Friends, just a couple of days ago as I was waking up, I noticed that the Retroist had been kind enough to send me a text message – it was a link to a documentary entitled Live from the Space Stage: A Halyx Story. A full-length production that was Directed by Matthew Serrano and produced by Kevin Purjerer of Defunctland – in fact the duo also edited the documentary together and released it on YouTube just a few days back. It is an in-depth look at how in the Summer of 1981 at Disneyland a science fiction themed rock band was created that would become known as Halyx – taking the Space Stage spot in the evenings in Tomorrowland. A band that besides five humanoid members would also be made up of a bass player who was a cross between a Wookie and a Pandaren from World of Warcraft, a robotic keyboardist, and an amphibian that acted as Halyx’s percussionist. As I have said in the last few weeks with various retro related discoveries – this type of pop culture discovery fills me with so much delight. As while I had in fact never heard of Halyx, from what appears to be June 20th to September 11th of ’81, this Disneyland rock and roll band captured the hearts and imaginations of many a young fan.
As you will see for yourself with Live from the Space Stage: A Halyx Story, through personal interviews with the members of the band and those who worked behind the scenes, this beautiful and moving documentary captures a “Should Have Been A Hit” moment from 1981. Do not get me wrong, from all accounts it certainly appears that Halyx was indeed popular at the park – I’m referring to when they left the stage to record an actual album, etc. In addition with this documentary you will get a small peek at the history of those wonderful Read-Along Book and Records produced by Disneyland Records – that we frequently share on the site.
Disneyland Records after having quite the success with those books and records wanted to branch out – that ended up resulting in the desire to form a rock and roll band. Gary Krisel, who at that time was head of the Walt Disney Music Company, along with Disney Records Producer Jymn Magon got together with none other than Mike Post to help create what would become Halyx. Post who besides being a record producer also had a hand in some of the most memorable television show themes of our time – just a few highlights include The Rockford Files, Magnum P.I., Hillstreet Blues, The A-Team, The Greatest American Hero, as well as Hardcastle and McCormick.
As the idea for this band moved forward, auditions for members began to take place, in addition to the mammoth undertaking of designing and providing the various costumes for the performers to wear – to say nothing of deciding on an actual name for the band itself. In the end the Producers decided on Lora Mumford as Halyx’s lead singer with her Husband, Thom Miller, acting as the robotic keyboardist. It was Roger Freeland who was tapped to don the impressive Wookie-like costume and perform as bassit with Tony Coppola as the amphibian percussionist. Bruce Gowdy was hired as guitarist and songwriter with Brian Lucas as drummer and Jeanette Clinger as backup singer (There appears to be an additional back up singer that is uncredited). And as I understand it after taking the Space Stage on the 20th of June of 1981 – they made some some legitimate magic and memories for the young folks visiting Disneyland during that Summer.
After watching Live from the Space Stage: A Halyx Story you might find you need a Kleenex or two – not just from the feeling of lost opportunity of what should have been greatness for all involved, but for gratefulness that the documentary has captured for all time the magic that was Halyx.