Gore Vidal asserts on the back-flap of this book that ‘Scotty doesn’t lie’ - but that’s not the same thing as saying that Scotty Bowers, former Hollywood pimp and male prostitute, isn’t a considerable fabulist, the manufacturer of what Mark Twain called ‘stretchers’, i.e.
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You’d have thought he’d be heartily sick of it by now, for Bowers has been doing little else all his born days, unless you include being a petrol pump attendant and spells as a barman at private parties.
(Just don’t ask about his method of stirring drinks.)Bowers, as a hunky ex-marine, in the Forties became ‘enmeshed in a wild world of sexual intrigue the likes of which few people can ever begin to imagine’.
Oh, I think most adolescent lads would be up to the task - and Full Service reads like a breathless confessional letter that cross-eyed fantasising readers send in to mucky magazines.
But on the whole, Bowers’ Tinsel Town is thoroughly gay - so gay, indeed, that actress Carol Channing was married for forty-two years and in all that time her husband had sex with her only once.
Bowers beds the usual suspects - Anthony Perkins, Rock Hudson, and Tony Richardson; and yet he also spends enchanting evenings with masculine, pipe-puffing chaps like Walter Pidgeon and Raymond Burr, who lived secretly with antiques dealers and flower-arrangers.
During the war Bowers saw action in the Pacific against the Japanese - comrades were gunned down next to him; his only brother was killed - and it is perhaps understandable if when he got back home his sole determination was to get ‘as much sex as possible’.
Our author’s complement of tricks, as he calls them, were mainly the many impecunious waiters and barmaids that thronged Los Angeles.
‘As far as I was concerned’, Bowers says, ‘I was doing them all a favour’.
Regular clients included George Cukor, Vincent Price and his camp Australian wife Corale Brown (‘I was to fix her up with many tricks with young women in future years’), Noel Coward, Cecil Beaton (‘painfully prissy’), Laurence Olivier, Peter Bull ...
how curious and coincidental that all of them are dead and beyond being able to answer back!
Bower’s chief revelation concerns Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.