and Found Mike The Microphone Millard Tapes Vol.40 is the subtitle of this
release that has just appeared on a famous torrent site. The last 1989 L.A.
concert had previously only appeared on tape as Live in Los Angeles 22 Oct.89
that was transferred on cdr as Memorial Coliseum October 22,1989- Other cdr titles
have been Last Night in L.A. 89 and Los Angeles 89 Part 4.
and Found Mike the MICrophone series presents recordings made by legendary
taper Mike Millard, a.k.a. Mike the MICrophone, best known for his masters of
Led Zeppelin done in and around Los Angeles circa 1975-77.
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. But 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 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 works.
There’s also a version of the story where Mike’s family dumped the tapes after
he died. Why would they do that?
is Mike’s masters remained in his bedroom for many years after his death in
1994. We know that 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, long time Millard friend Rob S was the one she knew and
trusted enough to preserve Mike’s work.
archive yields another gem, which is Mike the Mike’s recording the Rolling
Stones playing their fourth and final night at the colossal Memorial Coliseum
in Los Angeles, site of two Olympic Games. This was the biggest stand of shows
the band ever played in Los Angeles, with more than 360,000 people attending
over the four performances (for a combined gross of $9+ million). Yes, Steel
Wheels was the Stones’ first U.S. tour since 1981, so demand was high. But
attendance at the Coliseum was undoubtedly bolstered by having Guns ’n Roses
and Living Colour as opening acts. GNR was on top of the world at that moment.
Mike did record their sets as well but unfortunately they can’t be shared.
would also prove to the band’s final tour with original member Bill Wyman on
bass, which could lead one to call Steel Wheels (and Urban Jungle, the later
ex-US leg) the last tour of the band’s middle era. However we may see Steel
Wheels as the first tour of the modern era, driven primarily by the addition of
Chuck Leavell on keyboards, who has sat on that piano bench ever since. Sure,
the band toured with Billy Preston on keys and Ian Stewart and McLagan along
the way, but Leavell’s arrival had two major impacts: one, it opened up the
band’s catalogue, as with his keyboards and synthesizers, heretofore
“unplayable” songs requiring strings or other studio-centric sounds could be
recreated which explains the inclusion of tracks like “Ruby Tuesday” and “2000
Light Years From Home.”
second impact is debatable but…his keyboard arrangements can be a little on the
cheesy side. Over time, his place in the mix of what the live Stones sound
like, how much of the melody he is carrying vs. the rest of the band, has only
increased to the point where once it was jokingly referred a Bridges to Babylon
recording as “Chuck Leavell featuring members of the Rolling Stones.”
said let’s listen to Millard’s fine capture more than 30 years later.
enormous size and shape, the Memorial Coliseum is a challenging venue for
taping as so few seats are close to the PA. Even with Millard sitting in the
main section on the floor, seven rows back, the recording has a little distance
to it but is otherwise clear, full and steady.
words: “We can’t thank Rob enough for reconnecting with Jim and putting his
trust in our Millard reissue campaign. He kept these 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 and photos. As many of you
have noted, the stories offer an entertaining complement to Mike’s incredible
audio documents, though Jim didn’t attend this show. Finally, cheers to the
late, great Mike the MICrophone. His work never ceases to impress. May he rest
Time now to
give it a go and listen to this new source which from its very beginning
provides a sense of power with a recording that presents the Stones in the
greatest shape from their 1989 return tour. The recording is generally fine,
although a bit distant and that is felt when Jagger speaks, also there is some distortion
on the bass frequencies that can be heard on songs like Undercover Of The
Night. Overall the impression is, however, that the tape is running a tad faster,
probably some expert would know how to fix that just in case, but anyway this
is a nice recording of an eventful night.