DEBUG: Widgets are active
I had certainly never heard of HALYX, the Star Wars-inspired rock band created by Walt Disney Records in the early 80s. And that’s a shame, because this is absolutely my jam. Luckily, there’s a new full-length documentary to fill in the gaps for me.
Babmie Moe, a former A&R for Walt Disney Records, described the band as « if KISS played in the Star Wars cantina, that would be Halyx, » in the 2006 book Mouse Tracks: The Story of Walt Disney Records:
Lora’s husband Tom was the keyboardist, and his keyboard was built into a golf cart he drove around on stage as the headlights flashed up into the audience. Roger Freeland, who was over six feet tall, wore a Wookie-like costume and wildly played bass. Tony Caputo, the percussionist, had a gymnastic rope so he could do somersaults and things. And Bruce Gowdy was the handsome leading man, sort of a space-age rock-and-roll guitarist to our Princess Leia type, who was Lora. The response of the Disneyland crowd was so phenomenal, it was causing the park a problem because they did not want people to get up and dance—it wasn’t really allowed! Their sound was of the time, the sort of legitimate pop rock you would have heard on the radio, along the lines of Kim Carnes and Blondie.
Apparently, HALYX even toured a bit around the LA Club Scene!…though sadly, it didn’t get very far. Paste Magazine notes:
As Matthew Serrano’s film details, Halyx was conceived by Disney Records exec Gary Krisel to fill a gap in the park’s musical offerings, playing the kind of slick, professional arena rock that the teenagers of the day would listen to on AOR stations, and which would eventually wind up on classic rock playlists. To that end Disney hired professional songwriters and assembled a band of experienced, highly talented musicians—what one interviewee in the movie calls « real players’ players. »
And then Disney dressed them up in elaborate alien and robot costumes and said they were from outer space.
You can still find a few songs on YouTube, though, or just check out the documentary above for the full story.
Halyx (lost album of Disney rock band; 1980s) [Lost Media Wiki]
A New Documentary Rescues Disneyland’s Amazing Sci-fi Rock Band from the Dustbin of History [Garrett Martin / Paste Magazine]
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