Tomorrow on Defunctland, a popular YouTube channel and website dedicated to theme park attractions that no longer exist, filmmaker Matthew Serrano's documentary Live From the Space Stage: A Halyx Story will debut, chronicling the rise, fall, and short life of a Star Wars-inspired rock band that took a costumed novelty act to the stage at Disneyland, while remaining totally serious about the music itself. The band, called Halyx, performed at the Space Stage in the summer of 1981, but (like pretty much all Disney attractions) has a cult following that still wishes they could recapture the excitement they got out of a sci-fi, long-haired rock and roll act playing in the Happiest Place on Earth.
The documentary features interviews from the band members, as well as behind-the-scenes talent, including record producer Mike Post and former Disney executive Gary Krisel. Filming for the interviews was conducted prior to the pandemic, in various locations across California, Las Vegas, and Oklahoma City.
The film was funded using IndieGoGo, and is being released for free on YouTube, with Defunctland's nearly 800,000 subscribers as an ideal first audience. If you're a huge Disney fan, it's possible you know, or at least know of, Halyx, but it's mostly forgotten, and a deep dive into the subject matter turns out a unique look behind the scenes of the park, and at the nature of the '80s music scene.
You can check out the film's trailer, released last week, above.
The band, which was meant to have a life outside of the parks, recorded some demos for a debut album, but they are lost to time. Speculation as to what might have happened to them is a part of the film.
The band, somewhat reminiscent of KISS, was comprised of original characters, but had parallels in the Star Wars universe, most notably with a seven-foot-tall, furry bassist who was referred to internally as "The Wookiee." There were wild costumes, a keyboard player who navigated the stage in a souped-up golf cart and looking vaguely like a Storm Trooper, and a frontwoman -- Lora Mumford -- who absolutely ran away with the act and was the element that caught the attention of recording industry executives.0comments
There are, perhaps surprisingly, a number of YouTube videos featuring Halyx performances, albeit always using static promotional images against the hissing background of bootleg recordings made by fans back in '81, many of which have gone through at least two generations of transfers, from tape to disc to digital, before ending up widely available on the internet.
You can catch Live From the Space Stage: A Halyx Story tomorrow on Defunctland's YouTube channel or Defunctland.com.