Scotty Bower's tell-all book, "Full Service - My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars is delicious for anyone who enjoys tales of vintage Hollywood and dishes of gossip.
The book is a page turner. Yet, I have to say this to be fair, as a journalist I honestly doubt all the escapades Bowers says he was involved with are that true. Really! This book is most likely embroidered with fiction.
There are at least three accounts that Bowers presents that to this reporter are very doubtful. They are his point of view about the romance between Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn, the romance between King Edward of England and the divorcee Wallis Simpson; and the romance between Vivian Leigh and Sir Lawrence Oliver.
Bowers claims that all these romances were simply platonic and used as a cover to help advance their careers to the public eye. This is unlikely because much serious examination, biography, interviews and so forth has been done on these people.
Which brings to mind something very important about Bower's book, where are the references cited? When most people write a serious biography or telling account, they have a bibliography page or "works cited" section. In that they point to other tangible accounts to support their point of reference. With all do respect Mr. Bowers, where did you get these facts? Is there anyone who can verify with some tangible evidence of that which you are saying?
It is easy to believe what Bowers writes because he is so personable and it is human nature to be drawn into gossip and rumor. Yet as I reporter I have to resist the alluring and ask for some facts. Where are they? If these people were still alive, no doubt they would dispute these 'tattle-tale stories.'
Also, Bowers claims that he met Alfred Kinsey during his efforts to travel across the nation to gather data for his ground-breaking reports on human sexuality. Some of the things Bowers says while intriguing begin to sound a bit like boasting. Nothing bad to it, in fact it is charming. But to be serious, some of his recollections sound like a cliche of bragging to one's peers.
I did appreciate his candid style of writing. It was nicely composed and most of his recollections which even with the emphasis on the erotic, they were very thoughtful and not malicious gossip.
I had to laugh though, when he used his expression "tricked" (as in turning tricks). According to his accounts, he was tricking on everyone. And if I believed all that he said, most everyone in the world was bisexual if not "all gay."
I understand the libido is a force of nature and when people are 'in heat' during the prime of life they can get a bit crazy. But, some of his details made me dizzy. I had a very difficult time visualizing some of the well-known stars in some of the situations he described.
And, again I am surprised no one has stepped forward to dispute his "tell-all" book. I guess it helps when most of the people he talks about are all dead and buried. I also noticed that he mentions things about the stars that is already known and understood.
One thing that did strike me most was how "experienced" he claimed to be, which apparently from his remembrances he became aware of and active in at an early age. Hmm! Which also surprises me that no one has cried "abuse!"
And, I thought it interesting that he had no bitterness or described things of erotic detail in a negative way. It was all upbeat and he liked the people he romanced or had encounters with.
Yet, here again, I am skeptical because at some point wouldn't there be a little emotional wear and tear at some point with someone? The way he talks it was as if life was just one big party with no side-effects.
What about the issue of Venereal Disease, or paternity claims? If he was as active as he said he was with so many, I am sure he had to face that reality. Yet he makes it sound as if everything was a romp and a delight, no trouble at all. Ha! This is why I look upon his book as mostly fictitious.
Maybe that was part of his generation? They often omitted all the messy day to day details. Or very personal ones! Life in Hollywood was the dream factory. In that spirit, I think Bowers is really writing.
I did enjoy reading about all the various movie stars and some of the basic behind-the- scenes stuff at the studios. And, it was good to read about a time gone by and how important it is we realize just how much times have changed.
Bowers talks about back then where so much of the freedoms we take as for granted with regards to sexuality and expression were very suppressed back then. Most of the mood and setting he refers to is before the Stonewall Inn riots, Civil Rights and the Women's Lib movement. His accounts of WWII are stirring and heart-felt as he lost his brother Don in the war.
Not for the scholarly or the serious history student. This is an alluring book with just the right amount of tantalizing gossip. But it does not go to far and one should look at it as simply that. At least, that is how this reporter looks at it from the objective point of view.