Size: 509 MB
Bit Rate: 320
Recorded by: Mike Millard
Mike Millard (May 18, 1951 – November 29, 1994), nicknamed "Mike The Mic" was an avid concert taper circa 1973 to 1994, recording over 300 concerts, including Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and The Rolling Stones concerts in California. He taped virtually every show at the Forum from 1974 to 1980. Many of his recordings found their way into the hands of bootleggers who sold Millard's work to fans.
Starting with a basic mono recorder in 1973, Millard upgraded to a Nakamichi 550 stereo recorder with AKG Acoustics 451E microphones for the 1975 Led Zeppelin shows in the area. He often used a wheelchair to conceal his equipment, pretending to be disabled. Unlike most 1970s audience bootlegs, Millard's recordings are known for their good sound quality, and are to this day considered some of the finest audio bootlegs available.
Millard's recording of the Led Zeppelin concert on June 21, 1977 at the Forum (allegedly taped from row number six) was released under the title Listen To This Eddie, and remains one of the best-known Led Zeppelin bootlegs. His recording of the opening number from the concert, "The Song Remains The Same", was included in the promos menu of the Led Zeppelin DVD. Millard recorded four of the Rolling Stones five 1975 shows at the LA Forum, and his recording of the Sunday, July 13, 1975 show (titled 'LA Friday') has become one of the most widely spread recordings of a Rolling Stones concert.
Millard was never behind the sale of bootlegs and was openly against the illegal sale of his recordings. He was notorious for "marking" copies of his tapes so that if one of his recordings turned up for sale on LP or CD, he would be able to tell which person he had traded it to. He kept a very detailed logbook of his marked recordings and who they were distributed to. "Unmarked" copies of Millard's recordings are very scarce. In 2016 several unmarked first generation copies of his Led Zeppelin recordings surfaced in trading circles.
Millard is said to have suffered from severe depression. He committed suicide in 1994.
The Millard recording set-up was used by The National in 2019 to record two of their shows in Berkeley, CA, and an accompanying documentary titled Juicy Sonic Magic: The Mike Millard Method was also created.
Mike is most known for the 10 Led Zeppelin shows that he recorded in southern California in the 1970s. Those shows include March 11th and 12th in Long Beach and at the Forum on March 24th, 25th, and 27th on the North American tour. When the band returned to southern California for the concert tour of North America, he recorded the band in San Diego June 19th and then four times at the Forum on June 21st, 23rd, 25th, and 27th.
A 2021 Rolling Stone article lauded the quality of his April 26, 1975 recording of Pink Floyd, going so far as to say, "If Pink Floyd ever decides to create a Bootleg Series, they should get their hands on Millard’s master tapes — starting with this 1975 Los Angeles gig. It’s the band at the peak of their abilities as a live act and deserves to be heard as widely as possible."
Juicy Sonic Magic: The Mike Millard Method, a 10-minute mini-documentary directed by David DuBois.
The film tells the story of late, great concert taper Mike “The Mike” Millard and an homage to his work that was undertaken by archivist and producer Erik Flannigan, who attempted to recreate the legendary taper’s methods by using the same vintage cassette deck and microphones Millard employed in the ’70s to record our two Greek Theatre concerts last year.
Millard became a legend for his high-quality bootleg recordings of artists like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan and many others made in and around Southern California in the ’70s and ’80’s by sneaking his equipment into concerts hidden in a wheelchair. The film features animation by illustrator Jess Rotter and Eben McCue, plus interviews with Matt Berninger, producer/archivist Erik Flannigan and Mike Millard’s friend Jim Reinstein, who pushed Millard and his wheelchair into dozens of shows.
Flannigan explained the idea behind using The Mike Millard Method in the liner notes of the accompanying Black Friday Record Store Day three-cassette box set release (out November 29 via 4AD) entitled 'The National: Juicy Sonic Magic, Live in Berkeley, September 24-25, 2018', saying:
“The most celebrated audience taper of the period, Mike Millard, recorded in and around Southern California beginning in 1974 and continued into the early ’90s. Millard’s legend is built in part on the cunning and subterfuge he used to get his nearly 15-pound cassette deck and microphones into venues like the The Forum, Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, and The Roxy.
For years I have pondered what made Millard’s recordings so good, and eventually I had an idea: What if you recorded a concert today with the same equipment Millard used in 1977? Would it sound like his tapes? Would it tap into his Midas touch?
The National was kind enough to let us test the Millard Method for two concerts at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, California last September. These live recordings were made with vintage AKG 451E microphones and a restored Nakamichi 550 cassette deck which are identical to those used by Millard circa 1975-81. The idea was to see if we could recreate what Matt Berninger calls the “juicy sonic magic” Millard captured in his 1970s field recordings.
Together with my friend and filmmaker David DuBois, we also produced a short documentary about Millard, his recording methods, and our attempt to recreate his work at the National shows in Berkeley, a venue that is utterly unchanged since the ’70s.
With the advent of smartphones, thousands of people routinely record part of the show when they attend a National concert or any other performance. Forty years ago, when nobody would dare do that, one man made it his life’s work to preserve legendary concerts on tape.”
The Forum, Inglewood, California
June 27, 1977
Taper: Mike Millard
Title: "Mike the Mike"
01. The Song Remains The Same
02. Sick Again
03. Nobody's Fault But Mine
04. Over The Hills And Far Away
05. Since I've Been Loving You
06. No Quarter
01. Ten Years Gone
02. The Battle Of Evermore
03. Going To California
04. Going Down South
05. Black Country Woman
06. Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp
07. Dancing Days
08. White Summer
09. Black Mountain Side
01. Over the Top
02. Guitar Solo
03. Achilles Last Stand(cut)
04. Stairway To Heaven
05. Whole Lotta Love
06. Rock And Roll