Today's Home section of the Times veers away from its usual topics with a memoir by writer Michele Willens about earlier days in the exclusive, now-gated Malibu Colony. At a recent reunion, kids who grew up in the colony recalled some of the wilder times.
"It was fantastic until we became teenagers," says Preston Hagman, son of actor Larry and spa designer Maj, who lived in the Colony for 30 years. "I remember draining pools so we could skate in them. Plus the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll."
"It was a safe place to be wild but let's say I wouldn't let my kids do what we did," says John Moss, today an attorney in Northern California. "A lot of coming of age was done there and it took its toll."
"All these music people invaded the Colony," says Pierson, "Donovan, [members of] Led Zeppelin, Ron Wood, Robbie Robertson, Alice Cooper, Neil Diamond, Linda Ronstadt. There were parties and drugs everywhere. We all thought we were going to be the next Beatles so there was a lot of cross-pollination."
Role models were hard to find. "By today's standards, all the adults we knew would be alcoholics," says David Weil, a Los Angeles attorney who grew up in the Colony.
"I remember when Liz Taylor and Richard Burton's kids used to say, 'Well it's noon. I guess Mom's finished her first bottle of Dom Perignon,' " Maj Hagman adds.
There's also an account of Larry Hagman keeping a book full of kids' names and the drugs they sold. When he took it to the DA, he was told that to forget it—they are just rich kids. Of course, he admits, he had his own marijuana plant.