THE WHO - LOS ANGELES 1980 [MILLARD]

August 3, 2020 – 5:29 am

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THE WHO
Los Angeles 1980 [Mike Millard Original Master Tapes via JEMS, 2CD]

The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Volume 24. Live at the Sports Arena, Los Angeles, CA; June 23, 1980. Very good audience recording.

Thanks to Mike Millard; Rob, Jim R; Barry G; JEMS; BK; and mjk5510 for sharing the show at Dime.

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Intro 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.

Until this year, 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 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.

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Here is Rob’s account of how Millard’s master tapes were saved:

After Mike left us, I visited his mom Lia occasionally, usually around the holidays. She’d talk about the grandkids and show me pictures. She had no one to help out around the house so I did some minor improvements like fixing a kitchen shelf that collapsed and another time a gate that hadn’t worked for years.

After a few visits, I explained to Lia how the tapes were metal, up to 25 years old already and would eventually deteriorate. She agreed to let me take the tapes and make copies. We went into Mike’s bedroom and it was exactly like I remembered it when I was there years before. I loaded up every tape I could find and went to work copying them. Oldest first, some requiring “surgery.”

Months later when I was done copying, I compared what I had copied to a list Mike had compiled of his masters and realized there were many shows missing. I returned the tapes and asked Lia if we could see if there were any more somewhere else in the house. We went into a back bedroom and found a bunch of boxes filled with more original master tapes. I loaded them up, thanked Lia and left. This was the last time I would see her. I copied the rest of the tapes and stored the masters in a cool dry place until late last year when Jim R. reached out. We had known each other through Mike. After speaking with Jim and later BK who had tracked him down, I knew their partnership was the “right way” to get this music out to everyone who wanted it. I’m sure Mike would agree.

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Initially, Rob copied a large batch of Millard’s master cassettes to DAT and returned them to the house. The second time around, he was given a large portion of the cassette collection, different from what he had copied to DAT.

The first round of DAT transfers features some of Millard’s most famous recordings of Led Zeppelin, ELP, the Rolling Stones and Jethro Tull. The second traunch of actual cassette masters includes his captures of Yes, Genesis, Peter Gabriel, Rush and Pink Floyd.

As exciting as it is to access Millard’s masters of the shows we know and love, there are many new recordings in both batches from artists like Elton John, Queen, Thin Lizzy, Eric Clapton, The Who, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, Guns N’ Roses, Linda Ronstadt, David Bowie, the Moody Blues, U2 and more.

Even with an information gap in the mid ‘80s (when Millard was surely taping but there is no tape or written evidence as to what he captured), we have confirmed nearly 300 shows Millard did record. Of those, there are master cassettes for approximately 100 shows, DATs off masters of another 75 and first generation analog copies for 30-35. Collectively, that nearly quadruples the number of extant Millard recordings.

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The Who - Sports Arena, Los Angeles, CA; June 23, 1980

We continue our series with another one of Mike’s favorite bands, The Who, in the midst of a rejuvenated renaissance that would see them perform seven shows in Los Angeles in June 1980, a run that began with two nights at the Forum followed by five at the Sports Arena. 6/23/80 was the first show of the Sports Arena stand and captures the band in fighting form.

Because JEMS recorded many Who shows in this era ourselves (some of which we will release soon), I’m very familiar with the core 1979-80 set which starts with the one-two punch of “Substitute” and “I Can’t Explain” then “Baba O’Riley.”

While fans justifiably fetishize Who recordings with Keith Moon, the truth is the set lists on Moon’s last tour, 1976, grew a little stale. Here we get a great mix of the must-include songs along with fresh takes of “Sister Disco,” “Music Must Change,” “Drowned,” “Who Are You,” “5:15” and “The Real Me.” The inclusion of a three-piece horn section adds a new sonic layer, as does the keyboard work of John “Rabbit” Bundrick, who undoubtedly helped foster opening up the song selection.

I love Pete’s guitar tone in this era and the improvisations that frequently occurred in the encores. On this night, “Twist and Shout” eventually mutates into Pete singing lyrics that revolve around a chorus of “This Place Belongs to Us.” Some Who websites refer to the song as “You Belong to Us” but Townshend doesn’t really sing that.

Mike’s recording of the show is what I’ve come to appreciate as “classic Millard quality,” close but not too close, with wide fidelity that nails The Who’s sonic signature that runs from the rich rumble of Entwistle’s bass up to the ringing cymbal sound Moon made famous and Kenney Jones, even with his very different drumming style, maintained in spots. Samples provided.

Here’s what Jim R recalled about the show:

Mike and I together attended The Who show on June 23, 1980 at the LA Sports Arena. The wheelchair was not used for this show. A payoff was made to security staff to get in our gear. This same security supervisor was near the stage, close to our seats, so we were “protected” so to speak.

It was one of five LA area Who shows we attended within about a week’s time. We went to The Forum on 6/20 then to four out of the five LA Sports Arena nights.

For the June 23 show, we sat in the 4th row, Section A on the inside aisle. These were our best seats of the five concerts. Mike’s recording quality and my pictures reflect in our close proximity to the PA and stage.

As a fan looking to get the best possible seats at face value from the box office, the worst three words you can hear are “Mail Order Only” for a ticket sale.

“Mail Order Only” is code for box office corruption, as that system provides no visibility to the general public. The brokers would get all the best seats and even most of the average ones. Tickets for the LA Sports Arena were tightly controlled by the downtown LA ticket brokers. We had an “in” with a key person at Al Brooks’ agency who gave us a “deal” on all our tickets for the five shows. Even so, the tickets were very costly at the time; therefore, we could sanely afford to attend only five of the seven LA area performances.

The Who offers a little nostalgia. The first show Mike ever recorded was The Who in 1973 on the Quadrophenia tour. I was there, too, but we didn’t know each other at the time. But destiny awaited us both. By the way, Keith Moon was a maniac on the drums.

Back to the June 23 show. If I had to choose a few words to describe the concert they would be explosive, high energy. We rarely sat in our seats. In fact, at times we had to stand on our seats, even in the 4th row. With Mike standing on his seat, he relied on me to check the level meters on the Nak.

Roger Daltrey was in fine form, his voice was strong. Pete Townshend did his thing despite a brace on his right hand due to a previous hand injury. John Entwistle remains one of my favorite bass players of all time. At times he is a “Lead Bass” guitarist. Kenney Jones did a great job on the drums. The show was basically a Greatest Hits event. The Oldies section of the encore was a highlight.

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JEMS is proud to partner with Rob, Jim R and Barry G to release Millard’s historic recordings and to help set the record straight about the man himself. Mike held this particular run of Who recordings in high esteem, putting the tapes in a special zippered case that he labeled with the dates of the shows he recorded. He also made a compilation of performances from across the run, something he did with two other favorite multi-night stands, the Rolling Stones in 1975 and Peter Gabriel in 1977. His Who logo artwork for this run of shows is eye catching.

We can’t thank Rob enough for reconnecting with Jim and putting his trust in our Millard reissue campaign. He kept these 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 series would not happen without the support of our post-production lead mjk5510, who has been working overtime to keep up our weekly pace of new JEMS projects. Thank you as always for your invaluable partnership.

In these unprecedented times we will attempt to accelerate our release schedule to put more music in your hands and ears while we are bunkered in. Please stay positive, help your neighbors, help strangers and let’s get to the other side of this intact. Better still, make a donation to a food bank or other key support organization helping out those who are struggling even more than you are to get by.

Lastly, 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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Lineage:
AKG 451E Microphones (CK-1 cardioid capsules) > Nakamichi 550 Cassette Recorder
JEMS 2020 Transfer: Mike Millard Master Cassette > Nakamichi CR-7A (azimuth adjustment; Dolby On) > Sound Devices USBPre 2 > Audacity 2.0 capture > iZotope RX6 > iZotope Ozone 6 > MBIT+ resample to 1644> Audacity > TLH > FLAC

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (320 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 if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files. Also email us if you have any rarities you’d like to share with our readers.

Disc 1
Track 101. Substitute 3:27
Track 102. I Can’t Explain 2:54
Track 103. Baba O’Riley 6:15
Track 104. My Wife 6:26
Track 105. Sister Disco 5:33
Track 106. Behind Blue Eyes 4:44
Track 107. Music Must Change 8:02
Track 108. Drowned 10:38
Track 109. Who Are You 9:16
58 mins

Disc 2
Track 201. 515 7:00
Track 202. Pinball Wizard 3:18
Track 203. See Me Feel Me 6:31
Track 204. Long Live Rock 4:15
Track 205. My Generation 3:46
Track 206. Sparks 4:52
Track 207. Won’t Get Fooled Again 13:29
Track 208. Summertime Blues 5:07
Track 209. Twist And Shout 5:10
Track 210. You Belong To Us 1:09
Track 211. The Real Me 7:41
63 mins

Click here to order Who releases.

  1. 49 Responses to “THE WHO - LOS ANGELES 1980 [MILLARD]”

  2. Derrick/HHH the fuckin who. even thugh no moon still 3/4 the who

    By David Duke on Aug 3, 2020

  3. He was frequently at odds with Daltrey, who felt that Jones’ drumming style was not right for the band (Jones’s playing was usually straighter and less frenetic than Moon’s), but Daltrey has denied having anything personal against Jones or his drumming.

    By David Duke on Aug 3, 2020

  4. DD why do you never say Thank You Big O?

    By Derrick on Aug 3, 2020

  5. Rumor has it that I think about penis, all of the time.

    By U L E on Aug 3, 2020

  6. DD , love The Who , but it just wasn’t the same after Keith croaked. Liked Kenny Jones better wit the faces. Still not bad though . They was still good in 79 / 80 / 81 / 82. Haven’t really cared for em after that . Hate the fact that Roger and Pete tour today as The Who .Fuck that man . At least Plant and Page didn’t call themselves Led Zep when they toured in the 90s

    By Derrick on Aug 3, 2020

  7. The Ox , John Enwhistle was my favorite bass player of all fuckin time . The dude was fuckin Amazing.A man among boys

    By Derrick on Aug 3, 2020

  8. Who’s next and Quadrophenia is the best who albums . I think that their best live period was the late 60s early 70s . There is a show that you can download on line from Amsterdam in 69 that is fuckin awesome. They do Tommy live all the way .

    By Derrick on Aug 3, 2020

  9. Twernt me above . Nuther fake . Rumor has it this was a band of Big Uns

    By U L E on Aug 3, 2020

  10. With Roger being the Biggest Un

    By U L E on Aug 3, 2020

  11. I sucked and fucked this band so many times that I lost count . I was backstage after this show too . Everyone, and I mean everyone in the band had Giant Cocs

    By Bebe on Aug 3, 2020

  12. Keith Moon used to dip his Giant Coc in chocolate syrup and have me lick it off , as Pete would give it to me doggie style . Those were wild times.

    By Bebe on Aug 3, 2020

  13. Live at Leeds is the best live album of all time. I know the concert your talking about Derrick. I downloaded that also They were the greatest after the Zeppelin

    By David Duke on Aug 3, 2020

  14. Bebe , How did you ever find time to eat and sleep ? It seems that in the seventies and eighties every minute was either spent with your legs in the air or on your hands and knees .

    By T J on Aug 3, 2020

  15. I wish bebe would suck me off.Ive tried putting chocolate syrup on my coc and my own dog wont lick it off

    By U L E on Aug 3, 2020

  16. Did you fuck black guys too ? That seems to be a big deal with many people these days .

    By T J on Aug 3, 2020

  17. bebe was a good woman.she knew what to do to to get rid of the tension

    By David Duke on Aug 3, 2020

  18. DD , live at Leeds was great . It was recorded on February 70 . Is you talkin bout the original single album version, or the later editions that had the whole show ?

    By Derrick on Aug 3, 2020

  19. The original was edited and only had 7 songs , they didnt think it would sell to the public back then to have a double or triple live album . Years later they released it in full on cd .

    By Derrick on Aug 3, 2020

  20. The problem wit that though was that they would start off the shows wit Heaven and Hell , after 5 or 6 songs , they’d do the whole Tommy thing , then finish off the shows wit summertime blues , Shakin all over and my generation. On the official release they separate it . All the non Tommy songs is on one disk and Tommy is on disk two . That sucks to me

    By Derrick on Aug 3, 2020

  21. There is a legitimate unedited live at Leeds bootleg on line , that has the whole show in the right fuckin order . That’s the one to get if you can find it . I got one and burned the show to CDs . Plus these days anything official might be fucked with in the studio. Warts and all is the way to go for me

    By Derrick on Aug 3, 2020

  22. Derrick, bet you don’t know where Leeds is

    By HHH on Aug 3, 2020

  23. Hey triple h, Leeds is in Kentucky.

    By Derrick on Aug 3, 2020

  24. at least they didnt do The Ox

    By Madame Phoot on Aug 3, 2020

  25. DD, fuck the Dic suckin Jew bastard name hijackers . Sure you know which is me as do I .

    By Derrick on Aug 3, 2020

  26. They should all get what Joe Pesci got in Casino

    By Derrick on Aug 3, 2020

  27. Baseball bats breakin every bone in their bodies , dragged and dumped in shallow graves, buried alive screamin in pain as the dirt is shoveled

    By Derrick on Aug 3, 2020

  28. The late great Frank Vincent doin the honors, just like in the movie

    By Derrick on Aug 3, 2020

  29. Hey DD, Frank Vincent was also in the sopranos , played Phil Letardo. I can still hear that crunch when that truck fire crushed his head like a grape

    By Derrick on Aug 3, 2020

  30. Derrick, stop making an idiot out of yourself. Shut your fat, fucking pie hole.

    By HHH on Aug 3, 2020

  31. He was also in good fellas , played billy bats . Pesci and Deniro stabbed him to death in that car trunk , never should have told Tommy ( Pesci ) to shine his shoes

    By Derrick on Aug 3, 2020

  32. Derrick, you sound like an idiot. Please stop embarrassing us.

    By HHH on Aug 3, 2020

  33. Hey triple h , I know that ain’t you or I would tell everyone how you fingered my 17 year old asshole back in the day . Fuckin petofile

    By HHH on Aug 3, 2020

  34. Derrick, stop pretending that you’re not me. It’s pathetic.

    By HHH on Aug 3, 2020

  35. Hey DD , are you seein this shit? I wish we could report these name stealin assholes to someone . This is pissin me off

    By Derrick on Aug 3, 2020

  36. I’ll get back to you later, Derrick. I have to go to court today.

    By David Duke on Aug 3, 2020

  37. My pants fell down accidentally, while I was walking past a playground.

    By David Duke on Aug 3, 2020

  38. Some liberal retard mom called the cops on me.

    By David Duke on Aug 3, 2020

  39. derrick, your right on target with live at leeds. 2/14/70. never could understand why they would open with heaven and hell. the other thing i couldnt understand unlike zep, the who pretty much played the same set for years

    By David Duke on Aug 3, 2020

  40. the who should of started off with i cant explain or substitute. Made no sense kicking off the set with the ox. up until whos next, the sets were the same. thankfully when i saw them in 71, whos next just came out and they played 3 o 4 songs from tommy. they did a great version of baby dont you do it, naked eye, magic bus and my generation.

    By David Duke on Aug 3, 2020

  41. Awesome! We can always do with more WHO! Now surely there is a tape of McCartney & Wings from ‘76 in Millard’s bag. That would be great to hear!
    Thanks BigO!

    By BigE on Aug 4, 2020

  42. Hey DD , sorry to hear about your court date . You should be fine . Tell the judge that you is friends with Trump and they let you go

    By Derrick on Aug 4, 2020

  43. niggers try to put us d-down (talkin’ ’bout my generation)
    Just because we get around (talkin’ ’bout my generation)
    Things they do look awful c-c-cold (talkin’ ’bout my generation)
    I hope I die before I get old (talkin’ ’bout my generation)
    This is my generation
    This is my generation, baby

    By David Duke on Aug 4, 2020

  44. Why don’t all u niggers f-fade away (talkin’ ’bout my generation)
    Don’t try to dig what we all s-s-s-say (talkin’ ’bout my generation)
    I’m not trying to ’cause a big s-s-sensation (talkin’ ’bout my generation)
    I’m just talkin’ ’bout my g-g-g-generation (talkin’ ’bout my generation)

    By David Duke on Aug 4, 2020

  45. not me with the court date. must be mark or the homo that loves big uns

    By David Duke on Aug 4, 2020

  46. I had mine out the other day. Looking at it.

    By Derrick on Aug 4, 2020

  47. Cannot help noticing that, as we go from basically mid-1970s to 1980 with Mike Millard’s catalog of boots, something changed, quality-wise. The performances get further and further into the crowd noise. And therein is the problem with live bootlegs. By and large, they suck. Millard’s earlier work was far and away better, that would challenge a studio release or a soundboard. What happened?

    By Mr. Jimmy on Aug 4, 2020

  48. I’ve also noticed that Millards recordings from the mid seventies sounded better than his later bootlegs . Maybe he became bored and wasn’t as particular with details, seating , equipment etc . Every audience recording is a crapshoot. Much depends on the bands sound system, seating location, crowd noise etc. it’s not an exact science.

    By Bill on Aug 4, 2020

  49. This who recording to me though sounds fine , even though the crowd is a bit noisy.

    By Bill on Aug 4, 2020

  50. Not a bad show at all. Thank you BigO.

    By Matt on Aug 12, 2020

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