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Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars [Kindle Edition]

Scotty Bowers , Lionel Friedberg
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (591 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Newly discharged from the Marines after World War II, Scotty Bowers arrived in Hollywood in 1946. Young, charismatic, and strikingly handsome, he quickly caught the eye of many of the town’s stars and starlets. He began sleeping with some himself, and connecting others with his coterie of young, attractive, and sexually free-spirited friends. His own lovers included Edith Piaf, Spencer Tracy, Vivien Leigh, Cary Grant, and the abdicated King of England Edward VIII, and he arranged tricks or otherwise crossed paths with Tennessee Williams, Charles Laughton, Vincent Price, Katharine Hepburn, Rita Hayworth, Errol Flynn, Gloria Swanson, Noël Coward, Mae West, James Dean, Rock Hudson and J. Edgar Hoover, to name but a few.

Full Service is not only a fascinating chronicle of Hollywood’s sexual underground, but also exposes the hypocrisy of the major studios, who used actors to propagate a myth of a conformist, sexually innocent America knowing full well that their stars’ personal lives differed dramatically from this family-friendly mold. As revelation-filled as Hollywood Babylon, Full Service provides a lost chapter in the history of the sexual revolution and is a testament to a man who provided sex, support, and affection to countless people.


Editorial Reviews

Review

'I have known Scotty Bowers for the better part of a century. I'm so pleased that he has finally decided to tell his story to the world. Scotty doesn't lie - the stars sometimes do - and he knows everybody' - Gore Vidal '[A] juicy, filthy memoir.' - Guardian 'Full Service is a scandal fest, oozing salacious gossip in which Bowers... recalls where who did what to whom and how.' - Sunday Telegraph 'This handsome ex-Marine and his friendly gas station have long been alluded to in Hollywood memoirs. And now, at last, they go public.' - The New York Times 'Scotty Bowers is the most honest person I've known, with the best memory for names and places I've ever seen. If he tells you that something happened to somebody, that's the way it was.' - Bob Benevides - one of the subjects of Full Service, L.A. Weekly

Review

“A jaw-dropping firsthand account of closeted life in Hollywood during the ’40s and ’50s. The wholesome image of the postwar American family was acted, written, directed, and designed by people for whom such a life was never possible and Bowers writes about their pain and brilliance with the childlike wonder of Chauncey Gardiner. Turner Classic Movies will never quite look the same.”—Griffin Dunne, Actor/Director

Full Service at the very least highlights how sharply the rules of engagement for reporting celebrity gossip have changed. . . . [It’s] much harder to keep details as salacious as the ones Mr. Bowers outlines under wraps.”—Brooks Barnes, The New York Times

“[Scotty Bowers] made his reputation by sleeping with everyone in Hollywood who wasn’t actually Lassie, and now he tells all. If you ever suspected that Spencer Tracy was bisexual and Tyrone Power a coprophiliac, and if you happen to believe everything you read, here is all the testimony you require.”—Anthony Lane, The New Yorker

“[Q]uel scandale!”—Vanity Fair

“Connoisseurs of lurid tell-alls and the golden age of Hollywood will almost certainly be entranced by Full Service.”—The Atlantic Wire

“This handsome ex-Marine and his friendly gas station have long been alluded to in Hollywood memoirs. And now, at last, they go public.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“The book is like a 286-page gossip column from Hollywood’s golden age—it names all the names and spills all the secrets. Bowers was a . . . free-love advocate far ahead of his time who claimed Cary Grant, Spencer Tracy, Edith Piaf and the Duke of Windsor (to mention just a few) as lovers.”—W Magazine, “February’s Most Wanted

“Younger readers—at least those raised in the Internet and TMZ age—may find nearly as shocking the fact that the stories were squelched by studio publicists and remained largely under wraps back in the day.”—Chicago Tribune

"The Scotty I knew was a guy who always seemed to be enjoying his life working morning, noon and night, with never a gripe; always with a smile to greet you, and never with an axe to grind. After a lifetime in Hollywood, that’s a remarkable feat and its own kind of Zen.”—David Patrick Columbia, New York Social Diary

“A picaresque romp that unabashedly uncovers long-hidden sexual scandals during Hollywood’s golden years.”—John Rechy, author of City of Night

"Full Service is not a kiss-and-tell or a diary of a rent boy but an insightful look through the microscope at the world of make believe."—Sydney Morning Herald

“Controversial . . . vivid . . . As well as a titillating catalogue of sexual intrigue, the book is designed to expose of the hypocrisy and fear that swirled beneath the industry's on-screen glamour and crafted wholesomeness.”—The Guardian (UK)

They said he’d never talk—but at long last, the legendary Scotty Bowers has told his story, with all the honesty, compassion and insight that made him a confidant of movie stars, directors, billionaires, and politicians.”—William J. Mann, author of Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn

“The initial impulse, of course, is to compare Bowers’ allegations about his career with that of Heidi Fleiss, the Hollywood Madam, and though they both pandered to the prurient interests of the entertainment industry, Bowers’ fantastical story goes further. . . . [If] you’re looking for an unvarnished account of the closeted shenanigans of Hollywood’s Golden Age—and a good trashy read at the same time—then Full Service is the full enchilada.”—Los Angeles Times

“In this shocking exposé, Bowers finally reveals his sexual liaisons with the rich and famous, sparing no details along the way. . . . Bowers has no regrets—having led a life of pleasure, satisfaction and joy that the rest of us can only envy.”—The New York Post

“[Full Service] reads more like a historical document, the Kinsey report on the sex lives of the rich and famous. . . . there’s also a sad irony in [Bowers’s] story. Many of the actors mentioned in his book established the basis for what was for decades considered normal: cookie-cutter, heterosexual marriage. As a reader, it makes you cringe—if all these celebrities hadn’t pretended to be something they were not, would generations of gay teenagers have struggled as much with their identities? Would we even be debating gay marriage today?”—The Daily Beast

“Juicy . . . a titillating tell-all from Scotty Bowers, a gadabout go-between in the closeted and scandal-wary world of moviedom. . . . chatty, affable . . . never less than entertaining. . . . the book paints a picture of a different kind of Hollywood, where the press only went so far in reporting scandals, where great efforts were taken to conceal an actor or actress’ true proclivities, where there was no TMZ and no celebrity porn videos and where there was a lot more to lose if the real story ever got out.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Scotty Bowers was Hollywood’s Mr. Fixit—at least when it came to the bedroom.”—Entertainment Weekly

“[Bowers] has become a mythic figure in Hollywood’s gay subculture. . . . Bowers documents his encounters with great specificity—including Walter Pidgeon’s proclivities—and takes the reader inside some of the most fascinating “scenes” of the period.”—The Daily Variety

“After five decades maintaining that sex secrets of Tinseltown’s elite, at the age of 88, Bowers is revealing all in a sensational new memoir."—The Daily Express (UK)

Full Service opens the doors of the closeted, X-rated underworld of old Hollywood through three decades.”—The Daily Mail (UK)

“[Bowers] became the Mr. Fixit for screen icons who sought out the more lurid trappings of Tinseltown during its glory days. Wild affairs, gay romps and rampant prostitution were the order of the day and Bowers was the man they turned to for their salacious entertainment.”—The Daily Mirror (UK)

“[If] you're one of those people who still owns a vintage princess phone, watches Mad Men obsessively, and yearns to go back to a “simpler” time when men and women exchanged witty banter in mid-Atlantic accents instead of jumping into the sack, read Bowers’ book.”—Nerve.com

“[Full Service] is about to blow the door off of the Hollywood Closet. . . . Escandalo!”—Seattle Gay Scene

“None of us are ready for what appears to be the kickass Old Hollywood memoir of 2012: Scotty Bowers’s Full Service.”—AfterElton.com

Product Details

  • File Size: 1849 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press (February 14, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0071BWSZG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,132 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
295 of 323 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nothing left out and Plenty of Surprises January 19, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Somehow I was surprised that this was so well-written. Scotty Bowers seems like a nice, charming guy with boundless energy, curiosity and a great appetite for life who seems to have never had the slightest hang-up about sex. Of course having killer good looks and body didn't hurt. An interesting subtext about how witnessing real horror at Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima increased his desire to live fully after the war.
The book is overflowing with juicy, bizarre, often very surprising gossip which can be hilariously funny, sometimes sad, and frequently over-the-top salacious. All of the in-your-face sexuality and pathos is interesting because it involves people who were so idealized at the time - and some still are. Plenty of rumors are confirmed and legends shattered. This goes well beyond "Hollywood Babylon" in explicitness and naming names. A real page-turner. Definitely not a re-hash of tired, familiar stories or questionable speculation; Scotty knew and saw them all up close and decided his fascinating tale was worth sharing, now that most of the denizens of old Hollywood are gone. The book's tone is never mean-spirited.
Gore Vidal calls the book startling and vouches for Scotty's veracity.
For those with delicate sensibilities: approach with caution. Some readers will be offended by "distasteful" and unflattering details about favorite celebrities, but if you're going to tell this kind of story nowadays, you might as well go ALL the way, and Scotty does!
There is an interesting article about Bowers and this book in the Sunday, Jan. 29th New York Times. A Vanity Fair writer and award-winning documentary film-maker has signed a deal to make a documentary about Scotty. Shortly after "Full Service" was published, a writer for L.
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70 of 80 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something for Everyone February 2, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Scotty worked for me for years. He tended bar, he pruned trees, and he packed us up when we moved away from Los Angeles. This book was like a visit with an old friend. But, Scotty was forever youthful, forever enthusiastic, and a nice guy. This comes through in the book, which is amazing, because some of his stories will raise your eyebrows. He describes life in Hollywood as it will never be again. I was happy to read at the conclusion that his current life is a happy one. He deserves it. And, if you choose to read this eminently readable book, I think you'll have a good time. I did.
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54 of 63 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some of it may be true but... May 31, 2012
By J & K
Format:Hardcover
I think most people have met someone like Scotty Bowers in their lives. He's the type of person who brags constantly about his sexual conquests... and yet you never really believe the stories. That's what reading Full Service is like. The first half of Bowers's life is all 1930s Depression and WW2, then it's just a list of increasingly incredible sexual exploits and pimping. For example, 150 different women for Katherine Hepburn. Really? Come on! OK, some of it may be true but most of it reads like boastful exaggeration. The fact that everyone he's writing about is dead is also highly suspicious. And he really does have a high opinion of himself as a lover! Best read as a bit of a joke and for some intriguing Hollywood gossip than taken entirely on face value.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars About what I expected. April 18, 2012
By JGT
Format:Hardcover
Not really all that much new as far as dishing dirt on Hollywood stars. This book goes into more detail than some others but anyone who is interested in reading about movie stars will probably already know about who is gay or alcoholic or into kinky sex. Considering how many stars the author referred to as "dear friends" and "good buddies", I do find it rather odd that though there are a number of pictures of celebrities, there is not one photo of the author with any of the people named in the book.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If he had friends, they'd advise against this. May 31, 2012
Format:Hardcover
I didn't like this. But not for the obvious reasons.

Graphic sex stories? OK, we can expect that, it's in the title. (Please note: if you do not already know what "golden showers are" this book is not for you.) "Outing" of people who can't "defend" themselves because they are dead? Uhm OK, again, to be expected.

What I was hoping for was a light-hearted sexual romp, kinda on the level that __Blazing Saddles__ (yes, I know that is fiction) took to racism or the Betty MacDonald approach to poverty. This was just kinda...icky.

Does Bowers really not recognize that his first sexual encounters were abuse? He normalizes the experience of adults males performing sex acts on him, romanticizes them to an extent. He grows up and has lots of gay sex, lots of sex with women, finds partners for other people according to their tastes, and repeatedly says he has no moral problem with whatever way one satisfies oneself. He cheats on his wife with an implausible number of partners, and has nothing but praise for her. No apologies, no remorse, just praise for her patience. OK.

Somewhere in the early-middle of the book I began to think he was lying. Now, why was that? I had to ask myself whether this was because I really didn't believe him, or did I not WANT to believe him? And I had to reread parts after realizing, no I don't actually care who sleeps with whom, it can be interesting when well-told but I don't have sense of horror that people in Hollywood sleep around. No, the BS meter went off because the bragging was so amateurish, and silly.

He claims that multiple times when Erroll Flynn was too polluted to perform, the women he'd been trying to seduce were so turned on that Bowers had no choice but to satisfy them himself. Snigger. RIIIIIIIIGHT.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars No question in my mind
Haven't read it and don't need to. Way back in 1985 a very good gay friend who lived for years in Los Angeles told me many of these same stories. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Rebe
2.0 out of 5 stars I can not believe they published this crap. How in the hell could this...
Wow. I can not believe they published this crap. How in the hell could this guy have so much sex with everybody in Hollywood and nobody ever mentioned him. Read more
Published 4 days ago by greg varney
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but just wondering how factual Would like to have seen...
Quick read. Interesting but just wondering how factual Would like to have seen more pictures
Published 6 days ago by Mark F. Nolte
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
it was very vulgar
Published 9 days ago by Kerry Mills
3.0 out of 5 stars Scotty Bowers from inside Hollywood
This book reads more like a trashy magazine sold at the checkout counters of the grocery stores. The author was a gas pump jockey and a part-time bartender at Hollywood private... Read more
Published 15 days ago by Rama Rao
5.0 out of 5 stars I love the fact that he feels no guilt whatsoever for ...
What an interesting book this is! Although he faced many of the same tragedies we all have over the years, Scotty Bowers led a varied and fascinating life in Hollywood (and... Read more
Published 18 days ago by Johnboy1
5.0 out of 5 stars Sex is OK
Very interesting book. And his belief around sex be open and enjoyed by everyone is my belief also. USA is so uptight around sex and talking about it. Read more
Published 21 days ago by conrad
4.0 out of 5 stars A life like no other
This one is for readers of Hollywood memoirs who like biogs untarnished and raw. I read this book vacillating between “Surely he’s making all this up! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Martin P. Turnbull
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
I WONDER..ARE THEY SECRETS
Published 1 month ago by sincere
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, even if sometimes I was yelling "Nooooooo
What the?? New insight into names and faces that are before my time and more legend than real. If this is pure truth, Hollywood was a planet of its own.. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Leanne King
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