was at the tail end of the wheelchair era, but I pushed Mike in for this one. Security was getting wise to Mike's covert recording, so he passed each completed cassette to me for safe keeping in case he got busted during the show. The corrupt security guards had been instructed to confiscate Mike's tapes after the show in order to sell them to bootleggers themselves, but we were a step ahead. At the end of the show, I had all the tapes, and would swiftly squirm my way out of the packed humanity near the stage and meet Mike at his car. Mike had a set of cheap blanks on him to give to security if needed. We were always thinking ahead.

I took some good pictures at the show, taking advantage of our awesome seats.

I hope you enjoy the sights and sounds from this wonderful performance.

Cheers to my buddy Mike. RIP.


###

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

Thank you to our regular collaborators Professor Goody and mjk5510 for their support of this release, and a big shout out to dadgad for his work mastering the show and preparing both editions. It has been a pleasure to collaborate with him on our Led Zeppelin titles.

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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