A new torrent has been uploaded to Jungleland.
Title: 1980-11-01 * Sports Arena * Los Angeles, CA * Mike Millard Master (presumed AKG 431 > Uher CR-240) > first-gen copy via JEMS * The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Vol. Six
Size: 1.25 GB
Category: Audio 1976 -> 1980
Uploaded by: mjk5510
Los Angeles, CA
November 1, 1980
Mike Millard first gen via JEMS
The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Vol. 6
Likely Recording Info: AKG-451E microphones > Uher CR-240 cassette recorder
JEMS 2014 Transfer: first-generation cassettes made by Mike Millard for SG > Nakamichi CR-7A azimuth-adjusted transfer > Sound Devices USBPre 2 > Audacity 2.0 (24/96) capture > iZotope RX MBIT+ resample 16/44.1 > Peak Pro XT (volume smoothing / edit / index) > xACT 2.21 > FLAC
101 Born to Run
102 Out In The Street
103 Tenth Avenue Freeze-out
104 Darkness on the Edge of Town
105 Independence Day
107 For You
108 Two Hearts
109 Jackson Cage
110 The Promised Land
111 Prove It All Night '78
112 The Price You Pay
113 The River
202 Thunder Road
203 No Money Down > Cadillac Ranch
204 Hungry Heart
206 Candy's Room
207 Because The Night
208 Fade Away
209 Stolen Car
210 The Ties That Bind
211 Wreck On the Highway
212 Point Blank
213 Crush On You
301You Can Look
302 Drive All Night
306 Sweet Little Sixteen (with Jackson Browne)
307 Detroit Medley > I Hear a Train > Wabash Cannonball
JEMS is pleased to release the sixth in a series of recordings made by legendary taper Mike Millard, AKA Mike the MICrophone, best known for his masters of Led Zeppelin in and around LA circa 1975-77.
The 14 first-generation tapes (ten cassettes and four reels) were sent by Millard to SG, the beloved S in JEMS, in the mid-'80s after the pair had met in person in Orange County on two occasions. To the best of our knowledge, none of the eight shows (spanning the 14 tapes) has ever been attributed as a Millard recording. In fact, there are no extant references we are aware of to Millard ever recording Bob Dylan or Bruce Springsteen, the two artists captured on the tapes.
Several of the tapes are uncirculated; others are out there, but until now, not credited as Millard's work. Even those that turn out to be previously circulated are being released in this series from verified first-generation tapes made by Millard himself and marked/ notated in his signature manner. As such, we expect all of them to be upgrades at a minimum and new sources in many cases.
At this point you might be asking yourself, "So if JEMS received these Millard tapes in the mid-'80s, why haven't they circulated previously?" Fair question. And in condensed form, here is the answer, which also provides the "Lost" portion of our series title:
Twenty-six years ago, Millard sent SG a box of tapes. I remember having it my hands in 1986 at SG's house, right after it arrived in the mail. But that was the last time I ever saw the box. It disappeared. Nearly all of SG's tapes have since been consolidated into the JEMS North archive, but we never found the box of Millard tapes. Over the years, my memory faded of what was in the box. I thought there were Springsteen shows, but that fuzzy notion was all I could recall.
Now to the "Found": Several months ago, WG, a long-time collector friend of SG, contacted him and said, "I found a box of tapes of yours when I was moving furniture." Sure enough it was the Millard tapes and more. Turns out WG borrowed the tapes and some other SG masters after a Dylan show in 1986 and the box wound up misplaced and forgotten about by both parties, only to be rediscovered 28 years later.
Once the box was returned, SG sent it to me at JEMS South where we proceeded to make fresh transfers of its contents.
If there's any mildly disappointing element to this otherwise charming story, it is that none of the lost Millard tapes are of previously uncirculated shows; there are other recordings by other tapers of all of them. But the good news is the quality of most of them is indeed up to Millard's legendary standards.
The cache of lost Millard tapes included six Dylan and three Springsteen shows. Of the three Bruce recordings, one already circulates and another is of an '81 show well captured by the legendary (he won't like that word, but its true) Mark Persic.
That puts our attention on this welcome addition, an outstanding, epic-length River show filled with special moments. Brucebase lists two recording sources for the show, one an incomplete tape missing several songs and a second that's "complete, but not known to be in general circulation." We presume Millard's recording to be that uncirculated complete source, as he captures nearly every second of the performance.
A whopping 17 River tracks feature here, including the premiere of "Fade Away," with a lovely and lilting intro, the last song from the album to enter the setlist. It comes one night after the premiere of "The Price You Pay," but that was with the original album lyrics. Tonight, for the first time, Springsteen restores his original third verse ("some say forget the past…") from early in the River sessions and later replaced for the take on the album. The song is performed in a striking acoustic guitar and accordion arrangement.
As if that weren't enough, out of the blue Springsteen resurrects what we (and even he) now call "Prove It All Night '78." The long guitar and piano intro here is mesmerizing and for me this is a "Prove It" for the ages. After playing it this way again two days later on closing night of the LA stand, Springsteen wouldn't revisit "Prove It All Night '78" again until 2012.
Another short-lived element that shines this evening is Chuck Berry's "No Money Down" used as a long intro to "Cadillac Ranch" to start the second set. Bruce hams it up for a highly entertaining preamble that really gets "Caddy" started. In the encore, pal Jackson Browne takes the stage for the tour's only and Bruce's last known ESB performance of another Chuck Berry cover, "Sweet Little Sixteen." The "Detroit Medley" also includes a very brief attempt at "Wabash Cannonball," but even Bruce admits: "Hold on a minute, band, let's try that one more time, because I don't have it yet. Give me that E again. Not only do I not have, I think we're gonna forget it," and back into "I Hear a Train" they go.
Again, like our recent release, That Old '80 Sound, if you love The River, this is a show for yo;, but unlike Seattle, Springsteen ups the ante slipping in a few favorites not visited in the Emerald City: "For You," the always welcome "Candy's Room," and for me, an especially motivated "Backstreets."
As for the work of the esteemed Mike Millard, the recording doesn't match heady heights of his absolutely best work, like our recent Dylan posts on DIME and THOSE Led Zeppelin tapes from the Forum. He's not right on top of the PA as he so often is and the tape needed more work in mastering than a Millard tape typically requires (none of the Dylan titles in our recent series was materially mastered).
That being said, the more I worked on the tape the more I liked it. And the more I listened, the more I understood what a fantastic show I was polishing. Bruce is giving his all in this marathon and 34 years later, it absolutely holds up. Samples provided.
The recording equipment listed is an educated guess based verified gear he was using at other shows in the same period. While Mike marked many of his tapes with such details, on this one he didn't, though we did include photos of the cassettes on which Mike did his distinct labeling.
If you'd like to learn more about Mike the MICrophone, the links below offer a glimpse of his story.
Millard's Wikipedia page
The best article written about Millard has been deleted from the original website but is reprinted here:
Thanks again to WG for finding the tapes and to SG for providing JEMS with another fascinating chapter of taping history. Also, JEMS couldn't live without the contributions of our pal and your benefactor mjk5510. He is now an essential part of getting these recordings into your hands.
Here's to the late, great Mike the MICrophone and to finding more lost tapes.
BK for JEMS
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A new torrent has been uploaded to Jungleland.
Title: 1980-10-24 * Seattle Center Coliseum * Seattle, WA * RS Master via JEMS * "That Old '80 Sound" * 34th Anniversary Release * 24/96 Edition
Size: 4.01 GB
Category: Audio 1976 -> 1980
Uploaded by: JEMSHQ
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
That Old ‘80 Sound
Seattle Center Coliseum
October 24, 1980
RS Master via JEMS
16/44 Edition with samples found here: http://jungleland.dnsalias.com/torrents-details.php?id=38319
Recording Gear: 3 Nakamichi 700 microphones > Bass Box EQ > Sony TCD-D5
2013-14 JEMS Transfer: RS master cassettes > Nakamichi CR-7A azimuth-adjusted transfer > Sound Devices USBPre 2 > Audacity 2.0 (24/96) capture > extensive iZotope RX3 clean up > iZotope Ozone 5 via Peak 6 > xACT 2.21 > FLAC
Project Start Date: October 2013
Project End Date: October 2014
Approximate Project Hours: 35
Years Spent Chasing Down Master Tape: 20+
River Tour Show No. 13
02 Out in the Street
03 Tenth Avenue Freeze-out
04 Darkness On The Edge Of Town
106 Independence Day
107 Jackson Cage
108 Two Hearts
109 The Promised Land (cut)
110 Racing In The Street
111 The River
112 Prove It All Night
113 Thunder Road
201 Cadillac Ranch (Bruce's microphone and part of the PA are out)
203 Sherry Darling
204 Here She Comes > I Wanna Marry You
205 The Ties That Bind
206 Wreck On The Highway
207 Point Blank
208 Crush On You
210 You Can Look But You Better Not Touch
211 Stolen Car
212 Drive All Night
303 Born to Run
304 Detroit Medley > I Hear A Train (joined in progress, distortion at the start)
305 Raise Your Hand (joined in progress)
We never thought it would happen, but after twenty years of trying, JEMS was finally able to track down the master tapes to my first Springsteen show, Seattle Center Coliseum, October 24, 1980. Right at the top a HUGE thank you goes out to RS, the original taper of the show, who generously provided his masters to JEMS, as well to MS, who facilitated access to RS and his tapes. MS has graciously lent JEMS many of his outstanding master recordings by various artists over the last two years, available on DIME under the title MS Archive Series.
Seattle '80 is a personal holy grail for several reasons. As noted above, it was my first Springsteen show at the tender age of 14. That night also saw distribution of the first ever issue of Backstreets, so happy 34th anniversary to Backstreets as well. The magazine had a big influence on me as a collector and it was in the classifieds of Backstreets that JEMS first appeared in public, so to speak, as we took out ads back in the day before the internet hoping to trade copies of "our masters for your masters."
The funny thing is, we never had a master of Seattle '80. JEMS taped the three Seattle Springsteen shows that preceded this one (in 1975 and 1978) and every Seattle show that followed, up to present day. Yet despite three of us attending, we didn't record the show.
The answer is, because a friend of a friend with better gear was going to record it for all of us. RS was friends with MS and with Pat Lee, taper of the excellent Portland '80 made with Stan of JEMS the following night. RS was an experienced taper and Deadhead (he recorded hundreds of shows in and around Seattle, Boston and Southern California) who not only had arguably the best commercially available gear at the time (Nakamichi 700 microphones and a Sony D5M cassette recorder), but he and MS had recently begun to customize and upgrade their taping gear.
Around this time, RS and others in the Dead taping community started experimenting with what they called a Bass Box EQ. Utilizing special circuitry, the Bass Box EQ was designed to capture much more of the low end than the Nak 700s could grab on their own. Given the gear he was packing, leading up to the show it was decided by the folks who could have taped--Pat Lee, Stan and MS--that RS was the right man to make the recording for all interested parties.
And shortly after the show, RS did indeed make copies from his masters for the aforementioned crew, and the Seattle show has circulated pretty much ever since. The trouble is, every copy of the show I ever tracked down was hissy and very bass heavy, which explains why Seattle '80 has never been considered a quality recording.
Even when Pat Lee loaned me his first generation reels of the show, dubbed from RS's masters, the show still didn't sound as good as I thought it should have. Again, heavy hiss and bass made the recording challenging to navigate, though you could hear a fine recording lurking under the fog. It seemed the only way to properly upgrade Seattle ‘80 was to get back to the original master recordings.
A couple of years ago, Pat and I exchanged emails about trying to track down RS's masters, and he suggested that MS might still be in touch with RS (remember, this is 30+ years after the concert). Turned out he was. Sometime in 2012, MS made contact with RS, who confirmed that he still had the tapes and was open to lending them, but they were in a different state than the one he he lives in today.
I waited close to a year for RS to return to that part of the country, and, to his credit, when he did he pulled out the tapes and sent them to MS who in turn sent them to me. After 20 plus years of seeking and over a year of tracking, the Seattle '80 masters were finally in JEMS’ hands.
With great anticipation I placed tape one in the Nakamichi CR-7A to hear what the original Seattle ‘80 sounded like. RS marked the tapes as recorded WITH Dolby on, and it immediately struck me that perhaps that first transfer had been made with Dolby off, thereby boosting the hiss on the copies. Azimuth adjustment also seemed to help fine tune the high end. While the quiet songs were recorded a bit low and therefore had some hiss, the fresh Dolby-on transfer seemed to reduce a material issue with the recording.
But in the immortal words of Meghan Trainor, Seattle '80 is all about that bass. Man, does this tape have it, like no Springsteen audience tape I have ever heard before. Springsteen's full-time move to sports arenas that year likely required a whole new approach to sound reinforcement, and one could easily argue that the prominence of Garry Tallent's bass in the mix was no accident: Why not have a big, solid foundation, and let the rest of the band flow over that? Great for in-arena, but problematic for the recording! In spots, it the bass on this recording is overwhelming.
And it's likely that copies made 34 years ago were unsatisfactory for this reason as well: In dubbing, the recording levels would have been set so the big bass swells did not distort, leaving quiet songs at lower levels than they should be. Turn the volume up to hear something like "Wreck on the Highway" and you were turning up the hiss.
Happily, 2014 offers amazing tools to mold audio like this in ways that would have been difficult in the analog realm. RS's masters were captured at 24/96 and working with iZotope Ozone, after considerable trial and error, I was able to shape and rein-in that bass, while still leaving Seattle '80 with low-end oomph most audience tapes never offer.
RS was surrounded by a boisterous audience, but using iZotope RX, many of those hoots, hollers, wolf whistles and the like were tamed. He was positioned in the upper deck, very close to the PA, so much so that when he moves off axis from the PA on occasion, the soundstage shifts dramatically, something you might notice more in the second set. Audience chatter remains in some places and there is more clapping along than one might like. On the whole, however, neither of these proves particularly detrimental.
You will also hear several seconds of distortion at the start of the show before the levels get set properly and it takes two or three songs for both the in-house mix and the microphone position to lock in. The second set also starts bizarrely, as Bruce’s lead vocal mic goes out for the entirety of “Cadillac Ranch,” and some part of the PA is down for a portion of the song as well.
With all those caveats noted, the mastered Seattle '80 is a special recording indeed. Is it the best all-around audience recording from the River tour? We leave that to you to decide. However, I can guarantee you will hear things on this recording you have never heard before. There is almost HD clarity and instrument separation for long stretches on these tapes, allowing the listener to tune in and fixate on individual elements like the synthesizer on "Drive All Night”; the chiming 12-string guitar on "I Wanna Marry You”; and the sound not just of Max's snare drum, but quite distinctly of his stick hitting it. Pick a song and a band member, and you should be able to follow their discrete part closely. For fans of Roy Bittan, this tape is a special treat: his playing is especially well-represented in the mix.
My own personal memory of the show is pretty fuzzy and I don't recall the PA being exceptionally clear (though I did remember the PA and mic failure in “Cadillac Ranch”), but from where RS was sitting, the sound quality of the PA is outstanding. The result is a major You-Are-There kind of recording. Samples provided.
And if you are a fan of The River, boy are you in luck. The second set especially offers a River tour de force, with all the heavy hitters brilliantly represented in a ten-in-a-row onslaught: "Wreck on the Highway," "Point Blank," "Stolen Car" and "Drive All Night." The rockers are potent, too: "The Ties That Bind," "You Can Look," "Ramrod," even "Crush on You."
The first set adds sublime readings of "Independence Day" and "Racing in the Street"; the extra-solo, River-tour version of "Tenth Avenue Freeze-out"; a propulsive "Jackson Cage"; a gut-wrenching "The River" (dedicated to the Lost Highway Band, with whom Springsteen had sat in the night before at the Old Timers Cafe in Seattle's Pioneer Square) and an unusually positioned "Prove It All Night."
All told, 16 of The River's 20 tracks feature here, omitting only "I'm a Rocker, "Fade Away," "The Price You Pay" and, curiously in hindsight, "Hungry Heart." In short, a classic River show from early in the tour when the material is still being road-tested and the set taking shape, making it all the more fascinating and fresh.
I want to personally thank RS for letting JEMS release his tapes. Seattle ‘80 was a passion project from the start and despite many hours spent mastering, the results, I hope, speak for themselves. Thanks again to MS for playing intermediary, vouching for me and continuing to be a major friend of the firm. Pat Lee also deserves a shout out for helping me figure out how to reach RS.
JEMS’ own Stan was there too, and while he didn't tape, he took a number of terrific black-and-white photos, three of which grace the custom-made cover art. We also threw in two contact sheets with shots from the show courtesy of JEMS’s buddy Exit Club. And even a photo of the mysterious Bass Box that gave this recording its title: That Old ‘80 Sound.
Stan’s images provided great fodder for Ivan, who got the jump on designing the cover art, appropriately adorned in the colors of the Seattle Supersonics, the NBA team that occupied the Coliseum (now Key Arena) at the time. They were my other passion. Thanks to you too, Ivan, and to slipkid68 who helped fine tune my indulgent notes. Last but not least, mjk5510 who once again comes in to push this over the finish line as I limp into the last mile out of gas.
One more note on Stan: It was in line for tickets to this show on a Sunday morning in 1980 that I was first introduced to him. Stan had a major health setback of late so please aim all good wishes his way.
On the 34th anniversary of the show, finally, please enjoy Seattle, October 24, 1980.
Wayne Darlington for JEMS
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