ERIC CLAPTON - LAGUNA HILLS 1988 [MILLARD TAPE]

January 28, 2022 – 6:16 am

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ERIC CLAPTON
Featuring Mark Knopfler
Laguna Hills 1988 [Mike Millard Master Tapes via JEMS, 2CD]

The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Volume 109. Live at Irvine Meadows, Laguna Hills, CA; September 23, 1988. 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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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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Eric Clapton - Irvine Meadows, Laguna Hills, CA; September 23, 1988

Another week, another tremendous master recording by Mike “The Mike” Millard. BTW, Mike himself wrote his name as “The Mike” most of the time, though there are examples in his own hand of “Mike The Mic” as well. But I digress.

We turn the clock back to 1988 and what was only the fifth show Mike recorded after his self-imposed sabbatical from taping between 1984 and 1988, Eric Clapton and his pal Mark Knopfler performing at Irvine Meadows.

Mike’s history with Clapton goes back to 1974, recording one of EC’s Long Beach Arena shows with his original rig (Vol. 84 of the Lost and Found series). He also caught Eric at the Forum on August 14, 1975, released as Vol. 33. Curiously, he did not record Clapton again until this show, though Mike’s cassette collection includes a copy of the Santa Monica Civic shows in 1978 from the King Biscuit Flower Hour broadcast. Mike also caught the show at Pacific Amphitheatre in March 1990.

I’ve heard a fair number of Clapton live recordings from tours in the ’80s, ’90s and even 2000s, most of which leave something to be desired. Not because they are weak performances, but more that the sound and arrangements of Clapton’s classic songs can lack bite, sound thin and just don’t pack the punch I want them to–which explains why I was so happy with Mike’s capture of this 1988 show.

Perhaps due to Mark Knopfler role in the band and position high in the mix, the versions of “White Room,” “Badge,” “Layla” and other EC favorites are robust and to my ears superior to those from other modern tours. Clapton’s vocals are strong too, and points to drummer Steve Ferrone who is killing it. This is much closer to what I want Clapton to sound like, and that makes for a satisfying listen.

Mike’s recording does the performance justice, sounding punchy, rich and close. He did experience channel dropouts in a handful of spots during the show, and one channel was really low for about 25 mins in the middle of the set. We’ve applied fixes to those issues and we hope you are as satisfied with the results as we are.

I’d be remiss if I failed to point out Knopfler performing one of his own songs, Dire Straits’ hit “Money For Nothing,” as the second to last song of the show. “Money For Nothing” was only three years old at this point, and while the musical arrangement is relatively faithful save for the guitar solos, Knopfler sings it differently, even bluesy in spots, which helps make the song fit EC’s overall set.

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Here’s what Jim R had to say about Clapton Irvine Meadows 1988:

I did not attend the Irvine show, but I have a hunch what Mike was thinking and feeling as he did.

To Mike and me, Eric Clapton harkens back to our early teen years, when Cream ruled the airwaves. Cream was the first “Supergroup.” In fact, that’s probably when that term was coined. Oh how we longed for the the “Clapton is God” days, to relive that history: His silky smooth, effortless guitar playing and magisterial jamming. Listening to this show, with four Cream songs, brought me back and reminded me of moments that I would have loved to share with 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.

As usual, it takes a village to present the weekly Millard releases. Thanks to Professor Goody his pitch assessment and to mjk5510 for applying his touch to the final 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 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

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. Crossroads 7:47
Track 102. White Room 6:45
Track 103. I Shot The Sheriff 8:50
Track 104. Lay Down Sally 5:54
Track 105. Wonderful Tonight 7:11
Track 106. Tearing Us Apart 7:06
Track 107. After Midnight 6:06
Track 108. Can’t Find My Way Home 6:09
56 mins

Disc 2
Track 201. Badge 8:19
Track 202. Same Old Blues 15:00
Track 203. Band Introductions 3:59
Track 204. Cocaine 5:57
Track 205. Layla 10:56
Track 206. Money For Nothing 6:27
Track 207. Sunshine Of Your Love 8:46
60 mins

Lineup:
Eric Clapton - guitar
Mark Knopfler
- guitar
Alan Clark
- keyboards
Nathan East
- bass
Steve Ferrone
- drums
Jody Linscott
- percussion
Katie Kissoon
- backing vocals
Tessa Niles
- backing vocals

   Click here to order Eric Clapton releases.

  1. 16 Responses to “ERIC CLAPTON - LAGUNA HILLS 1988 [MILLARD TAPE]”

  2. Rumor has it Eric gots a Big Un

    By U L E on Jan 28, 2022

  3. THANK YOU Big O Amigos. Will listen to “Can’t find my way home tonight, on my way back to Thompson. Be well, James

    By James on Jan 28, 2022

  4. 2610:1700:64b0:39f0:469a:853d:bbc:6c9

    my ip adress if anyone wants a great blowjob

    By U L E on Jan 29, 2022

  5. Last one twernt me nuther fake

    By U L E on Jan 29, 2022

  6. I’ve told this story before. In the summer of 74 I went backstage with Eric , and despite sucking and licking his giant Coc , he couldn’t keep it hard . It was indeed huge , a good 13,inches semi hard and very fat . But a soft Coc is such a turn off . I must have licked and sucked it for over an hour . I eventually gave up and stormed out . That was my only backstage experience with the guitar god .

    By Bebe on Jan 29, 2022

  7. That experience with Eric was a big blow to my ego needless to say . Fortunately for me my ego got a big boost a few months later when I appeared in playboy as Miss November 1974 , a torrid affair with Rod Stewart followed, a giant Coc himself, and the rest is history

    By Bebe on Jan 29, 2022

  8. A big un on Eric I heard . Dude gots a trout in his trousers, double size hoagie

    By ELU on Jan 29, 2022

  9. Oh for those glorious days before the me too movement emasculated all men .

    By T J on Jan 29, 2022

  10. Men were real men and women loved it

    By T J on Jan 29, 2022

  11. Hey Bebe you old cumbucket

    My footlong member never goes soft but I guess it would vanish without trace in your cavernous pus sy.

    Is it true your ass is so loose that you have to wear a butt plug now?

    By Strap-on Suzi on Jan 29, 2022

  12. Suzi, whats a butt plug? Im willing to try

    By Jocko P on Jan 29, 2022

  13. Last two twernt me nuther fake

    By U L E on Jan 29, 2022

  14. Twernt me on last one . Nuther fake

    By U L E on Jan 29, 2022

  15. Twernt me on last four . Nuther fake

    By U L E on Jan 29, 2022

  16. Fake on last one twernt me

    By U L E on Jan 30, 2022

  17. Men were real men and I for one loved it

    By T J on Jan 31, 2022

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