If you’re a hardcore Deadhead that seeks out the best recordings of that band, odds are you’re familiar with the work of Charlie Miller. Over the years Miller has taped and transferred thousands of tapes and you know that when he’s involved, it’ll sound good. Grateful Dead scholar Blair Jackson said it best, “My own rule of thumb with Archive Dead shows is I look for Charlie Miller’s name, and if it’s attached to a recording, I’ll usually check that out first, since his name is synonymous with the highest quality transfers and upgrades.” With that in mind we were excited a few days ago when we saw Miller’s name attached to a number of uncirculated Phish audience recordings popping up on bt.etree.org, so we reached out to Charlie to talk about his new found appreciation for the Vermont quartet.
Miller grew up and lived in Long Island for 25 years before moving west. “I saw every band in the ’70s at the Garden or Nassau,” he explained. How old was Charlie when he saw his first Dead show? ”I walked into the show when I was 15, when the show ended I was 16. They started the encore at five after midnight,” the recording/sound engineer told us about catching the Dead on his birthday in 1979.
- BT.ETREE.ORG: Charlie Miller Phish Transfers
Now that he has his sights focused on Phish, how did he pick which shows to transfer? “I was asked to sort through my friend’s Phish collection and [etree Phish admins] Terry Watts and Jason Sobel went through the list and gave me a color-coded excel spreadsheet that indicated what shows were in circulation and what shows had unknown CD generation(s) (involved in their lineage). Since I have a DAT I can do a better transfer.”