Of their 1980 debut at a fundraiser for the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus National Tour, a critic wrote: "It's a punk type rock group called Automatic Pilot. They were talented for that genre, but one of their numbers was extremely tasteless, and belonged on Broadway (San Francisco's Broadway) and not at the elegant Japan Center Theater." On September 1, 1982 the On Broadway Theater presented Automatic Pilot in Doughnut Shop Dream: An Evening of Panthers. That historic week, San Francisco was also host to Gay Games I (prohibited at the last moment from using the name "Olympics") and the West Coast Choral Festival, the first such gathering of what would soon grow into the international GALA Choruses.
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence opened with an act that literally went down in notoriety. Next was Margo Crossman, Automatic Pilot's costumer and choreographer, who regularly worked on Broadway as a dancer, performance artist and stripper. Here she did all three. Finally, Automatic Pilot took the stage and gave their definitive performance, summing up two years at the bleeding edge of the nascent gay musical movement. They would soon venture in new directions, as heard on the bonus songs recorded in rehearsal shortly after, and a series of studio recordings now available on the compact disc "Back from the Dead".
Matthew McQueen, lead vocals
Karl Brown, piano, vocals
Tony Kramedas, vocals,
Tom Gschwind, violin, vocals
John Selby, saxophone/flute
Steve Graham, string bass (1 - 10)
John Orlando, drums (1 - 10)
Dave Moseley, bass guitar (11, 12)
Jeremy Rexford, drums (11, 12)
Tracks 1-10 recorded live at On Broadway Theater, Audrey Faine,
engineer, for Dirk Dirksen (Dirksen - Molloy Productions)
Tracks 11, 12 recorded in rehearsal by Jeremy Rexford, 11/82 & 5/83
French text (7), lead vocal (11) by Tom Gschwind
Arrangements by Karl Brown, Matthew McQueen and Automatic Pilot
Special thanks to George Frenn
Mastered Feb 2005 by John Cuniberti at The Plant, Sausalito
This is a live recording. There are no edits (except between songs) and no overdubs.