Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Before the sale of the Maybelline Co in December 1967, I dated the Lead singer Al Hall, for over 4 years and we're still friends today


40 year reunion with my old boyfriend, sparks memories of the sale of the Maybelline Company in 1967

I had a 40 year reunion with my long time boyfriend, Al Hall, recently and it sparked many memories from our time together in the late 1960's.....After the Maybelline Company sold in December of 1967, my great uncle, Tom Lyle Williams, Lawyer, insisted we all move on to greener pastures and that my sister Donna and I find more suitable future husbands.  Al was the lead singer and bass guitar player in a band called the U.S. Males at the time and played at the most popular dance spot in Westwood Village, near UCLA in the heart of Los Angeles.  At 19, it was the best place in town to hang out, because you only had to be 18 to get in.   So, for several years I could be seen dancing at "Mom's" until 2:00  while Al played, most every night.  However, once my parents moved to Newport Beach in 1969, my life changed radically and Al and I parted.  The most amazing thing is, Al, eventually stopped playing in Beer Bars and enjoyed a very successful sales career in the Electronics Industry.  So, you just never know what the future will bring  when you're still so young.  

Excerpt from my book, The Maybelline Stoy

As my parents started building their big house on the bay, with a fifty-foot yacht already parked at the dock, my sister Donna and I struggled with the suggestion of Tom Lyle's lawyer, Mr. Spindell, that we stay conservative "like the Nixon girls."  Apparently, this meant we should get rid of our going-nowhere boyfriends.  Mr. Spindell said we needed to bring professionals into the family; finding a doctor, lawyer or businessman was the only way to go.

Al serenading us at our home in Culver City, right before the Maybelline Company sold.

Here I am with Al Hall, on one of our first dates.  I met him at a dance place, called the RF Club, in Los Angeles, January 1967 and we were together until 19 January 1971.  

Al and Sharrie, after the Maybelline Company sold and my family moved to Newport Beach California.

Below, find two past Blog Posts I did on Al and Sharrie

The Sale of the Maybelline Company completely changed my life..click

While my great uncle, Tom Lyle Williams, was negotiating the sale of the Maybellne Company in 1967..... which can only be described as..... "the calm before the storm,"..... there was a special guy in my life, who helped me survive the changes, in one piece, while having fun, fun, fun..... 


By the late 1960's, a new venue for dancing to live bands, came in the 

form of..... neighborhood Beer Halls.  

Be sure to check out my hilarious 1964 High School Diary blog called Saffrons Rule.  http://saffronsrule.com

 Be sure to pick up a copy of my book, The Maybelline Story, to fill in all the dots of that incredible era. 

Friday, April 13, 2012


By the late 1960's, a new venue for dancing to live bands, came in the form of..... neighborhood Beer Halls. 

America's first real discotheque, The Whisky A Go Go, on the Sunset Strip, declined in the late 60's, followed by the Cheetah and the Kaleidoscope.  Soon there was no place to go but the Shrine Auditorium, if you wanted to dance to live bands.  However, If you wanted a more intimate setting, local Beer Bars. were the answer.

An article featured in Eye Magazine, about the LA Scene in the late 1960s talked about one of the most popular neighborhood beer halls in town.  "Mom's" was a bar in Westwood Village, two blocks from UCLA, that was comprised of 5 rooms of an old warehouse. The floor was sawdust covered, and the decor was.... Halcyon, Frat-House-Renaissance ..... toilet bowls, wash basins, traffic signs, Beatles posters, wagon wheels and old hairdryers. Over the doorway hung a full length portrait of Mom, a red hot cartoon travesty of Little Annie.

Al Hall on the right, with his brother Gary.

Most every weekend you could find me at Mom's dancing, while my boyfriend Al Hall, and his band, the Graven Image, played to a rip-roaring mob, gyrating to deafening electric guitars and over-the-top drumming. Even though the Graven Image was a very talented and popular band in 1968 and '69, it was difficult for them to fit the "long-hair" band image at that time because Al and Gary were in the Marine Corps Air Wing Reserve..... and their hair and sideburns had be trimmed each month before their drill weekend to comply with Marine Corps regulations.

Here's Al and Gary Hall with Graven Image lead singer, Joan Coogan, who was TV & film star Jackie Coogan's daughter and who was also half sister to actor, Don Stroud.) Jackie and Don would often come see the band play as well as Jan and Dean and a few other name bands.

It's been 40 years since I've seen Al Hall, but we talked on the phone recently and he told me the whole short hair story. Here is a letter the band's management company, Century Artists' Ltd, wrote to Al and Gary's commanding officer.

Al also wrote a letter to his Congressman, Charles H. Wilson in 1968, explaining their plight: "We want to serve our Country, but we also want to look professional in our chosen occupation."

An excerpt from the Congressman's reply letter read....

"Your only recourse is staying in the reserves and complying with their grooming regulations, or file a formal application for a hardship discharge. Should you decide to make such application I will do everything possible in your behalf."

The Graven Image once had an opportunity to be the opening band at a concert featuring "Spirit,"....
 (I Got a Line On You Babe,) but the promoters decided against them, evidently because of their short hair. Over the next year this, plus their 2-week absence each summer for active duty, caused friction and growing discontent with the other band members who did not have to serve in the Military. The constant turmoil caused the breakup of the Graven Image near the end of 1969.

Had Al and Gary been able to grow their hair, they might have looked like this.... and Graven Image might have gone on to be a serious Rock group. However, love of Country came before career.

Al Hall, drummer Gary Green, and Gary Hall in the 
1970's, when they were the U.S. Males.

Al contacted former band mates and soon had the U.S. Males back together again. A while later Al and former drummer John Acquarelli purchased their own bar in Playa Del Rey, called The Gallery, and it became a very popular bar/dance hall in the early 1970's.

The U.S. Males 20 year Anniversary Reunion in 1985.  In this picture, Gary Hall, Al Hall, Gary Green, Neil Gunny and John Acquarelli, (the original drummer) singing, "Blue Moon," acapella. 

The party was invitation only, and once everyone arrived, there were over 500 in attendance. The bar manager told the band afterwards, "We have never poured as many drinks for ANY event in the entire ten years I have been here, and they were the nicest, most well behaved group of people I have ever seen."

During those fun years between 1967 and 1971, you could find me sitting on the stage, watching my boyfriend, Rock Out... I danced most every dance, and was called, Little Surfer Girl, Little Queenie and The Dancing Queen. Al and I split up when my parents moved to Newport Beach. We both married and had no contact until now.

Here is an earlier post about Al and Sharrie.

Read more about my life in the 1960's.... and after the sale of the Maybelline Company, in my book, The Maybelline Story and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Sale of the Maybelline Company completely changed my life..

While my great uncle, Tom Lyle Williams, was negotiating the sale of the Maybellne Company in 1967..... which can only be described as..... "the calm before the storm,"..... there was a special guy in my life, who helped me survive the changes, in one piece, while having fun, fun, fun..... 

I met Al Hall, in January, 1967, shortly after he returned from active duty in the Marines - at the famous hot spot in West LA called The RF -  Soon I was dancing to Al's band.... The U.S. Males.... at another wild bar and dance place called The Bluebook, in Manhattan Beach. 

Al's band eventually got the gig in Westwood Village at  "MOM's," the number one, most popular dance place in town, where UCLA students hung out.....  
      Mom's was the place to be seen!!  
and I was seen there every night, dancing,
 while Al played his guitar.
  It was the most fun ever!!!
Al became a positive force in my life, before and after the sale of the Maybelline Company, and kept me focused on having fun and not stressing over the changes going on in my family. This picture of us was taken in Las Vegas, late 1967, during my Ursula Andres
look alike days. 

Al always challenged me to go beyond my comfort zone, which drove me crazy, but I never said no.  He took this picture of me in a cave near Santa Barbara, and though I don't look too happy, I was proud I climbed up the rocks and posed, during my Doris Day period, before the sale of the Maybelline Company.

Al took this picture of me during my Daisy Mae - Sandra Dee Period, at my grandmother, Evelyn Williams, penthouse in Marina Del Rey - Summer of 1968, after the sale of the Maybelline Company ....  

Christmas, 1967 at my home with my family.  Me, my dad, Uncle Lyle, Billee  my mom, Donna and Nana. Uncle Lyle, had just completed the sale of the Maybelline Company to Plough Inc. Al took this picture. 

While the country was going through one of the most tumultuous periods in history, I struggled as well, adjusting to my parents overnight wealth.

Here I am not too happy with Al, snapping my picture on my grandmothers deck, during one of my dinner parties given at her penthouse in the Marina.  I was in my Nancy Sinatra period, still trying to figure out who I was on the outside, but it would take years before I developed the real me inside. 

My dad a I at Nana's Penthouse in 1968. Pretty exciting times. (Al took the picture).

My Sister, Donna and I.  1968, Dinner Party  at Nana's. (Al tool the picture).

Again looking slightly reluctant as Al, once again, made me pose for the camera. I was decked out for another fun night dancing at Mom's, to The U.S. Males!!!

Here we are right before I moved out of Culver City, to Lido Isle, in Newport Beach, California, in 1969.  I'm now in my Mia Farrow period, ready to embrace a new lifestyle, after my parents built a home on the water, with a 50 ft yacht moored outside in the bay. 

Al and Sharrie in 1970,....at my parents 25th mock Wedding, in our new home on Lido Isle, Newport Beach.  A nightmare  experience.  Details in my book, The Maybelline Story.

 From that point on my life changed so quickly it made my head spin.  But during those four wonderful, innocent, transitional years, with Al Hall, I felt safe and protected as my handsome Marine walked me to the threshold of my new life - and we said goodbye.

Read all about it in my memoir, The Maybelline Story and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It.  You won't be able to put it down, so don't read it in bed!

More about Al and Sharrie:

By the late 1960's, a new venue for dancing to live bands, came in the form of..... neighborhood Beer Halls.  

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