Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Live of the Stars is one of the most extraordinary Hollywood tell-alls ever released. Its publication was like a nuclear bomb detonation, but because every victim was already deceased, there were no fatalities (and not even that much attention from the tabloids). That is actually just as the author Scotty Bowers intended. By all accounts, he is a kind person and loyal friend. He steadfastly resisted all attempts to write about his four-decade career as an A-List hustler and broker until those he would incriminate were long gone.
Bowers’ incredible story begins in 1946 when he pumped gas into an automobile driven by character actor Walter Pidgeon. Pidgeon propositioned him, paying Bowers twenty dollars for a sexual encounter. More such on-the-job shenanigans followed, and soon the Richfield gasoline station on Hollywood Boulevard where Bowers worked became the most unlikely of brothels. [Leave it to car-centric midcentury Los Angeles to combine the world's oldest profession with one of its newest.]
It is a truth-is-stranger than fiction book, and one cannot help but wonder if Bowers embellished his story. Did the Duke and Duchess of Windsor really participate in a tawdry Pacific Palisades sex party? Gore Vidal, a longtime close friend and client of Bowers, vouched for Scotty’s veracity. It was Vidal who publicly encouraged Bowers to break his code of silence and write his memoirs. Vidal lived to see that come to fruition, but just barely. In fact, the February 8, 2012 launch party for the book, held at the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood, was Vidal's last public appearance. He died later that year.
Beaton himself confirmed his association with Bowers in his posthumously published diaries, Beaton in the Sixties. Referring to an assignation several years after the wrap of My Fair Lady, Beaton wrote, “Scotty is a phenomenon. I heard several years ago that the police had caught up with him ... I only had a telephone number, now surely in disrepair. But no. Although I woke him early, his voice was as cheerful as ever. It is five years since I’ve seen him ... I asked him how much I owed him and he suggested a sum much smaller than I knew was customary.”