ERIC CLAPTON - LONG BEACH 1974 [MILLARD TAPE]

July 13, 2021 – 6:01 am

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ERIC CLAPTON
Long Beach 1974 [Mike Millard Master Tapes via JEMS, 2CD]
The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Volume 84. Live at the Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, CA; July 19, 1974. 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 - Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, CA; July 19, 1974

We have moved steadily through the late ’70s and early ’80s of late, but Vol 84 takes us back to the formative year of 1974 and one of Mike’s best recordings in the pre-Nakamichi era, Eric Clapton performing the first of two nights at the Long Beach Arena.

A soundboard recording of the second night in Long Beach has been in circulation for many years and several songs from that July 20 show wound up on official releases. The first night, July 19, now circulates as a board tape as well, but we believe this may be the first time an audience recording has surfaced. Regardless, we had to cut one song, “Have You Ever Loved A Woman,” for the DIME release as it appears on a couple of official compilations. Those seeking the complete recording should Talk To Devotees.

Like Dylan’s return to the stage the same year, Clapton’s ‘74 tour was a major event, as he had not toured extensively since Derek and the Dominos. As Jim notes below, the guitar god was not in the best of health at the time, but there are still many outstanding performances on the tour, all played from behind a pair of very dark sunglasses.

The July thyh set has a few changes from the more famous second show, including versions of “Willie And The Hand Jive,” “Mainline Florida” and “Tell The Truth.”

This is a historic night in Millard history as it marked the very first show Mike and Jim recorded together. I will leave it to Jim to tell the story below. As for the recording itself, it is amongst the best of Mike’s early work, on par if not a little bit closer and clearer than his Elton John ‘74 tape. The recording is as good as the gear Millard was using at the time could capture, though Mike himself only rated it “Good.”

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Here’s what Jim R recalled about Eric Clapton at the Long Beach Arena 1974:

First of all, for me this is a very special set of notes that I am honored to pen, during which lots of memories came flooding back.

Mike and I together attended the Eric Clapton concert at the Long Beach Arena on July 19, 1974. This concert marked “My First Collaboration with Mike.” We met exactly four months earlier at a Yes concert at the same venue, the Long Beach Arena. Do I venture to call it destiny? Remarkably, I still have the phone message that my mom wrote down saying a Mike Millard had called, in regards to our meeting at the Yes concert at in Long Beach. Little did she know.

The Clapton show was Mike’s eighth live recording out of what would eventually total over 300. In these early days, Mike was ramping up his recording prowess and he must have recognized the need for an accomplice. He told me he was looking for a dependable partner in crime, someone who would be his right-hand man and assist him with his recordings. Someone who could also help to score the tickets, aid Mike in getting his equipment past security, sit or stand watch alongside him during the concert, then helping out after the show. Lucky for me, I fit the bill. Little did we know then what the future held.

With both of us being big Clapton fans, the Long Beach shows were a must see. It had been a long wait since the Cream and Blind Faith days. For both of us this was our first time seeing EC.

We sat in the first few rows on the floor; therefore, this concert was our first foray into the “inner circle” i.e. the close-up floor seats. We were instantly spoiled and the “sweet spot” was born. We were in the Big Leagues now. Please note I could not find my 7/19 stub, but my 7/20 stub says we sat 4th row on the floor. Amen.

Sitting so close resulted in a big jump in the quality of recordings and also my photos for that matter. Or should I say, the potential for a jump in quality.

Since Mike and I had met four months prior, we were both asking that burning question: “How do we get great floor seats?” For this concert at the LB Arena the answer was a scalper called Troy Tickets. We saw an ad for Troy in the LA Times, checked them out, bit the bullet and paid I think $30 for our seats, four times the $7.50 face value. That was a lot of money for us, but in our minds Clapton was worth it.

The 1974 tour was the sunglasses tour, with Eric sharing lead guitar with George Terry. It has been well documented that after years of drug and alcohol abuse, being the lead singer and lead guitarist on this tour put a lot of pressure on Eric, hence the sunglasses to hide behind and the sharing lead duties with Terry.

Being the “Pre Nak550 with AKG Mics in the Hat” days, Mike used a Sony deck with a Shure mic (hence the mono recording) taped to the chair arm between us. Very primitive, but hey it was a good start.

The concert had a great setlist and the cherry on top was John Mayall joining in on the last song.

I hope you enjoy the recording and my pictures. Cheers to my buddy Mike Millard. 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.

Professor Goody gave this Clapton recording a little extra TLC. Thank you to him as well as mjk5510, our unwavering production lead and the engine the pulls the JEMS train.

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:
(Probably) Shure microphone > Sony TC-152SD 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. Introduction 3:22
Track 102. Smile 4:37
Track 103. Let It Grow 6:02
Track 104. Can’t Find My Way Home 6:18
Track 105. I Shot The Sheriff 8:28
Track 106. Badge 8:39
Track 107. Willie And The Hand Jive/Get Ready 9:18
Track 108. Crossroads/Steady Rollin’ Man 8:34
56 mins

Disc 2
Track 201. Mainline Florida 8:18
Track 202. Layla 5:26
Track 203. Tell The Truth 10:00
Track 204. Steady Rollin’ Man 7:04
Track 205. Band Introductions 2:18
Track 206. Little Queenie 7:13
Track 207. Blues Jam 13:59
55 mins

Click here to order Eric Clapton releases.

  1. 17 Responses to “ERIC CLAPTON - LONG BEACH 1974 [MILLARD TAPE]”

  2. Thank you very much BigO.

    By Derrick & the Dominos on Jul 13, 2021

  3. such a strange song to open a concert with, Charlie Chaplin`s “smile”.

    By sluggo on Jul 13, 2021

  4. Twernt me above nuther fake

    By U L E on Jul 13, 2021

  5. News flash: I got stoned this weekend listening to this concert and the internet is going wild over it…thanks BigO

    By nirob on Jul 13, 2021

  6. Yes this is good
    Always liked Cream too

    By The Truth on Jul 13, 2021

  7. Nuther fake above . Twernt me

    By U L E on Jul 14, 2021

  8. Rumor has it Eric gots a Big Un

    By U L E on Jul 14, 2021

  9. Bebe says he gots a big Un alright U L E . A big soft Un . Rumor has it EC had trouble keeping his big Un hard .

    By T J on Jul 14, 2021

  10. Probably all the smack he was shooting up back in the day .

    By T J on Jul 14, 2021

  11. More Sinatra please . The big dic needs to return .

    By D Martin on Jul 14, 2021

  12. Another Millard tape . I think this was before he upgraded to his better cassette recorder . 75 was when he upgraded . That year he recorded legendary bootlegs by Pink Floyd , Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones.

    By Bill on Jul 14, 2021

  13. Think the recorder he upgraded to was a Nacamichi cassette with two microphones.

    By Bill on Jul 14, 2021

  14. None of the above twas me. I gots no interest in this man’s wiener.

    By U L E on Jul 14, 2021

  15. Nuther fake on last one . All I said was rumor has it. Eric gots a Big Un

    By U L E on Jul 14, 2021

  16. Someone mentioned my name . Eric does indeed , or did have a Giant Coc . One of the biggest I’ve seen , and I’ve seen plenty. Actually in 1974 , during this tour I got with Eric , backstage of course. He pulled out his Coc and it was at least 10 inches long soft . Despite sucking on it for over an hour it never got fully hard . Maybe it was the smack , alcohol, or both . All I remember was , it got very frustrating for me . I so badly wanted that monster deep inside of me . I eventually got frustrated and walked out . That was my only backstages experience with Mr Clapton unfortunately. You know thinking back it may have been backstage at this show . I can’t be sure . That’s a lot of years and brain cells ago .

    By Bebe on Jul 14, 2021

  17. That experience with Eric was very hard on my ego . Fortunately my ego got a huge boost later that year when I became playboys miss November 1974.

    By Bebe on Jul 14, 2021

  18. Bebe gal , Eric never had that problem with me . His Dic k stood at half mast , rock hard every time I sucked him off and fucked him . You must have been doing something wrong . You are right about the size of his Dic k . It was a horse Dic k . I measured him at almost 13 fully erect. It was very fat too.

    By Pam Des Barris on Jul 17, 2021

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