BOB DYLAN - SANTA MONICA 1979 (Mike Millard Master Vol 5)

November 15, 2014 – 1:15 pm

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Santa Monica 1979
The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Vol Five [Mike Millard first gen via JEMS, 2CD]

Live at the Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica, CA; November 18, 1979. Very good to excellent audience recording.

From the wikipedia:

In February 1978, Dylan initiated a 10-month World Tour that consisted of 114 concerts in ten countries. On June 15, Dylan released the album Street-Legal, which received poor reviews from most American critics. Performances on his world tour also received negative reviews. The physical demands of touring were also taking a toll on the artist. During a concert on November 17 in San Diego, someone from the audience threw a small silver cross on stage.

Towards the end of his 1978 World Tour, Dylan began performing a new song during sound checks called “Slow Train Coming” - a song with overly Christian lyrics. During the final concert of the tour on December 16, 1978 in Hollywood, Florida, he performed another new song called “Do Right To Me Baby (Do Unto Others)”, with lyrics centered around a Biblical passage from Matthew 7:12, “All things, therefore, that you want men to do to you, you also must likewise do to them; this, in fact, is what the Law and the Prophets mean.”

According to Dylan, a turning point came one night in late 1978 when he received a “vision and a feeling” that his born-again Christian girlfriend Mary Alice Artres believed was a “visit from Jesus himself”. Dylan later said, “Jesus put his hand on me. It was a physical thing. I felt it. I felt it all over me. I felt my whole body tremble. The glory of the Lord knocked me down and picked me up.”

Typically, the Gospel Tour shows in 1979 opened with vocalist Regina Havis stepping to the microphone and delivering a monologue on Christian faith. She was then joined on stage by vocalist Helena Springs, pianist Terry Young, and his wife Mona Lisa Young who performed a half dozen gospel songs, such as “If I Got My Ticket Lord”, “It’s Gonna Rain”, “Do Lord, Remember Me”, “Look Up And Live By Faith”, and “Oh Freedom”.

After a brief interlude, Dylan and his backing band emerged and performed typically a 17-song set consisting of songs from the album Slow Train Coming and additional new Christian songs, most of which would end up on his follow-up album Saved.

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Thanks to Mike Millard for the recording; JEMS for the efforts; and to mjk5510 for sharing this at Dime.

Click here for the lossless flacs.

Original notes:

JEMS is pleased to release the fifth in a series of recordings made by legendary taper Mike Millard, AKA Mike the MICrophone, best known for his masters of Led Zeppelin in and around LA circa 1975-77.

Installment No. 5 jumps ahead 17 months but a world apart, as Dylan has converted to Christianity and taken to the road with a set of all new gospel-tinged material, completely ignoring his musical past in deference to his enlightened present.

The Gospel Tour, as it is known, began November 1 at the Fox Warfield Theatre in San Francisco, where Dylan kicked off a 14-night residency. This concert in Santa Monica was the first show that followed the Warfield run and opening night of four in the Los Angeles area. Other than going electric, I would posit there is no other moment in Dylan’s career that reverberated like this seemingly out-of-nowhere shift into what might best be described as a musical tent revival with Bob himself as preacher and soul saver. And because of that, the Gospel Tour is divisive: For some fans, it was the jumping off point; for others, they climbed aboard the slow train coming.

Dylan’s on-stage dialogue at times sparked confrontations with an audience that, by and large, wasn’t sure how to reconcile what they were seeing and hearing with all that came before it. I didn’t see the Gospel Tour in person; my first Dylan show was still six years away. As such, the radical shift that took place in 1979 doesn’t have the same impact for me when revisited in hindsight. On its own merits, the Gospel Tour offers richly satisfying performances and a focused Dylan who was leading the crusade every night.

And talk about a set list that challenged his audience. Dylan didn’t perform a single song from his back catalog, instead filling the set with all eight songs from Slow Train Coming; another seven from its companion, Saved, which would be released the following year; the still unreleased “Blessed Be the Name”; plus several gospel numbers performed by the show’s back-up singers: Regina Havis, Helena Springs and Mona Lisa Young.

To our ears, Millard nails it this night. As usual, he’s close to the PA with a quiet crowd around him, and the AKGs + Uher yield a great pull in his capable hands. It is a pleasure to listen to.

Lossless Bob has six entries for this show which tie back to two underlying recordings. In this case, Millard’s tape does match the complete recording from which the bootleg Live By Faith was derived. So instead of an uncirculated source, we have an upgrade, and while the bootleg and circulating copies are very good, we think you’ll find this fresh, first-generation transfer from reel sharper and cleaner, with less hiss in the quiet parts and more detail in the louder parts.

If you’d like to learn more about Mike the MICrophone, the links below offer a glimpse of his story.

Millard’s Wikipedia page

The best article written about Millard has been deleted from the original website but is reprinted here:

Thanks again to WG for finding the tapes and to SG for providing JEMS with another fascinating chapter of taping history. Also, JEMS continues to depend on mjk5510 for his skilled assistance in getting these recordings into your hands. He is a vital part of the process at this point.

Here’s to the late, great Mike the MICrophone and to finding more lost tapes.


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Recording Info: AKG-451E microphones > Uher CR-240 cassette recorder
JEMS 2014 Transfer: first-generation reel copy (3-3/4 IPS) made by Mike Millard for SG > Otari 5050 mkII azimuth-adjusted transfer > Sound Devices USBPre 2 > Audacity 2.0 (24/96) capture > pitch correction > iZotope RX MBIT+ resample 16/44.1 > Peak Pro XT (volume smoothing / edit / index) > xACT 2.21 > FLAC

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Disc 1
Track 101. Regina Havis Monologue 2:26 (4.1MB)
Track 102. I’ve Got My Ticket Lord - Part A 1:24 (2.4MB)
Track 103. I’ve Got My Ticket Lord - Part B 3:28 (5.8MB)
Track 104. It’s Gonna Rain 3:54 (6.6MB)
Track 105. Do Lord Remember Me 2:54 (4.9MB)
Track 106. Look Up And Live 4:31 (7.6MB)
Track 107. Oh Freedom 5:16 (8.8MB)
Track 108. This Train 4:03 (6.8MB)
Bob Dylan and his band
Track 109. Gotta Serve Somebody 6:43 (11.3MB)
Track 110. I Believe In You 4:52 (8.2MB)
Track 111. When You Gonna Wake Up 5:55 (10.0MB)
Track 112. When He Returns 5:09 (8.6MB)
Track 113. Man Gave Names To All The Animals 5:31 (9.3MB)
Track 114. Precious Angel 5:47 (9.7MB)
62 mins

Disc 2
Track 201. Slow Train 7:09 (12.0MB)
Track 202. Covenant Woman 5:49 (9.8MB)
Track 203. What Are You Doing With Your Heart 3:31 (5.9MB)
Track 204. Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking 4:57 (8.3MB)
Track 205. Do Right To Me Baby 4:32 (7.6MB)
Track 206. Solid Rock 4:50 (8.1MB)
Track 207. Saving Grace 4:44 (8.0MB)
Track 208. Saved 5:15 (8.8MB)
Track 209. What Can I Do For You 5:49 (9.8MB)
Track 210. In The Garden 8:20 (14.0MB)
Track 211. Band Introduction 1:35 (2.7MB)
Track 212. Blessed Be The Name 3:53 (6.5MB)
Track 213. Pressing On 6:55 (11.6MB)
68 mins


Click on the links to order Slow Train Coming and Saved.

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  1. 43 Responses to “BOB DYLAN - SANTA MONICA 1979 (Mike Millard Master Vol 5)”

  2. Yay! Fantastic Big O still another from the Mike ‘The Mic’ Millard collection of Bobby too. THese are always welcome. Great notes also and really worth reading about this fascinating era in Bobby’s career.

    By swappers on Nov 15, 2014

  3. Could I have a consensus from the community here please ?
    I didn’t get into this period of his Bobness and would like to know how others feel about his ‘Born Again’output

    By GMAL on Nov 15, 2014

  4. I believe in Dylan as an artist and that he can do what he wishes but this is a gray area for me.Like Neil Young he follows the muse wherever it goes with mixed results…the recording is Millard gold,I mean this guy had his shit down cold but this particular performance isn`t my cup of tea.I really can`t wait for some more masters to turn up of other bands.

    By Couz on Nov 15, 2014

  5. You can’t understand how much I appreciate this, Big O. At this point in my life, where I am going through preops for my upcoming aggressive malignant melanoma surgery with 2 City of Hope surgeons making a 10 cm wide hole in my neck and going down into my chest on Dec. 5th, to have something that is so personal for me in my early Christian life. I became a Christian as a 20 year old, 2 years before going to the same church, the Valley Vineyard, in 1978 as Keith Green and Bob Dylan went to for Bible study. I am still part of that same group that started in 1977 and now has over a thousand churches all around the world, including several in the U.S., Russia, Sweden, and so on. The same pastor still heads up the Valley Vineyard, all these years later, Bill Dwyer. He participated in a behind the scenes DVD about the tour prior to the Bible study and the making of these albums. It sold at Barnes and Noble for $15 back about 10 years ago.

    By Job Hunter on Nov 15, 2014

  6. if you watch videos of pressing on

    By g on Nov 15, 2014

  7. All the best on your upcoming surgery, Job Hunter.

    By admin on Nov 15, 2014

  8. Big O, there needs to be a correction with the Gospel tracks 101-108. You have two choices: either follow the Bob Dylan Portland OR Jan 12, 1980 concert and make tracks 101-103 as track 101 Can I Ride, or keep 101 unchanged and put tracks 102 and 103 together as track 102 Can I Ride or as track 102 I’ve Got My Ticket Lord. The song It’s Gonna Rain is found as track 104. 105 is Do Lord Do You Remember Me. 106 is Look Up and Live by Faith. Hold My Hand Lord is not on this recording. Tracks 107 and 108 are ok. Track 109 This Train is performed by the Gospel trio. But Bob Dylan doesn’t start until Track 110 Gotta Serve Somebody. The numbers could be affected by how the beginning numbers are set up.

    By Job Hunter on Nov 15, 2014

  9. Personally, this is how I would correct:
    101 Regina Mavis Monologue
    102 I’ve Got My Ticket Lord part 1
    103 I’ve Got My Ticket Lord Part 2
    104 It’s Gonna Raid
    105 Do Lord Remember Me
    106 Look Up And Live
    107 Oh Freedom
    108 This Train
    Bob Dylan and his band

    By Job Hunter on Nov 15, 2014

  10. haha 104 should be It’s Gonna Rain. No pesticide involved.

    By Job Hunter on Nov 15, 2014

  11. Thanks Job Hunter. Once again, all the best.

    By bigozine2 on Nov 15, 2014

  12. good luck job hunter !

    By dropkick sarge on Nov 15, 2014

  13. gmal…I give it a yes vote…lord knows I’ve had this love/hate relationship with Bobby for over 35-40 years now as a hard core fan…’79-’81 is hard to explain but as in artist he has followed his muse his inner spirit he is an enigma, I admire & appreciate that in him & as a fan the most respect you can give an artist is the freedom to do what moves Bobby(them)…you may not like or think it’s not up to par what the output is/was & you may be correct in your gut reaction but that what art do…!!! lol…

    personally i d rather listening to ths period than the mid ’80’s mid ’90s Bob or the latest incarnation of him & his band say the last 10 years but that’s just me…

    By Jerry's Finger on Nov 15, 2014

  14. I`m an early bob fan and think his beat work came up to and including blood on the tracks.The born again phase seemed very listless to me as if it refelcted bobs life at the time in turmoil and without any real inner strength .As if he was looking for a ring partner to toughen up.
    Don`t think Bob has fully returned since.I miss his outspoken ,daring boisterous highway 61 /blonde on blonde days..

    By dropkick sarge on Nov 15, 2014

  15. I saw this tour in Seattle and the only thing that stuck with me was Solid Rock & Tim Drummond on bass. Liked it so much that I went to Tower and bought 461 Ocean Boulevard.

    By Pierre on Nov 15, 2014

  16. Good luck with the op Job Hunter
    Can’t say as how I share your faith but my brother had a similar situation with a malignant melanoma on his neck requiring a chest and neck operation so I know something of what you are going through. I know I speak for the majority on here wishing you all the very best and you are in our thoughts
    Good vibes or prayers, whichever way you swing are winging your way. It is always fascinating to hear from people who were connected to the group who worked with Bobby at this time

    By swappers on Nov 15, 2014

  17. I didn’t get it then, and I don’t now all these years later either. To me, this represented the onset of the decline. You can hear it in these Mike the Mic recordings. Everything was still pretty much status-quo for 1978, not real different sounding from the onset of that other watershed moment in 1965 when he went electric. Then this, and I can understand the audience reaction to it if I shelled out $10 or $15 hard-earned 1979 dollars for Bob Dylan only to find a southern Baptist tent revival. When it was finally done, and Bob came back to performing what the crowd really wanted to hear, the Never-Ending Tour, etc., his distinctive voice was gone replaced by a cynical hardness and gravel-sounding spoken lyrics.

    By Mr. Jimmy on Nov 15, 2014

  18. I agree with you totally, Sarge. Blood On The Tracks was really the end. The only thing of real note since was the theme-song to “Wonderboys”, Things Have Changed.

    By Mr. Jimmy on Nov 15, 2014

  19. @GMAL:
    While other albums wrestle for the “favorite album” spot in his catalog (Blood on the Tracks, Street Legal, Time out of Mind), his ‘born again’ trilogy is likely my “favorite period” for the guy. I love this stretch of his music. It exudes a different depth to me, and I say that without any religious posturing. I just love the feel and the songs.

    That said, this period does wrestle with the Time out of Mind/Love and Theft/Modern Times trilogy as my favorite “period”. Such is Bob.

    By kingpossum on Nov 16, 2014

  20. @Job Hunter:

    Blessings, thoughts, power, love.

    By kingpossum on Nov 16, 2014

  21. Thank you all for your sincere thoughts. I’m hoping that my broken leg will be a lot better by the day of the cancer surgery. It is truly a pain to go to all these pre-op appointments and procedures hobbled.

    By Job Hunter on Nov 16, 2014

  22. Gmal, strongly suggest you pick this up. Although I’m not a particular fan of the gospel period Bob, a few years ago I listened to everything I could from this period because I was completely blown away by the passion of the performances. Both Bob and the band are really going for it and it’s worth a listen. When the Slow Train, Saved etc were originally released I was completely turned off by the music and the religious focus but if you can see past that to the performances in the live recordings you’ll wonder why that didn’t translate first time around. Cheers

    By Peter mcglynn on Nov 16, 2014

  23. @Job Hunter: Prayers and blessings. Todd

    By todd on Nov 16, 2014

  24. jobhunter , looks like lots of good people here are concerned for your health. The good vibes never hurt man, hope you can find some peace as you go into battle.

    By sluggo on Nov 16, 2014

  25. I first saw Dylan on this tour - Buffalo, NY - and was surprised by a few things: 1. LOTS of people walked out of the show. I mean, probably close to half. Being a long-time fan and first-timer live, I couldn’t believe it! 2. He didn’t play any old songs - I wasn’t prepared for that either. Now, 35 years later, I get it, but I didn’t see it coming. 3. The show absolutely ROCKED! The energy, the passion, the focus (and yes, Pierre, the drumming!). Great show. Kinda like Newport 65: if you kept your mind closed to the possibilities, you missed out on a great show.

    Mr. Jimmy: revisit Time Out of Mind (1997). Took me a while to get that album, but one day it set in and has never let go. Best thing since Blood On The Tracks, and one of his best ever. Really……

    Job Hunter: many good wishes.

    By rick on Nov 16, 2014

  26. I love this period of Dylan. Even though the Christian sentiment means nothing to me it meant and lot to him, and it shows. BTW, I was at the Hollywood Sport show, my last concert in South Florida before moving to NC.
    Years later I had to privilege of interviewing Spooner Oldham, who thought this was one of the best bands he’d ever played with. And he’s played with some great ones! I’d love to see a few of these shows become the next Dylan Bootleg Series.

    By James Cassara on Nov 16, 2014

  27. Thank you, todd, sluggo, and rick.

    I recall Bob Dylan being upset by the final studio mix and production on Saved. He insisted that the sound wasn’t right at all. He fought to have the right to redo it, but the Label said no. These live recordings I think show the fire that he probably was hoping to capture in the studio.

    By Job Hunter on Nov 17, 2014

  28. A great collection and our thanks go out for sharing it with the rest of us … appreciated. 1979 was a good year for Bob … like all the years that went before and have come after! Cheers.

    By Canute on Nov 17, 2014

  29. Many thanks to all of you who responded to my enquiry, thanks of course to BigO for sharing this music.

    By GMAL on Nov 18, 2014

  30. “I love this period of Dylan. Even though the Christian sentiment means nothing to me it meant and lot to him, and it shows.”

    I agree 101%.

    Thanks for this show.

    By allan on Nov 19, 2014

  31. I recently got the “Blood On The Tracks”, “Saved” and “Slow Train Coming” CD’s so I am very happy to hear this live show featuring many of those songs. A lot of people don’t care for the “Born Again” Dylan but I found the songs from that period to be of better quality than most of the stuff since Nashville Skyline. Just my 2 cents worth. Thanks for putting this show out.

    By Mackster on Nov 20, 2014

  32. nothing here from blood on the tracks Mackster and there is no way the born again music compares with blood on the 2 cents and probably many others .

    By darth coroner to the stars on Nov 20, 2014

  33. i can’t let go and i won’t let go.

    By tman on Nov 20, 2014

  34. Bob Dylan’s “born again” records included some of his best songs (”Every Grain of Sand” is a good example) but the production is mediocre late 70s mush, (except for Mark Knoplfler’s work on “Slow Train Coming”) and the albums have their share of duds.

    The reaction was definitely mixed. “Gotta Serve Somebody” spurred John Lennon to write a scathing response (”Serve Yourself”)but anything that roused him out of his depressed house husbandry can’t be all bad.

    Dylan’s 80s recordings are a mixed bag, but “Infidels” is great (esp. with outtakes like “Blind Willie McTell” and “Oh Mercy” is worthy as well. I like “Things Have Changed,” but it sounds to me like Bob was listening to Leonard Cohen before he wrote that one.

    And the past two decades have seen some fine work even though his voice is long gone. I don’t think it’s fair to compare everything to “Blonde on Blonde” or Blood on the Tracks.” You can only be young once, and nobody should have to be miserable enough to make an album like BOTT more than once.

    By Eric on Nov 20, 2014

  35. I agree with you Eric about the born again yrs…
    that trilogy of slow train saved & shot of love was over produced yet there are some fine songs written don’t forget Angelina in there…!!!

    but stack that up against the 3 of the 80’s…knocked out empire down in the grove…in general the born again years win…of course infidels was great & oh mercy was so so…every album has bob gems on there & some left out like you mentioned…

    time out of mind is the best thing he has released since bott…love & theft is up there as well but not like toom or bott…

    now the last three releases starting with modern times are throw aways for me…compared to the born again triad give me the religious bob…!!!

    By Jerry's Finger on Nov 21, 2014

  36. one day the little boy and girl were baked in a pie

    By ween newton on Nov 21, 2014

  37. At the risk of being flamed, those who contend that Dylan’s last “good” album was Blood On The Tracks have cloth ears.

    What followed would inevitably be in the shadow of what is undoubtedly the best work by the most important artist of the 20th century in any medium (now there’s a sweeping statement), but Desire, Slow Train Coming, Saved, Infidels, Oh Mercy, Time Out Of Mind, Love and Theft, and Tempest are genuinely excellent albums. Granted, there are some major clinkers during that same period, but you can’t enjoy the sun without sitting in the rain from time to time.

    As for the “born again” period, well, it’s ripe for re-evaluation and perhaps a forthcoming Bootleg Series will prove that Dylan sang like a bird in 1979-80, and with such utter conviction that you can’t help be drawn in.

    Try this for size.

    By AndrewWild on Nov 21, 2014

  38. @GMAL
    I always liked Slow Train as a record, never got much into the next two, but never really listened t them. That one though is solid based on what I hear. Just look at the players, basically the band on this recording plus Mark Knopfler on lead guitar. Dylan was always preaching one message or another, so the music is what counts. It’s not what he’s saying, but how he says it. If you know what I mean…

    By brian on Nov 22, 2014

  39. @brian,Thank you for your feedback, This in now going into the collection.

    By GMAL on Nov 22, 2014

  40. Saw Dylan Sept 1978 in New Haven CT on this tour. From what I recal the show was a rocker but not what I expected. I stayed for the entire show. How can anyone walk out on a Dylan show. Still my favorite show was the Rolling Thunder Revue 1975. That’s was hours of great music and Dylan was super. Caught him one final time in 2009 on the minor league stadium tour. Fun to see him again after all those years, so sad the voice is gone.

    By Webwar on Jan 20, 2015

  41. Dylan on fire, disappearing inside a perfect message. Oh Lord, will we live to see such days again ?

    By Rupert deBare on Jan 23, 2015

  42. web - normally i dont see why ppl would walk out on dylan but i can see why this could happen during his born again period in what.. the early 80s?
    i remember when ppl walked out on van morrison when he did entire sets without doing a single song anyone recognized. i think it was very early in my life. it may have been the first time i ever saw him in fact. i didnt know much of his music at the time so i didnt know good from bad and i was just happy seeing him live. later on i realized that he didnt do any of the songs that i knew either. but i didnt realize that the songs i knew of his were his. when i listened to all the songs that were his i asked the people who turned me on to his songs why he didnt do those songs they told me he was trying something new. i only went to see him 2-3 more times in my life i think. at least dylan didnt pull that crap. but i can see why ppl would walk out on an artist who changes things up on them if they go to see him to hear songs they know. ppl cant expect to hear an all greatest hits set and nothing else. but to not hear even one song they know? thats ridiculous.

    By darth on Jan 23, 2015

  1. 2 Trackback(s)

  2. Jan 19, 2015: roio » Blog Archive » BOB DYLAN - SANTA MONICA 1979 (Mike Millard Master Vol 7)
  3. Sep 27, 2017: roio » Blog Archive » BOB DYLAN - SANTA MONICA 1979 [LTE VERSION]

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