THE WHO - INGLEWOOD 1980 [MILLARD TAPE]

September 21, 2021 – 5:39 am

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THE WHO
Inglewood 1980 [Mike Millard Master Tapes via JEMS, 2CD]

The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Volume 95. Live at The Forum, Inglewood, CA; June 20, 1980. Very good audience recording.

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

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Known Faults: The show is joined in progress, missing the start of the show which was “Substitute,” “I Can’t Explain,” “Baba O’Riley,” “My Wife” and “Sister Disco.”

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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The Who - The Forum, Inglewood, CA; June 20, 1980

The year is 1980 and The Who, resurrected with the addition of Kenney Jones on drums, return to Los Angeles to perform seven concerts. That’s an impressive number of tickets to sell in a single market and shows the demand for the band at the time.

Mike The Mic took The Who’s return seriously, recording five of those seven shows including this, opening night of the run at The Forum, the first of two gigs there before moving to the Sports Arena for the final five, one of which, the June 23 show, was released as Vol 24 in our series.

As was occasionally the case, Mike and Jim R arrived late, missing the start of the set for reasons Jim explains below. After the standard ‘80 tour opening five songs, Mike gets rolling at the start of “Behind Blue Eyes” and does an excellent job the rest of the way. Despite being incomplete, there are still plenty of highlights to be found here, including an extended, jammy “My Generation” flowing right into a horn-driven “I Can See For Miles.” That’s followed by the brilliant Tommy instrumental, “Sparks.”

The end of the show features a punky take of “Young Man Blues,” followed by a cover of Martha and the Vandellas’ “Dancing in the Street” that expands into a jam on the future Pete Townshend solo song “Dance It Away,” with Roger Daltrey and Townshend both taking vocal turns. It’s one of the best “Dance It Away” jams I’ve heard, a showcase for the unique improvisation The Who was doing circa 1979-80. Before “Dance It Away” ends, Townshend sings a few lines of “Another Tricky Day,” which would eventually be released on the band’s Face Dances album a year later. The show wraps with a long version of the Quadrophenia classic, “The Real Me.”

Mike’s riser seats put him in a great taping position and his work here sounds close and full.

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Here’s what Jim R recalled about The Who, opening night at The Forum 1980:

Mike and I went together to The Who concert at The Forum on June 20, 1980. Instead of our sweet spot on the floor, we were in the primo loge risers close to the stage.

This was opening night, just a couple days before a five-night stand at the LA Sports Arena. Ticket demand was higher for The Forum than the Sports Arena, as it was a more desired and prestigious venue. They didn’t call it the Fabulous Forum for nothing: The Lakers won the NBA Championship just a month before and The Forum was their home court. Much of the ticket demand was driven by the music industry, making the Forum a tougher ticket than the Sports Arena despite having larger capacity.

As riser seats go, these were excellent: Section 26, Row FF on the inside aisle. Row BB is two inches above the floor, so ours in FF were four rows above the floor and approximately 10-15 rows back from the stage. Definitely a PA tape. The mics in Mike’s hat had direct line of sight to the speaker columns.

The recording is joined in progress. My assumption/fuzzy memory as to why is we were waiting on Graham to get us in the side door where his paid-off security guard was lurking. This was 1980 and security had grown pretty tight. We had to find Graham in the parking lot or across the street from The Forum where he was unloading unsold tickets. Finding Graham often proved rather difficult. It’s a pretty big parking lot. In addition, Graham also had our tickets. Loge riser seats were the most prized by brokers, as their high-end clientele wanted to sit above the fray on the floor. Mike liked to call Graham the scalper’s scalper: He always had access to the best seats.

Due to increased security at The Forum, I left my camera bag at home. We had to stay under the radar. I included a couple pictures from the LA Sports Arena not used in Vol 24.

The Who were their typical tight-knit selves. High energy. Explosive. All four band members were in fine form and they played most of their big hits. All in all a great night.

I hope you enjoy this one as much as Mike and I did.

Cheers to my buddy Mike.

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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.

This week we recognize the contributions of Professor Goody for his help with pitch adjustment and to mjk5510 for post-production and artwork.

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
JEMS 2021 Transfer: Mike Millard Master Cassettes > Nakamichi CR-7A (azimuth adjustment; Dolby On) > Sound Devices USBPre 2 > Audacity 2.0 capture > iZotope RX8 > iZotope Ozone 8 > Peak Pro (post production) > 16/44 > 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. Behind Blue Eyes 4:01
Track 102. Dreaming From The Waist 7:45
Track 103. Drowned 10:19
Track 104. Who Are You 7:05
Track 105. 5-15 7:16
Track 106. Pinball Wizard 3:53
Track 107. My Generation 3:26
44 mins

Disc 2
Track 201. I Can See For Miles 3:57
Track 202. Sparks 4:24
Track 203. See Me Feel Me 6:36
Track 204. Won’t Get Fooled Again 10:13
Track 205. Young Man Blues 3:07
Track 206. Dancing In The Street 2:48
Track 207. Dance It Away/Another Tricky Day 6:25
Track 208. The Real Me 9:56
48 mins

Click here to order Who releases.

  1. 16 Responses to “THE WHO - INGLEWOOD 1980 [MILLARD TAPE]”

  2. Thanks again BigO, an incredible run of shows and I grabbed the last four! Great set of music from when The Who had thunder even after Keith’s passing.

    By Tony Pizza on Sep 21, 2021

  3. Yer now this is real Rock…
    more please

    By Tired of Van Morrison on Sep 21, 2021

  4. More Van Morrison. More Van the man !!!

    By T J on Sep 21, 2021

  5. Rumor has it this was a band of Big Uns

    By U L E on Sep 21, 2021

  6. With Roger being the Biggest Un

    By U L E on Sep 21, 2021

  7. The Who was a groupies delight , every band member had a horse dic . Rogers was long , and so fat it took both hands to fit around it . Keith Moon was dead by this show , and he was large as well , but Kenny Jones his replacement was also huge . There must be something about drummers . Most I ever fucked were large . Pete , and John Entwhistle were also hung like horses .

    By Pam Des Barris on Sep 21, 2021

  8. Pete Townshend was arrested once for kiddie porn . Apparently he liked to use his big scholong on little boys . The pervert .

    By C Tony on Sep 21, 2021

  9. I read that story . Pete’s defense was that he was doing online research. He said he had experienced abuse as a kid . Yeah right .

    By T J on Sep 21, 2021

  10. How can “Mike The Mic” take The Who’s return seriously and miss the first 5 songs of the set?

    By Tjarley on Sep 21, 2021

  11. U-L-E, you fucking coc k sucking faggot. We dont care about coc k size. You have contaminated this website. you fucking pervert. Find a kiddie porn website you son of a bitch

    By swappers on Sep 21, 2021

  12. >>sigh<< not me - [the real deal] and thanks to the trolls and bottom feeding vermin I don’t pass by the comments much anymore but really get a grip you impostors. Have the courage of your sad convictions and chose a nom-de-plume or tag that is yours. You DO understand that giving your email address that the guys at Big O know you are not who you say you are?

    bye . . . . cretins spoiling it for everybody else!

    rant over . . . . .

    By swappers on Sep 22, 2021

  13. However Big O still keeps letting these comments through.

    By swappers on Sep 22, 2021

  14. Swappers , the powers that be probably are amused that there are so many dic heads / idiots out there . As for the groupies .Who knows if it’s really them . They are all old senile hags now .

    By Geoff on Sep 22, 2021

  15. Good show, The Who weren’t geezers yet , although Keith Moon was irreplaceable. I guess Millard was late getting to the gig .too bad , missing the first two songs sucks.

    By Pat Grooms on Sep 22, 2021

  16. Float like a butterfly sting like a bee aaahhhhhhhhhh Rumble young man rumble ahhhhhhhhhhhhh Im gonna whoop Joe Frazier like I was his daddy. Im gonna knock out that ugly Uncle Tom

    By Pat Grooms on Sep 22, 2021

  17. Thanks again BigO! Bummer to have missed Baba O’Reilly though…

    By sdw on Sep 23, 2021

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