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Rod Stewart
The Forum
Inglewood, CA
December 13, 1977
Mike Millard Master Tapes via JEMS
The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Volume 48
1644 Edition

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

Transfer: Mike Millard Master Cassette > Nakamichi CR-7A (azimuth adjustment; Dolby On) > Sound Devices USBPre 2 > Audacity 2.0 capture > iZotope RX8 > iZotope Ozone 8 > MBIT+ resample to 1644 > Audacity > TLH > FLAC

01 Maggie May
02 The Wild Side Of Life
03 You Keep Me Hangin' On
04 (I Know) I'm Losing You > Drum Solo
05 Stay With Me
06 Twistin' The Night Away
07 You're In My Heart (The Final Acclaim)

Known Faults:
-Incomplete

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.
Rod Stewart, The Forum, Inglewood, CA, December 13, 1977

Another week, another Millard favorite, Rod Stewart, playing the first of two nights at The Forum. Mike was a Stewart fan going back to the Faces days. His fantastic recording of Rod with Faces from March 5, 1975 (Vol. 13 in our series) was in fact the very first show recorded with Mike's legendary rig: the Nakamichi 550 cassette recorder and AKG 451-E microphones.

Two plus years later, Stewart's solo career was soaring, which explains multiple shows at The Forum coming just a few weeks after the release of his solo album Foot Loose & Fancy Free which yielded the hit single "You're In My Heart." In researching these notes, I was surprised to learn that the song I associate most with this album, "Hot Legs," was only a modest hit, peaking at No. 28 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Opening the show and the entire US tour was Air Supply, an odd pairing to say the least, though it was Stewart himself who supposedly asked the duo to join him for the American leg after they had opened for him in their native Australia. Air Supply's debut US album wouldn't be released until the following year.

As Jim notes below, the show was recorded from Mike's sweet spot and the recording is pure honey, rich, clear and thick. Samples provided. The only attribute missing is "complete." For reasons lost to history, Mike only recorded a portion of the show, missing the start and cutting off before the full encore was completed. The total run time is only 55 mins, but what is there is excellent.

A clue that Mike may have had equipment problems is that he attended but did not record the second show on 12/14. There is a tape of the second show in his archive labeled "Copied by Mike Millard," which is a distinct notation from how he typically labeled copies he made for others. Curiously the second night tape, perhaps made by a friend of Mike's, is also incomplete, catching the start of the show but missing parts at the end. The night two recording sounds like a Millard master in terms of quality and location, but we're still trying ascertain the provenance before sharing it.

Here's what Jim R recalled about the Rod Stewart show:

I attended the Rod Stewart concert with Mike Millard on December 13, 1977. The concert took place at a very familiar place, The Forum. Mike's equipment was smuggled in using the wheelchair. We sat in the 6th row dead center on the floor, definitely our "sweet spot." The sound was typical Rod, with a little grit in it.

Stewart was on our "must attend" list as he always put on a great show. This night was no exception and featured a great set list. Mike and I also attended the show the following night, December 14. It was also recorded, though apparently not by Mike. It escapes me why we could only capture 55 minutes of the first show and who actually taped the second, also an incomplete recording. Of course these shows took place almost 43 years ago so please forgive us for not remembering every salient detail.

###

JEMS is proud to partner with Rob, Jim R, Barry G and others to release Millard's historic recordings and to help set the record straight about the man himself. We've been fortunate to speak with a few additional people in recent months who knew Mike, and their recollections are expanding our picture of the man and his work. We look forward to sharing their stories.

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.

Once again, Goody contributed pitch approval on this one, a QC step for which we are most appreciative.

Post-production par excellence by mjk5510. Just when I think we are overburdening him he asks if he can help take on more transfer work. Thank you.

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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