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Full Service Audiobook

Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2012 Scotty Bowers and Lionel Friedberg (P)2012 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"A startling memoir." (Gore Vidal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.3 (104 )
5 star
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3.4 (89 )
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Story
3.7 (88 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kimberly Brooks 10-26-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "My ears!"
    Any additional comments?

    This book is poorly written, sexually crude, with not a single sympathetic character. That said, I listened to it twice!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim MOUNT DORA, FL, United States 06-17-12
    Jim MOUNT DORA, FL, United States 06-17-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Candid, Compelling and Creepy"

    If only ten percent of Bowers' stories are true it's still a fascinating and frank look at an era in Hollywood when certain activities and attitudes were sequestered and secreted from the public at large. Bowers names names and reveals the alleged sexual activities of many of our most famous celebrities. He seems to have known everyone and been a touchstone (no pun intended) for hooking people up. Just the vast number of vignettes causes one to ponder his verisimilitude. But I'm not casting aspersions because so many of his recollections have a ring of truth and seem plausible. And I'd think Gore Vidal would not endorse this book flippantly. But who knows? As always, Johnny Heller's reading is perfect.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John T Lockamy 09-06-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
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    Performance
    Story
    "Great story. Amateurish writing."
    Would you try another book from Scotty Bowers and Lionel Friedberg and/or Johnny Heller?

    Scotty has great stories, but the author was exasperating with his narrative devices. Could have used a good editor.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Great gossip and insight.


    What didn’t you like about Johnny Heller’s performance?

    Kinda annoying.


    Could you see Full Service being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Would make a salacious movie/series. I'd love every minute.


    Any additional comments?

    The author (ghost writer, i assume), feels like he was stretching to fill a quota of words/pages. The stories are filled with numerous and endless lists of insignificant facts, figures, details, data, trivia, lists, etc. (see what I did there?) For example, there is a list of the brands of obscure french cigarette brands that Edith Piaf smoked. I'm sure the ghost writer just googled old french brands and used it as filler, but this kind of BS happens through out the book. It gets old real fast. Reminds me of the kid who has to write a whole page about their summer vacation (It was very, very hot, and very, very, very fun).

    The stories are fascinating (if true) and very juicy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sabrina 08-24-16
    Sabrina 08-24-16

    Brraaaiinnsss...

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    "Interesting..."

    Really and truly GRAPHIC, but an interesting read and very enlightening. I never realized so much went on behind the scenes back in the good ol' days. Wow.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    @jonnymarbles 04-25-16
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    "Incredible memoir!"

    This book contains some of the most bizarre and genuine seeming stories that I have ever heard. It also is a great history lesson that takes you from a farm in Canada in the 1920s, through the depression in Chicago, to the pacific front during ww2, and through several decades of urban growth in Los Angeles. A must listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gjemm 12-23-15
    Gjemm 12-23-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well OK then, now I know."
    Any additional comments?

    I'd heard rumors of a few tales in this book, but most of it was still news to me. Especially delicious were the stories of J. Edgar Hoover and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. What was Hoover ever doing policing our country? Overall, a very fun and easy read from a very forthcoming and forgiving author. If there was a poignant corner to this book, it belonged to Mr Bowers' own storyline, replete with hard times, unforgivable neighbors, and predatory priests. Hello, American heartland! In the end, I think Mr. Bowers has given more to people than he's ever got--never mind the rascal that he is!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    angela Mobile, Alabama, United States 10-03-15
    angela Mobile, Alabama, United States 10-03-15 Member Since 2016

    "If u Continually Give, U Will Continually Have"

    ratings
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    45
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    "wow"

    The beginning was hard to stomach. But I do understand why it needed to be told. It was not what I expected but it's a fascinating story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brooklyn Prime Member Brooklyn, New York 04-05-15
    Brooklyn Prime Member Brooklyn, New York 04-05-15
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    "Refreshing and unashamed story of Hollywood sex"

    Scotty Bowers' tells of the sex lives of Hollywood stars and starlets unabashedly and without regret. It is a fascinating tale of a hidden side of Hollywood that was covered up for so long. Scotty's book is fascinating, honest and refreshingly told with no apologies. He provided a necessary service to make people happy, and had fun doing so. What more could one ask for in life!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randall Ross North Hollywood, CA United States 09-17-12
    Randall Ross North Hollywood, CA United States 09-17-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating Life Story!"
    What made the experience of listening to Full Service the most enjoyable?

    I just finished reading and loved Full Service! I listened to it on CD in the car while driving around Hollywood and Los Angeles because I live here. I have no reason to doubt that Scotty Bower's account of his life is true. His personal story of how he came to Hollywood in 1945 and started to meet movie stars and famous folks and started developing long term friendships with many of them while setting them up with beautiful young men and women who were looking to make some extra money and have some fun at the same time. This new "career" was something that just happened out of circumstance and was something Scotty never thought of doing, but grew organically over time. Scotty says he never took money for setting up these tricks for others, but only took money if he was tricking them himself. He said his main motivation was that he wanted to make people happy. He had absolutely no hang ups about sex, sees it as a natural and healthy part of life. The stars grew to trust Scotty because he never told their secrets and his story for decades until now that all of the people he mentions are dead and gone and that era has long passed. Scotty knew so many famous actors, writers, directors, royalty and numerous other people, some of whom met their significant others through his "match making." What's interesting about the book is it exposes the hypocrisy that many stars pretended to be straight as part of their image and the movie studios had very strict morality clauses in their contracts, which did not accept somebody being openly gay or bisexual and they had to be discreet. Scotty provided a service to these people and became to many a loyal and trusted friend and confidant. Scotty was there to witness the happenings in Hollywood for decades as part of the inner circle of many names we all know and it is a fascinating account of what life was like for him in their bedrooms and at the parties. I thoroughly enjoyed each chapter and Scotty seems like a genuinely nice, affectionate and humble guy who has lived a very interesting life and has no regrets. He's finally ready to tell his story and I'm very glad he did! He made a lot of people very happy and provided a great service! He never tried to take advantage of a client and that's why most of the people he knew stayed in contact with him most of their lives. Now in his late 80's he still works as a bartender at private parties. He chose to finally tell his story his way at the appropriate time when times have changed and his clients/friends have passed on so no harm is done. It's an amazing first person account of the sexual secret underground of a past era in Hollywood. We've heard a lot of rumors, find out which ones are true.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Full Service?

    The whole story is memorable, a very unique life story I've never read anything else like it!


    What about Johnny Heller’s performance did you like?

    Johnny Heller was the perfect voice with just the right pace, delivery and emotion to tell this story!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed at times and was shocked at times! It was never boring. I could have listened to it even more if it was longer.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm glad Scotty Bowers chose to tell his story finally after all these years. I believe he is telling the truth especially since Gore Vidal is quoted on the inside jacket to the book and knew Scotty for 60 years as well as many of the same people. "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. His startling memoir includes great figures like Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. Scotty doesn't lie - the stars sometimes do - and he knows everybody." Gore Vidal
    That's enough validation of the truth for me. Scotty has said he didn't write the book to make money, it's clear he never really cared much about money. He had been prodded for years by Tennessee Williams and Dominique Dunne and others to write his memoirs, but resisted until most of the people he talks about in his story have long passed on. I think that shows respect. These people were a big part of his life story and he has the right to chronicle that. Many people in the United States are so hung up on sex and have such a difficult time with the subject and always try to say that anything other than vanilla plain old missionary heterosexual married sex is somehow wrong. It was very interesting to learn how much variety there was in the golden age of Hollywood in the 1940's, 50's, 60's and 70's. I enjoyed reading it!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roger Charlotte, NC, USA 06-18-12
    Roger Charlotte, NC, USA 06-18-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting, titilating, and enjoyable book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Maybe to some, as it's a racy story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Its graphic nature.


    Have you listened to any of Johnny Heller’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Never heard him before, but he did a fine job.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Without giving anything away, there were a couple of deaths that were particularly saddening to me.


    Any additional comments?

    This is an "adults only" book and leans towards the gay male audience. Scotty was obvious bisexual and related many stories that were both interesting and even amusing. You will be shocked at the orientation and escapades of stars from the past. I envied Scotty for his association with the rich and famous. Great book!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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