If you’ve never heard of Halyx, you’re missing out. Halyx was a sci-fi-themed rock band created by Disney that performed live at Tomorrowland in California’s Disneyland during the summer of 1981.
The band performed nightly during the summer season in 1981 on the Space Stage which was situated at the base of the Space Mountain ride in the park. The Space Stage was a big-time stage to occupy in the 80s, giving Halyx a prime location to entertain audiences night after night … and entertain, they did.
Audiences loved the music, and their sci-fi rock aesthetic was appealing to a wide range of park visitors. Halyx was made up of eight members: Lora Mumford (lead singer), Roger Freeland (Bass player), Thom Miller (keyboard), Tony Coppola (percussionist and acrobatics), Bruce Gowdy (guitarist), Brian Lucas (drummer), and two back-up singers, Jeanette Clinger and Karen Tobin.
The idea for the band came from some experimentation via the Disneyland Records production team. Disney was looking for a way to break into more mainstream music, as most of the company’s musical ventures until then involved audiobooks for children and theatrical scores.
After finding moderate success with the release of Mickey Mouse Disco, Disney music creators were on to their next project … a mix of Star Wars and Kiss. An intergalactic rock band with a Wookie-like bass guitarist, a robot keyboardist, and a random amphibian-like percussionist were all joined together with a few human characters and Halyx was born.
Halyx, of course, wasn’t the first name Disney came up with when working on finding a memorable title for their new space-age rock band. Strike and Starfire were in the running as well. Ultimately, the team settled on Halyx as a kind of play on the already popular hairband of the time, Helix.
After only one season of playing the Space Stage at Disneyland, the band’s gig was canceled and further deals with their music fell apart. The band signed a music contract during their summer of rock, but the deal between Disneyland Records and Warner Music Group collapsed when it was time to really move forward with the project.
Though Halyx didn’t fully have a chance to reach its maximum potential as a mainstream rock band, the time they did have to play together was magic. The band members and the people who actually got to see them play will still attest to that.
After decades in the dark, Halyx was rediscovered, and in 2008, recordings of Halyx songs began appearing on YouTube, marking the emergence of a new era for the remarkable rock band. In August 2020, a YouTube web series, Defunctland, released a documentary featuring the band entitled Live from the Space Stage: A Halyx Story.
In November of 2020, the YouTube channel Themed Alternative uploaded a tribute to the band entitled, Hail Halyx and a video entitled Halyx: Reunited, featuring some of the members of the Disneyland attraction reuniting via a group video call.
Interest in Halyx and the music they created in such a short stint in the spotlight are now regaining popularity with online users around the world. Though lead singer Lora Mumford is no longer alive to see it, the other band members have spoken up saying that she would have been glowing about the whole thing.