1. Intro [Apes Ma + bass solo with sax]
2. Nowadays a Woman’s …
3. Abba Zaba
4. Hot Head
5. Ashtray Heart
6. Dirty Blue Gene
7. Best Batch Yet
8. Safe As Milk
9. Dr Dark
10. A Carrot Is As Close…
11. One Red Rose That I Mean
12. Bat Chain Puller
13. My Human Gets Me Blues
14. Sugar ‘n’ Spikes
15. Sheriff of Hong Kong
16. The Dust Blows Forward…
17. Kandy Korn
18. Suction Prints
19. Big-Eyed Beans From Venus
A recording of the 11 December 1980 show at Harpo’s in Detroit.
Publicity blurb from Gonzo Multimedia: “This extraordinary record catches the Captain at his best; live on stage in 1980 during the tour for ‘Doc at the Radar Station’”
No, this isn’t a previously unknown soundboard recording of the Harpo’s gig, just in case you were wondering. This the same audience recording that has been circulating amongst Beefheart collectors since the tape-trading days.
As an audience recording goes it’s not too bad apart from too much of the audience being recorded. There is a lot of annoying “whooping” and crowd noise which detracts from what is an exciting show. If you are able to ‘listen through’ the whooping idiots then this has a lot going for it. The band are on stonking form (as they were pretty much throughout this tour) as is Don who remembers all the lyrics for a change.
The band are playing with such energy that strings are broken during ‘Safe As Milk’.
‘Suction Prints’ is played with Don stronking his sax as one of the encores, the final one being a thunderous version of ‘Big Eyed Beans’.
The packaging is basic. The mocked up poster cover is good although there’s something strange going on with the names of the Magic Band. Jeff Moris Tepper is on there twice as he’s also listed as Jeff Tapir/White … this latter name obviously causing someone confusion as it was once used as Jeff’s band name which in full was Jeff Tapir/White Jew(el) Kitabu (Eric Drew Feldman was Black Jew(el) Kitabu). Inside the booklet is a short overview of Don’s career written by Jon Downes which manages to get all the facts right
If you are able to listen happily to audience recordings then this is worth getting but avoid it if you hate having to listen to the audience in the mix!
A double LP version has been released by Let them Eat Vinyl
2014 vinyl LP Let Them Eat Vinyl LETV234LP
2014 CD Gonzo Multimedia Gonzo GZO104CD