Song list:

  1. Suction Prints (intro version)
  2. My Human Gets Me Blues
  3. Nowadays A Woman’s Got To Hit A Man
  4. Hot Head
  5. Ashtray Heart
  6. Dirty Blue Gene
  7. Best Batch Yet
  8. Safe As Milk
  9. A Carrot Is As Close As A Rabbit Gets to A Diamond
  10. One Red Rose That I Mean
  11. Dr. Dark
  12. Bat Chain Puller
  13. Sugar ‘N Spikes
  14. Veteran’s Day Poppy
  15. Sheriff Of Hong Kong
  16. Suction Prints (full band version)
  17. Big Eyed Beans From Venus

‘Suction Prints (intro version)’ is in fact a bass solo with sax accompaniment

On the Musically Tuned version track one is listed as ‘Flavor Bud Living’ and ‘Dirty Blue Gene’ is missing.

Radar Station overview

The digibox of the Tuff Bites release has an amazing sleeve illustration by J. Saurer (see above). Although it appears to have been dubbed from the vinyl version, this 70+ minutes CD has great sound quality, even if it is in mono.

Credits say ”These song were recorded live at Showbox, Seattle, January 15th, 1981” – this was Beefheart’s 40th birthday.

A different version released on Musically Tuned about the same time has a cover photograph of Arthur Lee and the Van Vliet painting ‘Gorillacrow’. Both these pictures had not long before been printed next to each other in an edition of the music mag Mojo – the bootleggers presumably were confused and thought it was a picture of Don. (More proof if it were need that bootleggers are not necessarily fans of the bands they choose to exploit.) The sound quality of this version is okay but not as good as the Tuff Bites release.


Justin Sherill’s notes:

Gerry Pratt said this was his favourite boot and it is a great show, very relaxed – a bit too relaxed during ‘Bat Chain Puller’ where Beefheart appears to have wandered away from the microphone when he is supposed to be singing so they have to start again! It is a series of highlights with the audience singing “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” and Beefheart asking for “not urine-colored lights” and berating the audience about the “smoke smell”. The music includes brilliant driving versions of ‘Hot Head’/’Ashtray Heart’ and a ‘Safe As Milk’ taken at top speed.

CD Releases

  • 1994 Don’s Birthday Party Luxembourg CD on TUFF BITES T.B. 94.1008
  • 1994 Don’s 40th Birthday Party Italy CD on Musically Tuned MT4


Vinyl Version:


Side 1:

  1. Suction Prints(intro version)
  2. My Human Gets Me Blues
  3. Nowadays A Woman’s Got To Hit A Man
  4. Hot Head
  5. Ashtray Heart
  6. Dirty Blue Gene

Side 2:

  1. Best Batch Yet
  2. Safe As Milk
  3. A Carrot Is As Close As A Rabbit Gets to A Diamond
  4. One Red Rose That I Mean

Side 3:

  1. Dr. Dark
  2. Bat Chain Puller
  3. Sugar ‘N Spikes
  4. Veteran’s Day Poppy

Side 4:

  1. Sheriff Of Hong Kong
  2. Suction Prints(full band version)
  3. Big Eyed Beans From Venus


From the concert at Showbox Seattle Jan. 15th. ’81 (Says *Showboat* on Cover) European bootleg with deluxe yellow and brown cover based on an Anton Corbijn photograph of Don in the Mojave Desert; originally pressed on multi-colored vinyl. Sides 1 & 2 have song separation. Recording is excellent mono. A later version as a brightly coloured blue and yellow cover, but the photograph has been treated to look like a drawing.


Click on the image below to read the text from the back-cover of the European vinyl pressing (thanks to Werner Ahrensfeld for sending along this and the two scans of the vinyl sleeve).


Vinyl releases:

  • 198? European Double vinyl on DB501/2 – pressed on thick multicoloured vinyl – plain white labels.
  • 198? European Double vinyl on DB501/2 – pressed on black vinyl – plain black labels with large white stenciled 1 2 3 4. Same pressing and cover as original but not on multicoloured vinyl.
  • 198? European Double vinyl on DB501/2 – pressed on thic black vinyl and large stencilled numbers of labels. Cover is multicoloured drawing based on original photographic one.

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If anyone is able to complete or update any of the information above, then please do get in touch.

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