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Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars | [Scotty Bowers, Lionel Friedberg]

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

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.
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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

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  •  
    Kimberly Brooks Bethesda, MD United States 10-26-12
    Kimberly Brooks Bethesda, MD United States 10-26-12
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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!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    karyn richmond, VA, United States 09-27-12
    karyn richmond, VA, United States 09-27-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Absolutely Horrible"

    Ugh. I am a huge fan of memoirs and love classic nostalgic Hollywood tales but I suffered through about 2 hours of this boring and gross memoir before turning it off and wishing for my 20 bucks back. There was no charm to what little I listened to and I saw none on the horizon. If I had to hear about one more no name hair stylist to the star "sucking this guy off" I was going to hurl. I am sure there is an audience for this book but if you are a fan of books like Garry and Penny Marshall's and old Hollywood type memoirs this is NOT the book for you.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim MOUNT DORA, FL, United States 06-17-12
    Jim MOUNT DORA, FL, United States 06-17-12
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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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen ROSCOMMON, MI, United States 07-29-12
    Karen ROSCOMMON, MI, United States 07-29-12 Member Since 2011

    Karen of Northern Michigan

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    "disturbing"

    I saw this man on the CBS Sunday Morning show..Normally, the Sunday morning show only carries family friendly, wholesome, feel good stories.. I naively didn't catch that mr. Bowers "serviced" Hollywood types sexually..I thought it'd be a fun listen..kind of like reading a People's magazine.. Silly me..
    The book flips back and forth between his childhood and adulthood.. As a child, he has quite a few sexual experiences, all with men.. He describes these experiences as "lovely" with warm memories of those times.. If what he says is true, then he was sexually molested over and over again as a child, but he describes these memories as being wonderful.
    As an adult, he describes himself as a great looking guy that was picked up by Hollywood men over and over again for a "good time".. He remarks often that he himself is not gay, but pretty much every story he writes about is with men...
    I could care less if he's gay or not, but kept wondering why he was so determined to make sure everyone knows he's not gay when his book is all about relationships with other men.
    I have never heard of most of the people in this book, so it's not so much a "tell all" as what seems like a fantasy...
    But, having said that, I will admit, I didn't listen to much of the book.. Listening to his stories of sexual liasons just kind of makes you go "eeeewwww".... He seems kind of creepy.
    I got it with a free credit, otherwise, I'd be really upset that I'd spent money on it.. It's really not worth listening to.. This man seems to be in denial about his life, or he has a fantastic imagination..

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 07-19-13
    Catherine LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 07-19-13 Member Since 2011

    I love to read!

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    "An education in sociopathy"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    For anyone interested in sociopathy. I read several books on it, "The sociopath next next door" "snakes in suits" "The psycopath test" before purchasing this book. It was recommended as an up front education into the mind of a sociopath. It was. The first red flag popped when he wrote of the wonderful experiences of being molested by child molesters, as a child.

    Frankly, I was a little surprised that Audible.com and Amazon.com would sponsor publications condoning, endorsing and promoting child molestation as a wonderful thing. But this is how sociopaths operate in the world, through careful manipulation.

    One by one of the characteristics of a sociopath unfolded in this book, particularly as the author stated over and over that he felt no shame or remorse.

    Some of the common features of descriptions of the behavior of sociopaths.

    Glibness and Superficial Charm. Manipulative and Conning They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.

    Grandiose Sense of Self. Feels entitled to certain things as "their right."

    Pathological Lying. Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

    Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt. A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.

    Shallow Emotions. When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises. Incapacity for Love

    Need for Stimulation. Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.

    Callousness/Lack of Empathy. Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others' feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.

    Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature. Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.

    Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency. Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet "gets by" by conning others. Problems in making and keeping friends; aberrant behaviors such as cruelty to people or animals, stealing, etc.

    Irresponsibility/Unreliability. Not concerned about wrecking others' lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.

    Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity. Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.

    Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle. Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.

    Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility. Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution. Changes life story readily.

    Other Related Qualities:Contemptuous of those who seek to understand them. Does not perceive that anything is wrong with them.

    Authoritarian. Secretive. Paranoid. Only rarely in difficulty with the law, but seeks out situations where their tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired.

    Conventional appearance.

    Goal of enslavement of their victim(s).

    Exercises despotic control over every aspect of the victim's life.

    Has an emotional need to justify their crimes and therefore needs their victim's affirmation (respect, gratitude and love).

    Ultimate goal is the creation of a willing victim.

    Incapable of real human attachment to another.

    Unable to feel remorse or guilt.

    Extreme narcissism and grandiose.

    (The above traits are based on the psychopathy checklists of H. Cleckley and R. Hare.)


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    One of the characteristics of a sociopath, is that they are habitual liars. So, I did not believe the stories. However, I was able to focus on the PURPOSE of the book. Which was to degrade clergy, teachers, police, artists, and other people that contribute in valuable ways to society, and to reduce the reader's affinity for the world. To promote and endorse child molestation as a valuable art. This was the PURPOSE of the author. It is an exploration of evil intent, and a walk through the mind of a sociopath. And how he manipulated Audible.com and Amazon.Com into endorsing child molestation. A rare education.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The reader was able to translate the lack of empathy from the author to the listener. That was highly commendable performance.


    What else would you have wanted to know about Scotty Bowers and Lionel Friedberg ’s life?

    Nothing.


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend the follow up books available on audible.com: The Sociopath Next Door. Snakes In Suits. The Psychopath Test.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roger Charlotte, NC, USA 06-18-12
    Roger Charlotte, NC, USA 06-18-12 Member Since 2004
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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!

    1 of 3 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
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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!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue Oklahoma City, OK, United States 06-23-12
    Sue Oklahoma City, OK, United States 06-23-12 Member Since 2009
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    "A Guilty Pleasure"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Full Service to be better than the print version?

    The narrator was very good.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was interesting to hear all the stories about the old movie stars. What a wild place Hollywood must have been before aids.


    Which character – as performed by Johnny Heller – was your favorite?

    None, they were all pretty disgusting!


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

    No moving moments just one sexual exploit after another.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a book that is fun listening to but you wouldn't want to be caught listening to it. Some parts of the book are just gross!!!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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