have here is what is probably the last recording from the legendary taper Mike
Millard, aka Mike the MICrophone, best known for his masters of Led Zeppelin
and Rolling Stones done in and around Los Angeles circa 1975-77.
accompanying notes: “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.
All that changed
with the discovery of many of Mike Millard’s original master tapes.
read that correctly, Mike Millard’s master cassettes, long rumoured 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 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 that 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.
recording, it is a notable entry in the Lost and Found series. Mike's recording
of Keith Richards and the Expensive Winos at the Universal Amphitheatre on
January 23, 1993 which is the last confirmed Millard recording we have tracked
down to date. Is it his last recording? Possibly, but we're not ready to state
that as a fact quite yet. It is also the first DAT master we've discovered in
the collection that was recorded by Mike himself.
didn't own a portable DAT recorder, but his friend Ed F did and Mike recorded
the show for Ed using his own AKG mics and Ed's Panasonic SV-250 DAT recorder,
imported from Japan. Ed and Mike recorded concerts together before (Dylan '78),
and on occasions when Mike's Nakamichi was in the shop for repairs, he would
borrow Ed's Uher cassette deck. As we have noted before, there were also
occasions where Mike loaned his gear to others, so beyond Mike's own masters,
there are recordings done with Mike's gear but not by him.
was on tour in support of the second Expensive Winos project, Main Offender,
and the set mixes songs from that album and the band's debut, Talk Is Cheap,
along with covers and select Rolling Stones material.
taping location is unknown, but as you'll hear on the tape that he was
surrounded by the kind of people tapers dread, loud, obnoxious and physical.
You'll hear interactions between Mike and some of the folks seated near him and
they aren't entirely friendly (Will But You Won’t). Worse still, about halfway
through the show, Mike has an equipment issue which results in the full loss of
one channel and a massive level drop in the other. The result made the
recording almost unlistenable, but through software mastering we were able to
amplify and restore the low channel, which leaves a large chunk of the show in
mono but listenable for the first time. Samples provided.
bit surprising listening to this Richards solo performance 28 years later is
how tame it sounds. This is not the shambolic New Barbarians, but a relatively
well-rehearsed and, by Keef standards, polished show. It is certainly lacking a
bit of edge and urgency, but should appeal to fans just the same”.
apart from Keith Richards on guitar and vocals include: Waddy Wachtel on guitar,
Jerome Smith on bass, Bobby Keys on sax, Steve Jordan on drums, Baby Floyd and
Sarah Dash on backing vocals.
This is a
nice recording, well restored that presents the Expensive Winos at their best
in a standard set offering their best tunes at the start of their 1993 US Tour.