This recording comes from a Mike Millard first generation cassette via JEMS and as
The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Vol. 13.
What we have here is yet another recording made by legendary taper Mike Millard, a.k.a. Mike the MICrophone, best known for his masters of Led Zeppelin and Rolling Stones
done in and around LA circa 1975-77.
This Rod Stewart/Faces concert was the last show in the LA area for that tour and is the third of many previously unknown, unattributed and/or uncirculated Millard recordings provided to JEMS by Jim R, who was Mike s partner in crime for many years. I am the one who pushed Mike in the wheelchair, Jim writes, Mike and I attended at least 200 concerts after meeting at a Yes show in 1974. I feel lucky to have had him as a best friend during that time. Jim helped Mike smuggle in gear, stymie security and score the best seats for taping, all while shooting photographs himself at most of the shows Mike recorded. In the taping history of Mike Millard, this concert is notable as it was the first he recorded with his brand new Nakamichi 550 cassette deck. Here s what Jim recalls about the Faces show and arrival of the soon-to-be-legendary Nak 550:
The Faces at The Forum on March 5,
1975 was a significant event in that it was the first Mike Millard recording using a Nakamichi 550 with AKG mics. It became the new Gold Standard for tapers during that era. Mike bought the Nak that March because of the upcoming Led Zeppelin shows, he wanted the best quality he could get. Nakamichi had an excellent reputation
building near reel-to-reel quality cassette decks. At the time, Nakamichi s home decks in the States were the Nak 700, which retailed for $700, and the Nak 1000, which ran a
grandm that was a ton of money back in 1975; it is believed this portable version did cost the man over 500 $ plus the microphones, still a lot of money.
But let s go back to Jim words: it was early March and So Cal was buzzing with anticipation for several Led Zeppelin shows in the area starting with San Diego on March 10 and Long Beach March 11 and 12;
I got a phone call from Mike saying, you have got to come over and check this thing out,
it s a monster. I asked, What is it? Mike said to just come over. I jumped in my car and drove over to his house (we lived about 15 minutes apart at the time). I went into his room and on a table was the Nak 550. Next to it was his previous Sony deck; the new Nak was 2-3 times bigger. I looked at Mike and asked, How are we going to get this in? The next thing that was said was: we have got to try it out. Mike not only purchased the Nak 550 but also AKG 451-E mics to go with it.
As luck would have it, Rod Stewart and Faces were playing The Forum in the next day or so. This would be a perfect dress rehearsal for the upcoming Zep shows. We scored a
couple last-minute tickets in Loge 11, Row K, about 15-20 rows back and 11 rows off the floor. They were not the usual primo seats in the first 5 rows in the middle, but they would do just fine.
The show was great. It was high energy and a lot of fun. Ronnie Wood was still playing lead guitar, soon thereafter he would have joined the Rolling Stones filling the spot vacated by Mick Taylor after he quit in late 74
this Faces 1975 tapes a new era of recording was born, and the quality that we know from Mike Millard began.
This recording has up-close sound, so much so that it was presumed some of the
guitar must have been leaking onto the tape from the stage amps, but Jim notes they were sitting in loge seats on the side, nicely aligned with the PA. For
a first attempt on a brand new tape deck, Mike must have been thrilled with the results, as his recording is bright, lively and captures the spirit of Faces very well indeed.
Some joker, soon as it was posted on a famous torrent site even claimed it is a soundboard, it is not but yet an excellent audience recording.
To the best of our knowledge, Mike s Faces recording appears to be uncirculated or at least out of any broad trading or posting circles. There is no mention of the recording on the web, though we did find a link to a People magazine piece that said at that show backstage is where Rod Stewart met Swedish actress Britt Ekland. A recording of this concert was circulating, but in worse quality and running too fast, so this is a
real great upgrade.
Packaging is minimal but nice, although there is still confusion about the location,
front cover says Los Angeles, liner notes say Inglewood
;, it must be noted that a photo of the actual ticket is included too.
Now, this recording is over 85 minutes long, however it has not been split in 2 discs (you guys know that there 90 are minutes cdr on sale, do you?) a decision that
won t probably be taken by other labels that will soon copy such work, in order to
maximise their profit.
As for future
plans there are a lot of great Millard uncirculated recordings as well like this one, a lot to look forward to if you re a fan of Mike Millard s work or eager to get new sounds from the past.