In a highly droll, deliciously phrased 6.1 piece in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Dave White assesses “Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars.” The Old Hollywood tell-all by Scott Bowers and Lionel Freidberg has been out for about four months. Read my riff about it, which was posted last January, and then savor White’s article, which is called “Town Pump.”
The book claims, says White, that Bowers and his “horniest, neediest, most open-minded pals, both male and female, serviced en masse all manner of Hollywood hot shots, names both above and below the title, with Bowers using his legendary penis to satisfy more of the rich and famous than anyone could count, himself included. The way he tells it, the scene was a non-stop, barely contained bacchanal. Orgies of every stripe, down-low gangbangs arranged in a wink, you name it. Right out in the open. Vice squad eluded. Everybody getting all the hot monkey sex any human being could want or even contemplate handling. Then everyone got up at five o’clock in the morning to make their call time.
“Sound impossible? No. It’s a big world, anything’s possible. But implausible? Hell yes.
“Think of it like this: you happen to live in Los Angeles where casually noticing celebrities in the supermarket, at the multiplex, at the gym is just something you’re used to. Now imagine each and every one of those celebrities not only noticing you in return, but laser-focusing their sights on you, hitting on you, offering you money for the sex, then becoming your close pal and subsequently fixing you up for more money and more sex with all of their famous friends, as well. If my life worked that way I’d have already been paid for sex by Jody Watley, Jennifer Beals, Patton Oswalt, Sandra Bernhard, Adam Sandler, Werner Herzog, Reese Witherspoon, Miranda July, Jim J. Bullock, and Johnny Mathis. But every one of those people ignored me, just like they’ll ignore you. In return I allowed them to buy their pork chops in peace.
“It’s a story of revelations — Tony Perkins was gay, Errol Flynn was drunk — that don’t feel revelatory any more. Stalker-y internet gossip site TMZ is its own TV show now and they’ve got a bus that runs all day long so tourists from Indiana can see where Chris Brown beat up Rihanna. Those tourists will pay attention to it for a few moments, walk away, forget it and then shop at the Hard Rock Cafe store, provided none of it makes them late for their shuttle ride back to the hotel in time for the Cirque du Soleil show at the former Kodak (now Dolby) Theatre.
“It’s a time in Hollywood history when Mel Gibson takes up with his mistress, puts a baby in her, screams weird racist things on the phone, they laugh about it on The View and then Jodie Foster turns around and puts him in her next movie. Charlie Sheen chases hookers around hotels and gets endorsement deals and a new sitcom out of it. Actors like Neil Patrick Harris simply announce their gayness and move on, rightly separating their professional, personal, and private experiences — no shame, no worries, no big deal.
“Scandal isn’t scandal anymore unless there’s murder involved, and Bowers’s book, out now these past few months, is just a badly-written blip in the entertainment news cycle, another tell-all sex book by someone you’ve never heard of. No lids ripped off. No eyebrows scorched from the burning shock of the page. It may all be true, but Gore Vidal is wrong when he calls it ‘startling’ on the jacket. It’s just repetitive, empty and, because the dead can’t be offended, harmless.
“If it has any value, it’s in its unstated, unexamined theme: That life used to be much, much harder for anyone whose desires fell outside the norm. Unless they were rich, of course. Then they called Scotty Bowers and he kept them in orgasms until the sexual revolution kicked in for everyone, including run-of-the-mill nobodies.”