Tales of Rock – Rock Out To Disneyland (Short-Lived) Sexy Prog-Rock Band

The year was 1981. Bette Davis Eyes was topping the charts, and poppy synths dominated every retro jukebox in the nation. Like sand trickling down a Buick’s grease stain, time had run out for the dirty delight that was ’70s rock and roll. But there was one place left in America where guitar riffs could blow your mind and melt your face, a place where real rock music still lived, and it was just past the Magic Tea Cup Ride.

For one glorious summer, Disneyland California tried something different with its musical performances. It’s the hallowed, puke-filled halls host to the greatest band to have ever gotten high on an It’s Small World dingy 5 minutes prior. Fabricated by Walt Disney Records, Halyx (pronounced Hah-licks because this is sexy Vernor Vinge territory) was to combine the hip-thrusting glam rock of KISS with the proggy sci-fi aesthetic of … not Star Wars, that would be too high a praise, but more like an early attempt at Starcrash cosplay.

And the Mickey Mouse love machines of Halyx went all out.

It’d be a while before Disney outright owned the cantina genre.

Keyboardist Tom Miller flew around in a golf cart tricked out like a spaceship powered by keyboards. Tall bassist Roger Freeman was dressed like the unholy offspring of Chewbacca and a panda. Tony Caputo, percussionist-cum-acrobat (emphasis on all those words), swung around on a rope dressed as a space-goblin. All while Bruce Gowdy and Lora Mumford, in full Xanadu regalia, pierced the veil of prog-rock with their alien shredding and angelic screeches, respectively.

But how do you Disneyfy a sexy glam rock troupe? You don’t. Halyx wasn’t exactly PG-rated, captivating/stranger endangering their tween crowds with songs like Jailbait: “Baby I want you, want you / But you’re jailbait / Baby I want you, want you/ But you have to wait / Little boy” (Little boy? Who wrote this, Gary Glitter?)

Sadly, Halyx’s not-so-wholesome glory ended after only a few weeks in Disneyland, and after a small L.A. tour, the talented musicians went their separate ways. But their tongue-in-cheek (s) Star Wars magic has finally been pulled from its carbonite storage, relived in the excellent full-length documentary from YouTubers Defunctland. So take a seat, and whatever substance you couldn’t smuggle into Disneyland, and enjoy the trippy tale of Halyx.

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Author: phicklephilly

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