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Robert Plant
Universal Amphitheatre
Los Angeles, CA
December 1, 1988
Mike Millard Master Tapes via JEMS
The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Volume 88

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

JEMS 2021 Transfer: Mike Millard Master Cassettes > Nakamichi CR-7A (azimuth adjustment; Dolby On) > Sound Devices USBPre 2 > Audacity 2.0 capture > iZotope RX8 > iZotope Ozone 8 > Audacity > TLH > FLAC


01 Pink And Black
02 Other Arms
03 Billy's Revenge
04 In The Light Intro
05 Nobody's Fault But Mine
06 Dance On My Own
07 In The Mood
08 Going To California
09 Ship Of Fools
10 Dimples
11 Trampled Under Foot
12 Heaven Knows
13 Immigrant Song
14 Tall Cool One (includes snippet of "The Ocean")
15 Communication Breakdown
16 Big Log
17 Misty Mountain Hop

Known Faults:
-None

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.

Our volume numbers and years are back in sync with which means Vol. 88 comes to us from 1988.

Given Mike The Mike's love of Led Zeppelin, anticipation for Robert Plant's Non Stop Go Tour must have been sky high as it marked the first time the singer was performing Zeppelin songs as part of his set. Plant had played The Forum in June 1988, but we believe that to be during Millard's self-imposed hiatus when he stopped taping shows. Evidence suggests Mike resumed recording in July 1988 and lucky for him and us, Plant came back through the market at the end of the run for two shows at the Universal Amphitheatre, this being the second night.

Plant's final US leg also saw changes to the set in terms of Zeppelin songs performed. Earlier shows featured "Train Kept A-Rollin'" and "In The Evening." In the fall, those gave way to fine readings of "In The Light" and "Nobody's Fault But Mine."

I saw this tour in Seattle in the summer of 1988, and as someone who was too young to see Zeppelin live, hearing Plant play LZ songs in '88 was the closest thing to Zeppelin I had ever experienced. It was absolutely thrilling.

By this point in the tour, Robert and his band were a well-oiled machine and the playing here is strong. We should also point out that Plant had racked up rock-radio hits on his own, so the Zep songs were balanced out by his best-known solo efforts including the still charming "In The Mood," "Ship Of Fools," "Heaven Knows" (about as pop as Plant ever got), "Tall Cool One" and the moody "Big Log." The set closes on a high note with "Misty Mountain Hop," clearly an RP favorite.

The Amphitheatre was known for its excellent acoustics and PA, and the sound for this show is excellent as is Mike's capture. The usual Millard attributes apply: clear and punchy with audience atmosphere but not a lot of annoying crowd noises. Samples provided.

###

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.

Our key contributors roll call this week includes Professor Goody in the pitch-checking department and mjk5510, who handles post-production and artwork, both delivering with aplomb as usual.

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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