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Green Rectangle Font Gas Machine



Yes
The Forum
Inglewood, CA
September 23, 1977
Mike Millard Master Tapes via JEMS
The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Volume 143

1644 & 2496 Editions


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

JEMS 2022 Transfer: Mike Millard Master Cassettes > Nakamichi RX-505 (azimuth adjustment; Dolby On) > Sound Devices USBPre 2 > Audacity 2.0 capture > iZotope RX8 > iZotope Ozone 8 > convert to 16/44 > Audacity > TLH > FLAC

01 Firebird Suite
02 Parallels
03 I've Seen All Good People
04 Close To The Edge
05 Wonderous Stories
06 Colours Of The Rainbow
07 Turn Of The Century
08 In The Midnight Hour
09 And You And I
10 Going For The One
11 Flight Jam
12 Awaken
13 Starship Trooper
14 Roundabout

Known Faults:
-Awaken: almost seamless splice

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.

Yes, The Forum, Inglewood, CA, September 23, 1977

Time for another Millard classic, the oft-booted and traded Yes concert from opening night at The Forum, September 23, 1977. Authoritative Yes site Forgotten Yesterdays lists five different incarnations of this recording under titles like Mike's Mint, High Vibrations and Going For The West, some of which claim to be DAT copies of Mike's raw masters while others are remasters.

We can assure you that this new transfer is directly from Mike's original master cassettes and some of the problems mentioned in the notes of these circulating versions like tape hiss are not a factor here. The issue that remains (or perhaps now more accurately remained) was what the PRRP notes describe as an audience that is "quite vocal, even during periods when music is playing."

It is rare to hear a classic-era Millard master with so much audience noise, but as Jim details below, it seems not everyone stayed in their seats, so the front section of the floor was jammed with folks who weren't afraid to let everyone know how excited they where to be there.

My esteemed colleague and JEMS' post-production supervisor mjk5510 has applied his special "audience taming" skills to this recording and mitigated the issue considerably, particularly close-up whistling. So if the audience interference on this tape always held you back, perhaps now you'll find listening much more enjoyable.

Beyond the audience levels, upon first listen to the master tape and prior editions, the sound of Chris Squire's bass is very prominent in the mix and Jon Anderson's vocals were a little low, likely owning to Mike and Jim's position in the third row, where surely some of the PA was missing them. I spent a fair amount of effort trying bring Anderson's voice up and balance Squire's bass without losing the thrilling clarity and closeness of his playing that Mike's recording captured. I find the end result a more balanced and satisfying listen to what is an excellent performance by the band.

As Jim notes below, the 1977 tour saw Rick Wakeman reclaim the keyboard bench after one tour with Patrick Moraz (not a Jim R favorite) in that role. Yes was on tour supporting Going For The One, released in July, all five songs from which are included in the setlist, along with a crowd-pleasing mix of classics in a show that feels exactly the right length. I've always admired the inclusion of what's called "Tour Song," a spontaneous bit of improv localized for each stop of the tour. Tonight it's the first verse of Wilson Pickett's soul classic "In The Midnight Hour," played because as Anderson says, "these two guys here are shouting 'til the midnight hour." You can hear an instance of this at the start of "Colours Of The Rainbow."

Here's what Jim R recalled about seeing Yes on opening night at the Forum in 1977:

Mike and I attended the Yes concert at The Forum on September 23, 1977. I pushed Mike into the arena in the wheelchair. We sat in the third row center on the floor, the perfect row in our desired "sweet spot."

Unfortunately, we had a real rowdy crowd around us. A few of them were hooting and hollering all night. Mike throwing pennies to send the message to be quiet did little good, and in fact he probably ran out of "ammo." Fortunately, the mastering wizards were able to suppress most of the crowd interference.

I always love the rare instances when we get to hear Mike's own voice on his tapes. Here he's talking at the end of the show, telling a guy, "You're standing in my seat" and then, "You know I got equipment" (so he wouldn't step on it). His comment means Mike and I were standing on the floor and we had guys right behind us, standing on our seats. Yikes!

Mike and I attended every Yes show we could as they were one of our (Rob S included) favorite bands of all time. In fact, I first met Mike at a Yes concert at the Long Beach Arena in March of 1974 and here we were 3 1/2 years later. This release is from Mike's original, hand-labeled TDK SA90 cassettes, AKA The Holy Grail.

Mike and I also saw and recorded the next night on September 24 at The Forum and at Long Beach Arena a couple days later. For the three shows we sat 3rd, 2nd and 7th row center in that order.

As usual, the sound quality at the venue was excellent. Yes used Clair Brothers, a premier sound company.

As stated earlier, what made this tour special was the return of Rick Wakeman to the band. The previous tour in 1975 had Patrick Moraz on keyboards. Sorry Pat, but you do not cut it. I'm sure many Yes fans agree with this statement.

I took photos at the show, but the pictures were damaged by the Kodak lab. I restored the Yes images as best as I could.

Well, enjoy the show, Yes fans. Mike and I sure did. Rest in Peace.

###

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.

JEMS is grateful for the contributions that make our weekly series happen. Shout outs to Professor Goody for weighing in on pitch, mjk5510 for giving this an extra scrub, to Jim R for great notes and photos, and everyone else in the extended family who support what JEMS does.

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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Can't wait to hear this - truly appreciate you sharing it and other Mike Millard shows, Goody !! And the liner notes are just fabulous, really give a sense of who the guy was (and his friend) who recorded these great shows. Many, many thanks.
 
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