July 11, 1975
Mike Millard Master Tapes via JEMS
Patches from Ed F Master
The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Volume 117
Recording Gear: AKG 451E Microphones (CK-1 cardioid capsules) > Nakamichi 550 Cassette Recorder
Transfer: Mike Millard Master Cassette > 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
01 Honky Tonk Women
02 All Down The Line
03 If You Can't Rock Me > Get Off Of My Cloud
04 Star Star
05 Gimme Shelter
06 Ain't Too Proud To Beg
07 You Gotta Move
08 You Can't Always Get What You Want
10 Tumbling Dice (Ed F recording)
11 It's Only Rock'n Roll (Ed F recording)
12 Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker) (Ed F recording)
Known Faults: Start of "You Can't Always Get What You Want" patched with Ed F recording. The end of "Happy," plus "Tumbling Dice," "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll" and "Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker) from Ed F recording. The rest of the show is available separately on Ed F's complete recording.
Introduction to the Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Series
Welcome to JEMS’ Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone series presenting recordings made by legendary taper Mike Millard, AKA Mike The Mike, best known for his masters of Led Zeppelin done in and around Los Angeles circa 1975-77. For the complete details on how tapes in this series came to be lost and found again, as well as JEMS' long history with Mike Millard, please refer to the notes in Vol. One: [www.dimeadozen.org
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 1993.
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.
The full back story on how Mike’s master tapes were saved can be found in the notes for Vol. 18 Pink Floyd, which was the first release in our series transferred from Millard’s original master tapes:
Rolling Stones, The Forum, Inglewood, CA, July 11, 1975
We finally arrive at the one of the most famous stands Mike The Mike recorded: the Rolling Stones 1975 performances at The Forum. Mike taped the first, third, fourth and fifth nights of the five-show stand, though as outlined below, there is long-standing confusion about which circulating recordings by all tapers come from which performance.
Some of you have written asking why we hadn't done any of the 1975 Stones tapes. The simple answer is that only one of them is fully unreleased and therefore DIME friendly. Night one on July 9 contains "Sympathy For The Devil," later issued on Love You Live. The fourth and fifth nights are part of the band's official vault release series, though again, collectors have questioned the dates credited on the Eagle Rock DVD. With Mike skipping July 10, that leaves July 11 as the only unencumbered recording, and as fate would have it, that's the night Mike recorded only 45 or so minutes of the concert.
Why did Mike stop taping? We've put that question to some of the friends he was there with that night and the answer seems to be that he was both unhappy with the sound and the people around him who wouldn't calm down and were attracting unwanted attention. With those two factors working against him, he decided shut things down.
As you can hear in the portion of the show he did record, Millard's recording picks up a lot of Keith Richards' guitar amp directly off the stage. The unbalanced sound also leaves Mick's vocals low in the mix. While it is not Mike's best 1975 Stones capture, hearing Keith's guitar so clearly certainly makes for an interesting listen. Through mastering, we did have some luck pulling Mick's vocals a little more forward. Regardless, I found the overall quality to be excellent, which is how Mike rated the recording hmself. Samples provided.
While JEMS considers ourselves relatively Stones savvy, the confusion about these dates and recordings is above our paygrade. For help, we turned to LetItBleed who wrote this in an attempt to explain the July 11/July 12 fuzziness:
"The date of the performance captured on this recording has long been presumed to be July 12, 1975. We now strongly believe it is July 11 and here is why:
Until the official release of the Eagle Rock “LA Friday” companion DVD (an upgrade of the only widely circulating videotaped performance from the 1975 tour),it had always been assumed in collectors’ circles that this particular concert occurred on July 11. The “video concert” has gained questionable fame because it displays some of the worst playing of the entire tour and shows the band on an obvious off night with missed cues, out of tune guitars, sloppy vocals (not the good kind) and a general carelessness by the players (not the cool kind).
The Eagle Rock release credits state that the videotaped concert occurred on July 12. At the time Eagle Rock's LA Friday came out, some believed the credited date to be an error/mislabel for what should have been the "known" July 11 performance.
Mike Millard's friend Ed F recorded all five LA Forum 1975 shows including the “video concert." His cassettes clearly identify that respective recording as July 12 and there is no reason to believe that he was wrong. Nor is it likely Mike Millard got it wrong, too.
The previous assumption of July 11 date for the "video concert," at least to my knowledge, was verified or proven. With that in mind and two completely independent sources attributing the “video concert” to July 12, we now strongly believe that what was always believed to be the July 11 concert is actually July 12 and vice-versa. This is not the video concert, but night three, recorded on July 11.
Unfortunately, during both concerts, there are no comments from the stage which can definitively corroborate the date. However, we feel confident identifying these source recordings as July 11 based on the above evidence."
Or in other words: Eagle Rock was right all along.
This release is from Millard's master cassette, transferred to DAT by Rob S in the early 2000s. Rob's contemporaneous notes also credit the recording to July 11.
Mike records his first side of tape, from the show start through "You Gotta Move." On the tape flip, he misses the start of "You Can't Always Get What You Want," which have patched in from our fresh transfer of Ed F's master cassettes. "Happy" follows and Mike gets the first minute or so of the song before rustling around and eventually shutting down his recorder mid-song. We've patched the rest of "Happy" from Ed F's tape, along with what would have been the remainder of side B of the tape through "Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)." Our thinking in presenting it this way is because we are also releasing Ed F's full master recording concurrently with Millard's, completing the first two sides of their composite recording makes it easy to pick up the rest of the show from Ed's master, side three of which begins with "Fingerprint File." One part all Millard; a second Millard and Ed composite.
LetItBleed also had this to say about caliber of the show itself: "Another strong band performance, maybe a notch below the night before during the first part, but things really pick up during the "Happy"/"Tumbling Dice"/"IORR" triplet. It sounds like Mick is giving Keith a few wake-up calls during the first couple of numbers, the latter apparently takes notice and then delivers with gusto."
Here's what Jim R recalled about the third night of the Rolling Stones' LA Forum residency on July 11:
I went with Mike to four out of the five nights of the Rolling Stones at The Forum on July 9-13, 1975. I missed the Thursday July 10th date. I remember that Mike went but did not record for reasons lost to history.
As this is the first Lost and Found series release of the Stones Forum '75 stand, there is a lot to cover. I'll try to be concise.
The Stones implemented a star-shaped stage for LA and NY shows only. The points of the stars could be raised and lowered using hydraulics. This has been well documented. There were three star tips across the front, a middle, left and right. The show opened with the points folded up concealing the band members. With the opening chords of "Honky Tonk Women," Mick was on the top of the middle tip as they were lowered, revealing the stage.
Given this unique stage design, unfortunately there was no seating chart with row and seat numbers ahead of time. It was our practice to carefully scout our seat locations using row and seat positions to acquire the best seats to record from and not get caught.
As a side note, we camped out for tickets for several days to buy tickets, and as luck would have it, we got a pair of seats in the first row in front of the middle tip of the star i.e. Front Row Dead Center!!! Holy Crap. That would have been an extremely high-risk location recording wise. so it is just as well we sold them to a couple of Mike's friends.
Ticket demand for the five shows was very high, leading to this Stones LA Forum stand commanding the first $50 scalped ticket price, a new high-water mark for the secondary market.
On July 11, we sat in what turned out to be Section B, Row E, Seat 14. This translated to row 5, almost dead center. We sat on Keith’s side every night of the stand, including this one, as the tape makes abundantly clear. These should have been killer seats to record from. Too bad Mike didn't get the entire show.
Keep in mind this was 46 years ago, so as far as why the recording was cut short, I cannot confirm nor deny any of the stories out there, other than we did not sit in the front row, we sat in the fifth, somewhat concealed, being in Seats 13 and 14 of a row 20 seats across. This does mean we were only six seats from security sitting in the center aisle of the floor. Regardless, I am sure Mike had a valid reason for stopping the recording on July 11.
Back to the show itself, it was a party scene every night. From our seats it was like the band was playing in a living room, a really big living room. The Forum ceiling was decorated with colorful tapestries and they even removed the scoreboard to accommodate the decorations. The show was a blast. I hope you enjoy Mike's audio tidbit.
Cheers to my buddy Mike. RIP.
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.
Addressing Mike's 1975 Stones recordings has been challenging. We thank LetItBleed for helping us sort through Mike's recordings and Ed's. Speaking of which, we truly appreciate Ed sharing his Memorex master cassettes with us, which deserve to be heard on their own as they really capture the atmosphere of the gig, and also provided key patches to Millard's master. Professor Goody has also been going the extra mile on Stones 1975, helping us pitch adjust and tune up both sources used here. Lastly, Christmas week is busy for all of us, but mjk5510 has kept the factory doors open to deliver another Millard installment along with other tasty goodies.
Finally, cheers to the late, great Mike the MICrophone. His work never ceases to impress. May he rest in peace.
BK for JEMS