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Los Angeles 1989 [Mike Millard First-Generation Tapes via JEMS, 2CD]

The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Volume 89. Live at the Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA; September 6, 1989 (with patch from September 7). 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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Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe - Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA; September 6, 1988

Volume 89 moves us to 1989, which proved to be a very busy taping year for Mike Millard. He recorded 25-30 shows, 18 alone in September and October. Mike’s Yes fandom is well established by now, so he wouldn’t have missed two shows at the Greek by Yes splinter group Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe in the flurry of SoCal gigs he attended that fall.

ABWH setlists were rigid, so the first night Greek set represents the tour, with a selection of what might be called Yes’ Greatest Hits, a couple of fan favorites thrown in, plus material from ABWH’s debut album. In a bold move, the band’s biggest pop hit, “Owner Of A Lonely Heart,” is rearranged as a largely acoustic number at the top of the show.

Speaking of the top of the show, in familiar Mike the Mike fashion, he missed it, likely arriving late due to traffic and parking. Rob S went to this one with Mike:

“I met him at his house in Fullerton and he drove us to the Greek. I hadn’t seen a Yes show in several years and was excited to see this permutation of the band in a smaller venue. My only specific memory of the show was an announcement letting us know Tony Levin was ill and a replacement was there to play bass that night.”

Good memory, Rob.

The Greek dates were among the first few shows after Tony Levin was forced to drop off the tour following a reported bout of food poisoning. He was replaced by Jeff Berlin, with whom the band quickly rehearsed in San Diego at the start of September. Picking up the bass parts for any band would be challenging enough, but replacing Chris Squire’s original parts on the Yes material is truly daunting. Perhaps hardcore fans feel otherwise, but listening to this show, Berlin acquits himself nicely.

Because he missed the first 10 or so minutes of the show, when Mike made copies for Rob, he patched the missing start of the September 6 show with the same portion of the set from the next night, which Millard also recorded. It is a seamless patch for the analog era and the quality between the two parts is virtually identical.

We’ve waxed on before about the great sound at the Greek and ABWH is no exception. It is another excellent capture by Millard, with some moments of close crowd noise (including someone trying to enter his row).

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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.

Big ups to Rob this week for his work on the transfer, scanning and memories. Goody gave this one his pitch approval, and of course mjk5510 made sure we got this one done in time as always.

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 2021 Transfer: Mike Millard First-Generation Cassettes > Nakamichi CR-7A (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
September 7, 1989
Track 101. Young Persons Guide To The Orchestra 2:10
Track 102. Time And A Word 2:48
Track 103. Owner Of A Lonely Heart 2:02
Track 104. Teakbois 2:25

September 6, 1989
Track 105. Clap 4:46
Track 106. Mood For A Day 4:39
Track 107. Wakeman Solo 6:04
Track 108. Long Distance Runaround 4:06
Track 109. Bruford Solo 2:35
Track 110. Birthright 7:18
Track 111. And You And I 10:20
Track 112. I’ve Seen All Good People 9:34
Track 113. Close To The Edge 19:57
79 mins

Disc 2
Track 201. Themes 6:39
Track 202. Brother Of Mine 12:02
Track 203. The Meeting 5:24
Track 204. Heart Of The Sunrise 11:22
Track 205. Order Of The Universe 9:11
Track 206. Roundabout 9:30
Track 207. Starship Trooper 12:48
67 mins

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