May 18, 2023 – 7:06 am

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

The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Volume 151. Live at the Sports Arena, Los Angeles, CA; June 24, 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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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 - Sports Arena, Los Angeles, CA; June 24, 1980

For Volume 151 we revisit the Who’s triumphant return to the concert stage and night four of a seven-night LA stand spread across The Forum and Sports Arena. The previous show and Sports Arena opener is available as Vol. 24 in the Lost and Found series, while opening night in LA at The Forum on June 20 can be found on Vol. 95.

The Who’s resurrection following the death of Keith Moon found the band bigger than ever and even landed them on the cover of TIME magazine. They were selling out multiple nights in arenas all over the country and doing long runs in LA and New York City.

For some, any show without Keith Moon is inherently inferior to one with him, but true Who fans acknowledge that on the band’s last tour with Moonie in 1976 things had grown a little stale. The 1979-80 shows feel re-energized by comparison, with a wider-ranging setlist (pulling in songs like “5.15,” “Relay” and “Long Live Rock”), sharp performances and even some jammy encores where new songs like the closing number “Dance It Away” appeared. The song was recorded for Face Dances, but remained an outtake until the expanded reissue. Townshend released his own version as a b-side in 1982.

Even warhorses like “Substitute,” “I Can’t Explain” and “Baba O’Riley” feel revitalized and more recent fare like “Sister Disco” and “Who Are You” are standouts. My favorite song of the show is actually “Sparks” from Tommy, a testament to its power as an instrumental. The Who circa 1979-80 felt like a band that wasn’t about to be trapped in the prior decade.

As Jim notes below, he and Mike are in the ninth row for this one, slightly behind their traditional sweet spot, but getting plenty of direct PA sound and seemingly Townshend guitar as there are spots where he is appealingly high in a mix that seems to improve markedly after the first 30 mins of the show. The result is another clear, you-are-there Millard classic.

The LA Times has a nice webpage up about The Who’s 1980 LA return with photos from the night, review quotes and a note that the band sold out 110,000 tickets in the market. [Click here.]

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Here’s what Jim R recalled about seeing The Who at the Sports Arena:

Mike and I together attended The Who show on June 24, 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.

For June 24, we sat in the ninth row of Section B, that’s ninth row center. Yes “way back” in the ninth row–boy were we spoiled! These were our second-best seats of the five Who 1980 concerts we attended. Ninth row is a bit behind our sweet spot, but Mike’s recording came out pretty good. Ninth row is just a bit too far back for pristine photos. I tried my best.

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 scalpers. We had an “in” with a key person at Al Brooks’ agency who gave us a “deal” on our tickets for the five shows. Even so, the seats were very costly at the time; therefore, we could sanely afford to attend only five of the seven LA-area performances.

The Who triggers 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 24 show, if I had to choose a few words to describe the concert they would be explosive, high energy. The Who attracted a largely blue collar, very rowdy group of dedicated fans. We rarely sat in our seats. In fact, at times we had to stand on our seats. With Mike standing on his, he relied on me to check the level meters on the Nak 550. We used hand signals to communicate.

Roger Daltrey was in fine form, his voice 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.

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

Cheers to my buddy Mike. RIP.

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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.

Once more we thank our partners who help keep the Lost and Found Series rolling week after week. Professor Goody gave us our pitch adjustments and mjk5510 continues his peerless support on the post-production side. Shoutout to JEMS ally ademotte who stopped by while he was in town this week.

Finally, cheers to the late, great Mike the MICrophone. His work never ceases to impress. May he rest in peace.


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AKG 451E microphones (CK-1 cardioid capsules) > Nakamichi 550 cassette recorder
JEMS 2022 Transfer: Mike Millard Master Cassettes > Nakamichi Cassette Deck 1 azimuth-adjusted playback > Sound Devices USBPre2 > Audacity 3.1 capture > iZotope RX > iZotope RX9 Advanced and Ozone 9 > MBIT+ resample to 16/44.1 > Audacity > xACT 2.50 > 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 3:25
Track 102. I Can’t Explain 2:46
Track 103. Baba O’Riley 6:26
Track 104. My Wife 6:45
Track 105. Sister Disco 5:48
Track 106. Behind Blue Eyes 5:34
Track 107. Music Must Change 8:50
Track 108. Drowned 9:05
Track 109. Who Are You 6:43
Track 110. 5.15 7:02
63 mins

Disc 2
Track 201. Pinball Wizard 4:02
Track 202. My Generation 4:30
Track 203. Long Live Rock 4:05
Track 204. Sparks 5:11
Track 205. See Me, Feel Me 6:35
Track 206. Won’t Get Fooled Again 13:34
Track 207. Magic Bus 5:59
Track 208. Relay 6:00
Track 209. Dancing In The Street 4:33
Track 210. Dance It Away 5:28
60 mins

   Click here to order Who releases.

  1. 26 Responses to “THE WHO - LOS ANGELES 1980 [MILLARD TAPE]”

  2. Saw the Who last year in Tampa; one of the five best shows I ever attended. I’d argue it was even better and more professional than the shows they did in the early 80s, when they were unsure about their future after Moon’s passing.

    By Tony on May 18, 2023

  3. Tony, simply fascinating .

    By HHH on May 18, 2023

  4. I wished I looked like Emmit Till after they beat the shit out of me. He looks better beaten up than I do. i’ve been compared to the elephant man

    By Leonard on May 19, 2023

  5. Great to have this companion to the Millard recording of the first night at the LA Sports Arena! Thanks BogO!

    By Walter on May 19, 2023

  6. These modern day tattooed niggers with cornrows and ugly dreadlocks should all get what Mr Milam and Mr Bryant gave that Till monkey back in the fifties. We are becoming a race of mongrels .More halfrican Americans running around than ever . White sluts are worse than the niggers

    By Confederate Bob ( the real one ) on May 19, 2023

  7. I swear to fucking god , what is it with these nigger men and this tattoo, dreadlocks shit ? Every fast food restaurant, you got these monkeys working with food , that rolled up hair flopping everywhere, getting in the food . When I was a kid Nigger men had short kinky hair and Afros . Now it’s this dreadlocks shit . Plus restaurants made people who work with food wear hairnets. To everyone who is proud and white stay out of restaurants. Nasty niggers are preparing your food . I remember back in the 70s it was white college kids .Working to help pay their tuition. Times have changed for the worse . America is third world now

    By Confederate Bob ( the real one ) on May 19, 2023

  8. Nice to hear from you again Bob . I don’t comment hardly at all anymore, this place has become a joke , full of gay penis worshiping fag freaks and name stealers. You’re right . Bring back Jim crow .We are practically dead as a country the way we remember it as kids .Black apes with tattoos and dreads , hip hoppers arm and arm with hot white women , their little half breed kids tagging along . What would our parents say ? These modern day apes look like the products of incest many of them . Guess they took these rap lyrics seriously that spout out things like fucking your mamas and sistas

    By HHH on May 19, 2023

  9. It’s a hip hop baby mama culture that’s creating these modern black ape freaks and half breed kids .Back in the sixties and seventies you had black men with class and dignity. Men like Muhammad Ali, MLK , Malcolm X Bill Russell Sidney Potier, Bob Gibson , Henry Aaron , Dr J , Julius Erving , Frank Robinson , Blacks with class who wore suits , spoke perfect English were educated and married to black women

    By HHH on May 19, 2023

  10. That ape in the NY subway who got chocked out by that hero white ex marine is a classic example of modern black ape hip hop baby mama culture . Teen age mama , didn’t know his daddy , step father murders his baby mama etc . That’s what this modern day black ape hip hop baby mama culture is producing

    By HHH on May 19, 2023

  11. This country is toast , now with title 42 ending, more non white illiterate freaks will be storming the borders , making America even worse . Rapists , child molesters , murderers and retards will be coming to our neighborhoods with eyes on our white women and kids . Thanks Joe , you piece of career politician dementia ridden puppet piece of shit .

    By HHH on May 19, 2023

  12. Trump 24 hhh. Make America great and white again

    By Travis on May 19, 2023

  13. In my opinion it’s too late to turn things around bro . Damage has been done to the point of it being irreversible. Maybe if dementia Joe had never been elected, but we’ve still got two more years for the corpse to damage the country. If this were 50 years ago Joe and Mayorkas would have already been run out of office and tried for treason

    By HHH on May 19, 2023

  14. We have enough of our own black ape incest infested freaks running the streets, now we’re letting freaks from other countries in too .America is fucked

    By HHH on May 19, 2023

  15. Great to hear someone feel the same way as I do HHH and Bob. What the fuck up is with the jewish media and all these commercials showing interracial couples. What the fuck is that all about. Now its acceptable to show negroids with our women. This is filth and perverted

    By Gunther Strasser on May 19, 2023

  16. If a commercial shows a white couple now, it is considered racist and anti-woke. I served in Vietnam to condone this kind of behavior. T country is a cesspool. All the other nations are laughing at us with all the fucking immigrants crossing the border. We need another Adolph to put a stop to this

    By Gunther Strasser on May 19, 2023

  17. As far as fast food, I pass cause all I see are big fat ugly mamas cooking the food and I know they spit in the sandwiches that whitey buys

    By Gunther Strasser on May 19, 2023

  18. As you can see I have finally come out of my Winter hibernation.

    By HHH on May 19, 2023

  19. Hope you had a good long snooze triple. Back with plenty to say for yourself. Don’t poke the bear…

    By Derrick on May 19, 2023

  20. We lost another nigger legend. R,I,P Jim Brown

    By HHH on May 20, 2023

  21. He may have been my dad, Mom fucked a lot of guys who looked like Jim Brown.

    One of them threw her out the window of her trailer once, that may have been him.

    By HHH on May 20, 2023

  22. My penis is small, almost five inches when hard, so Jim may not have been my dad after all.

    By HHH on May 20, 2023

  23. I swear to fucking god, I LOVE sucking off black men with tattoos and dreadlocks! I go to soul food restaurants and sit in a toilet stall and let them fuck me in the mouth and jack off in my face!

    One guy blew his wad on my tonsils then slapped me in the face with his fat limp coc k, I thought I had a detachted retina, I couldn’t see straight, but it was just some jizz in my eye.

    By Cumfederate Boob on May 20, 2023

  24. You certainly live an exciting life Bob. Jealous? Moi?

    By HHH on May 20, 2023

  25. Those last few comments were the name stealers not me Figured they’d get their shots in

    By HHH on May 20, 2023

  26. Hey Derrick Nelson etc , if you guys are still around We lost a.true legend and gentlemen in the great Jim Brown . Old school , long before hip hop destroyed the black race and made them apes . Rest in piece Mr Jim Brown

    By HHH on May 20, 2023

  27. Oh go back into hibernation triple. We’re not here anymore .

    By Derrick on May 21, 2023

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