Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Costa Mesa, CA
March 3, 1990
Mike Millard Original Master Tapes via JEMS
The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Volume 25
Recording Gear: AKG 451E Microphones (CK-1 cardioid capsules) > Nakamichi 550 Cassette Recorder
JEMS 2020 Transfer: Mike Millard Master Cassettes > Nakamichi RX- 505 (azimuth adjustment; Dolby On) > Sound Devices USBPre 2 > Audacity 2.0 capture > iZotope RX6 > iZotope Ozone 6 > MBIT+ resample to 1644 > Audacity > TLH > FLAC
01. Love Is A Long Road
02. A Mind With A Heart Of Its Own
04. I Won’t Back Down
05. Free Fallin’
06. Down The Road Apiece (Will Bradley Trio cover, sung by Stan Lynch)
07. Lonely Weekends (Charlie Rich cover)
08. Ben’s Boogie
09. Don’t Come Around Here No More
10. A Face In The Crowd
11. Listen To Her Heart
12. Something In The Air (Thunderclap Newman cover)
13. Alright For Now
14. Yer So Bad
15. Mr. Tambourine Man (Bob Dylan cover with Roger McGuinn)
16. Turn! Turn! Turn! (Pete Seeger/The Byrds cover with Roger McGuinn)
17. Eight Miles High (The Byrds cover with Roger McGuinn)
18. You Got Lucky
20. What Are You Doin’ In My Life?
22. Runnin’ Down A Dream
23. The Waiting
24. Straight Into Darkness
25. How Many More Days
26. Don’t Do Me Like That
27. Even The Losers
Known Flaws: cut/tape change at the start of “Refugee”
Intro 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 MICrophone, best known for his masters of Led Zeppelin done in and around Los Angeles circa 1975-77. For further details on how tapes in this series came to be lost and found again, as well as JEMS’ history with Mike Millard, please refer to the notes in Vol. One: http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=500680
Until this year, 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 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.
Here is Rob’s account of how Millard’s master tapes were saved:
After Mike left us, I visited his mom Lia occasionally, usually around the holidays. She’d talk about the grandkids and show me pictures. She had no one to help out around the house so I did some minor improvements like fixing a kitchen shelf that collapsed and another time a gate that hadn’t worked for years.
After a few visits, I explained to Lia how the tapes were metal, up to 25 years old already and would eventually deteriorate. She agreed to let me take the tapes and make copies. We went into Mike’s bedroom and it was exactly like I remembered it when I was there years before. I loaded up every tape I could find and went to work copying them. Oldest first, some requiring “surgery.”
Months later when I was done copying, I compared what I had copied to a list Mike had compiled of his masters and realized there were many shows missing. I returned the tapes and asked Lia if we could see if there were any more somewhere else in the house. We went into a back bedroom and found a bunch of boxes filled with more original master tapes. I loaded them up, thanked Lia and left. This was the last time I would see her. I copied the rest of the tapes and stored the masters in a cool dry place until late last year when Jim R. reached out. We had known each other through Mike. After speaking with Jim and later BK who had tracked him down, I knew their partnership was the “right way” to get this music out to everyone who wanted it. I’m sure Mike would agree.
Initially, Rob copied a large batch of Millard’s master cassettes to DAT and returned them to the house. The second time around, he was given a large portion of the cassette collection, different from what he had copied to DAT.
The first round of DAT transfers features some of Millard’s most famous recordings of Led Zeppelin, ELP, the Rolling Stones and Jethro Tull. The second traunch of actual cassette masters includes his captures of Yes, Genesis, Peter Gabriel, Rush and Pink Floyd.
As exciting as it is to access Millard’s masters of the shows we know and love, there are many new recordings in both batches from artists like Elton John, Queen, Thin Lizzy, Eric Clapton, The Who, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, Guns N’ Roses, Linda Ronstadt, David Bowie, the Moody Blues, U2 and more.
Even with an information gap in the mid ‘80s (when Millard was surely taping but there is no tape or written evidence as to what he captured), we have confirmed nearly 300 shows Millard did record. Of those, there are master cassettes for approximately 100 shows, DATs off masters of another 75 and first generation analog copies for 30-35. Collectively, that nearly quadruples the number of extant Millard recordings.
Tom Petty, Pacific Amphitheatre, Costa Mesa, CA, March 03, 1990
We extend our series with a cracking capture of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on tour supporting Petty’s first solo album, Full Moon Fever, released in the Spring of 1989. This show came near the end of the run, and as such benefits from some loosening of the set list. The show is several songs longer than the one at the Forum two nights earlier (though to be fair that show boasted guest appearances by Bob Dylan AND Bruce Springsteen, though unfortunately it would not appear Millard was there to capture it). Costa Mesa gets its own special friend dropping in, Roger McGuinn, who joins for a fine mini Byrds set of “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “Turn! Turn! Turn!” and “Eight Miles High.”
The Heartbreakers get their share of the spotlight too, with drummer Stan Lynch singing “Down The Road Apiece,” while keyboard player Benmont Tench shines in his instrumental “Ben’s Boogie.” Also making a rare appearance is “What Are You Doin’ In My Life,” played for the first time since the early ’80s. The rest of the set is no slouch either, with Petty in fine voice and the band in great form if perhaps slightly road weary by the end of a long night.
The same can be said for Millard, who, as Jim R points out, was recording from his sweet spot at the Pac Amp, Row CC, Seat 38, three rows behind the pit in front of section 2. Like the previously posted Linda Ronstadt recording from the same venue seven months later, Mike gets an incredible pull on his home court, with a rich, deep, full-fidelity recording. Samples provided.
Neither Jim nor Rob attended the show with Mike, so we’ll just have to let his amazing audio provide all the color and memories. Mike’s cassettes are labeled in the standard method he favored in this period with straightforward lettering of the band and his bubble writing name logo.
JEMS is proud to partner with Rob, Jim R and Barry G to release Millard’s historic recordings and to help set the record straight about the man himself. I recently saw a post in which someone wondered where Millard placed his microphones. The answer of course was in his hat, which allowed him to stand up and sit down when needed and not lose his angle of attack on the PA. He kept his hair just long enough to cover the wires coming out the back and down his neck. Millard may have been one of the first, but the hat method was used by other great tapers including our own Jared Houser of JEMS, who used a Kangol for this purpose over the last 20-25 years of his taping career.
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 series would not happen without the support of our post-production lead mjk5510, who always answers the call and never says no. His love of the music and our preservation work runs as deep as mine does.
In these unprecedented times we will attempt to accelerate our release schedule to put more music in your hands and ears while we are bunkered in. Please stay positive, help your neighbors, help strangers and let’s get to the other side of this intact. Better still, make a donation to a food bank or other key support organization helping out those who are struggling even more than you are to get by.
Lastly, cheers to the late, great Mike the MICrophone. His work never ceases to impress. May he rest in peace.
BK for JEMS