QUEEN - LONG BEACH 1977 [MILLARD TAPE]

January 14, 2021 – 6:01 am

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QUEEN
Long Beach 1977 [Mike Millard Master Tapes via JEMS, 2CD]

The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Volume 64. Live at the Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, CA; December 20, 1977. 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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Known Issues:
- Stone Cold Crazy: start cut

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 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.

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Queen - Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, CA; December 20, 1977

To wrap up a most difficult year for all, we wanted liberate a couple of very special recordings from the Millard archive. The first of which, Queen’s triumphant return to Southern California in late 1977, certainly fits the bill.

This December show was the second time Millard recorded the band, so we can assume (and Jim R confirms) that both he and Mike were quite taken with the first concert they saw in March, which we released as Vol 19 in our series.

With the release of their new album News of the World, Queen came back to town for three special SoCal holiday shows, this being the first night. Once again Mike delivers an outstanding capture, comparable with his March recording in terms of clarity and closeness. The setlist boasts several changes from that show as well, including the additions of “We Will Rock You,” “We Are The Champions,” “Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy,” “I’m In Love With My Car,” “Get Down, Make Love,” “Sheer Heart Attack” and a couple of others.

For several years now, JEMS has been in touch with Raf, a big Queen fan and collector. Since the release of Millard’s first Queen recording, we’ve chatted with Raf about Mike’s other Queen masters. Suffice it to say no one was more excited for this show to be released, and as such, we asked Raf to pen liner notes. Jim R didn’t attend this one with Mike, so instead, here’s what Raf has to say about Queen, Long Beach Arena, December 20, 1977:

The last 15 years, quite a few really good audience recordings from various Queen tours have emerged, giving us a clear picture of how truly fantastic the band sounded live on stage and how well their sound guy did his work!

What didn’t pop up on the Internet though was a truly great audience recording of the News of the World US tour, much to the regret of the Queen fan community, as this tour is arguably Queen’s finest. Now in 2020, (almost) exactly 43 years after the actual concert, we finally have such a wonderful recording for all to enjoy, thanks to Mike Millard and the great folks of JEMS.

When listening to this show one can only think: “How lucky we are master taper Millard showed up with his tape deck rolling on a night as excellent as this.” The funny thing is, we said the same about the excellent 3-3-77 LA Forum show also taped by Mike. He did surely know how to pick his shows!

This show is the first of three nights in the LA area, two in Long Beach and a final show at the Forum on 12-22-77. The latter is legendary thanks to the band performing “White Christmas” for the first and only time, along with all kinds of festivities taking place on stage and around the astounding performance; sadly no good recording recording of that night is available.

Clearly with 23 shows of the tour under their belt, the band are well into their stride in Long Beach. They’re in full focus with the intention of convincing everyone in the audience they can do anything anyone else does, and better. Even though they’d hit superstardom by now, this is no band resting on their laurels.

Casual enthusiasts who primarily know Queen because of the flamboyant frontman with that unique, fantastic voice will be pleased to hear Freddie Mercury has a wonderful night at the office. And maybe also that he has no mustache yet.

Freddie sounds tender and delicate on songs like “Love of My Life,” “My Melancholy Blues,” and “Good Old Fashioned Loverboy,” then the next moment he’s rocking hard - including growls and a (more) gritty voice - on songs like “Liar” or “White Man.” And he’s fast and furious on songs like “Stone Cold Crazy” and “Sheer Heart Attack.”

No other tour is a better testimony to the vocal versatility of Mercury, and, thankfully, it is perfectly captured on this audience recording. Also wonderful to hear is how fresh “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions” sound. Being the News of the World tour, this is, of course, the first time those songs are played live. The band play them because they want to, not because they’re super hits and they HAVE to play them.

The only criticism some ardent Queen fans may have is that the setlist is the same (save for “The Prophet’s Song” bit) as the well known Houston show of which a video with great audio has circulated for years. It is indeed a pity “It’s Late” and “Spread Your Wings” were not played this night. Given the nodules on Freddie’s vocal cords, they probably wanted to make sure he’d make it through three straight nights without his voice giving out.

After hearing this recording you will all agree: this setlist criticism is negligible when realizing this is a historic document of a legendary band in their prime taped by the one and only Mike Millard!

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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 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.

The honor roll for this week includes: Professor Goody for pitch assessment; Raf for his many supportive emails about our Millard series and his liner notes above, and last but never least, mjk5510 for handling post-production duties and so much more. He is the nerve center of JEMS.

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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Lineage:
AKG 451E Microphones (CK-1 cardioid capsules) > Nakamichi 550 Cassette Recorder
Transfer: Mike Millard Master Cassettes > Yamaha KX-W592 Cassette Deck > Sony R-500 DAT > Analog Master DAT Clone > Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 > Sound Forge Audio Studio 13.0 capture > Adobe Audition > iZotope RX8 > iZotope Ozone 8 > 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. We Will Rock You 5:39
Track 102. Brighton Rock 4:03
Track 103. Somebody To Love 6:44
Track 104. Death On Two Legs 3:02
Track 105. Killer Queen 1:57
Track 106. Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy 2:30
Track 107. I’m In Love With My Car 2:08
Track 108. Get Down Make Love 3:29
Track 109. The Millionaire Waltz 3:40
Track 110. You’re My Best Friend 2:17
Track 111. Liar 10:03
Track 112. Love Of My Life 3:49
Track 113. ‘39 4:11
Track 114. My Melancholy Blues 4:40
59 mins

Disc 2
Track 201. White Man 4:49
Track 202. The Prophet’s Song 4:32
Track 203. Guitar Solo 6:50
Track 204. The Prophet’s Song (Reprise) 3:52
Track 205. Now I’m Here 4:05
Track 206. Stone Cold Crazy 2:20
Track 207. Bohemian Rhapsody 5:24
Track 208. Keep Yourself Alive 4:22
Track 209. Tie Your Mother Down 4:37
Track 210. We Will Rock You 1:46
Track 211. We Are The Champions 3:42
Track 212. Sheer Heart Attack 1:46
Track 213. Jailhouse Rock 4:42
Track 214. God Save The Queen 1:12
54 mins

Click here to order Queen releases.

  1. 11 Responses to “QUEEN - LONG BEACH 1977 [MILLARD TAPE]”

  2. Absolutely fantastic. Can’t wait for the next Millard show, and any Queen shows.

    By jdallenx on Jan 14, 2021

  3. Rumor has it Freddie Mercury had a lil un and was a faggot

    By Corey M on Jan 14, 2021

  4. That is SIMPLY NOT true Corey M.

    By jdallenx on Jan 14, 2021

  5. Rumor has it Freddie had a Big Un

    By U L E on Jan 14, 2021

  6. Rumor also has it Freddie preferred Big Uns

    By U L E on Jan 14, 2021

  7. Suk cok

    By U L E on Jan 15, 2021

  8. RIP Sylvain Sylvain, 69, New York Dolls founding guitarist.

    I again have the aggressive form of Melanoma Cancer that I had 2014-2017 and will have surgery into the right side of my neck on Jan. 27th.

    By ScarRad on Jan 15, 2021

  9. Bummer Scar, adding another scar’s never fun. I’ll send out some good vibes for ya!!

    By Sumdh Umfuq on Jan 16, 2021

  10. Sumdh Umfuq, thanks. 4 weeks of radiation treatment caused the loss of ten teeth so far.

    By ScarRad on Jan 16, 2021

  11. That really SUCKS, Scar! I never heard of tooth loss from radiation but dental tech has advanced while bringing cost down a little. I’d say trading teeth for breathing is a no brainer.

    Joan Crawford yelled “Damn it! Don’t you dare ask God to help me”at her housekeeper, who was praying as Crawford died.

    Bette Davis allegedly said, “You should never say bad things about the dead, only good… Joan Crawford is dead. Good.”

    My handle here, obviously a play, I’m Christian not Muslim so I’d also have no problem putting in some good words in during my evening chat if you like.

    By Sumdh Umfuq on Jan 17, 2021

  12. I was hoping it was the Santa Monica show in 1976. Queen played in LA a lot! Thanks for everything BigO. - S.

    By Snot Snail on Jan 29, 2021

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