Purple Diary

[January 22 2019]

An Interview With Scotty Bowers

ARIANA PAPADEMETROPOULOS — So I heard you were out late last night?
SCOTTY BOWERS — Yeah, we came in at like four o’clock. We were at Gardena till 2am when it closed. Then we went over to Canters and it closed.  Now, Friday and Saturday night are their best nights because they are open late. We went around the corner to that hotel where the kids go and they were just closing, so finally we went over to La Cienega to Norms. And pretty soon it was 4 o’clock.

ARIANA PAPADEMETROPOULOS — That’s wild. So I was really drawn to you and a lot of people are really drawn to you and it seems like all these magical things happen to you. Why do you think that is?
SCOTTY BOWERS — Hmmm, why do I think that is? Well, look at all the people who have died and left me something. My friend who left me this house, when he died he left me two houses and $500,000. Now why do you think that is?

SCOTTY BOWERS — That doesn’t accidentally happen, I don’t think. I’ve had 15 people when they die leave me over $100,000. And some people get nothing from anyone. It looks back to the way you really are. You know, what it’s like with a waiter or a bartender. They pretend to be sweet and charming, but the moment they are off-duty they won’t talk to you. Are you following me?

SCOTTY BOWERS — I am never off-duty.  If someone speaks to you, you speak to them. If they want something, you get something for them. Many people pretend to be nice when they really aren’t. In other words they look out the window and see, here comes that cocksucker again, and then go down to open the door, hey darling.

ARIANA PAPADEMETROPOULOS — Oh yeah, especially in LA. What’s your favorite place in Hollywood that doesn’t exist anymore?
SCOTTY BOWERS — My favorite place in Hollywood that doesn’t exist anymore… I think my favorite place was the Old Hollywood Hotel on Highland and Hollywood Blvd that was two stories high and had porches with people on the rocking chairs rocking. Two lanes of traffic would go up Hollywood Blvd- one for parking, one for going straight through and, like I said, there were always a dozen people in rocking chairs and things like that.

ARIANA PAPADEMETROPOULOS — And why did you like it so much?
SCOTTY BOWERS — Because that was part of Hollywood, and where it was was the perfect location – Highland and Hollywood going west that is, on the upper side of the street. Don’t forget a short few years ago, they didn’t have cellphones or TVs, you had a little radio with static on, so the most important thing to you was company. You lived in a room, not a house, but a room. Because people came here and rented rooms, before they came and built all these goddamn apartments. And they were all alone, really all alone, they had nothing. They were in a room by themselves all alone. The most important thing to them was company. Someone to talk to. Now that is over, because they’ve got a TV, they’ve got a cell phone, they’ve got everything. Times are completely different than they were then.

ARIANA PAPADEMETROPOULOS — And do you think that it’s a demise to human interaction? The fact that we have cellphones, the Internet and the TV, do you think it’s bad for us?
SCOTTY BOWERS — No I don’t think it’s bad for you, I think it’s just the way life is going. And imagine what’s gonna happen 10 or 20 years from now. Cellphones will be obsolete. I mean, they will keep coming up with something, and it just makes living faster. Not necessarily better, but faster.

JORDAN ABRAMS — When you were working did you realize that’s what people need is company, so you kind of capitalized on that?
SCOTTY BOWERS — It’s the number one thing people needed and wanted was company. Someone to be with, someone to talk to because they were all alone. This town was full of people who were all alone that weren’t the type to go out and start talking to people on the street. They’re alone, stay alone, and remain alone until they meet someone and that’s why I fixed people up with people. A lot of people that I fixed up, both men and women, ended up moving in together and spending the rest of their lives together. I made a business of that, not a few of them but a lot of them. So obviously, I fixed the right people with the right people. Don’t forget when I fixed somebody up I didn’t fix them up just because they wanted company. I knew their type and I fixed people up with their type. And they would always say ‘that’s exactly my type’- that’s right, because I made a point to come up with your type or I didn’t come up with anyone at all.

ARIANA PAPADEMETROPOULOS — So you gave everyone exactly what they wanted?
SCOTTY BOWERS — That’s right. Give them what they want. If they like to be thrown off the bridge, you fix someone who likes to throw people off the bridge.

ARIANA PAPADEMETROPOULOS — Do you think it is possible to be in a monogamous relationship and be happy for the rest of your life?
SCOTTY BOWERS — Yes and no. Some people tell themselves they are really happy and life goes on but they spend their whole life doing what they don’t want to do; they have convinced themselves they are happy. In other words if I’m happy at midnight, exactly midnight, I’d go out and bark at the moon at night. Now everyone doesn’t do that, but the person with me, likes to do it too.

ARIANA PAPADEMETROPOULOS — Can you tell me what the Hearst Castle is like?
SCOTTY BOWERS — When I went up there they had a real zoo. Regular African animals. When you went up to the Castle the whole line to the left was wild animals and right in front of the thing was a big pool that was only maybe 3 feet deep. But a gorgeous pool. Down by the coast he had a warehouse, stuff came in by ships and eventually up to the house. That is how they furnished that whole house, things came by ship, because the ocean was right down below it.

ARIANA PAPADEMETROPOULOS — And you would spend the weekend there?
SCOTTY BOWERS — A weekend at Hearst Castle was Saturday night. You would go up on Saturday night for dinner. Not Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Saturday night was called the weekend.

ARIANA PAPADEMETROPOULOS — People like to think Chateau Marmont is the closest thing to what old Hollywood was like, but is that a myth?
SCOTTY BOWERS — Chateau Marmont all those years was a hotel. It was not a place for lunch and dinner. It was a hotel only. You would go in at 5 o’clock for 2 hours, sit for 2 hours and not even see 1 or 2 people. People would come, go up to their desk, go to their room. These were people working in the studio. The Chateau was a hotel only. Not what it is at all now.

ARIANA PAPADEMETROPOULOS — So it wasn’t that exciting?
SCOTTY BOWERS — No, the garden was only a garden. Now they got all the tables and chairs. The Chateau Marmont was not that exciting. The people that wanted to party all went to the Garden of Allah on the corner across the street from the CM.

SCOTTY BOWERS — The Garden of Allah was owned by 4 different people over the years and was the hippest ball of a place to go, period.

ARIANA PAPADEMETROPOULOS — And it was like a hotel?
SCOTTY BOWERS — It was a two story place with rooms in the back and a bar and restaurant to the right. There was a pool in the middle and if you met someone you could rent a room for a half hour.

ARIANA PAPADEMETROPOULOS — Do you think your book could only have come out now or do you wish you had done it years ago?
SCOTTY BOWERS — No, I think the book was pretty good timing. And the release was pretty good time. A lot of people write books and nothing happens. They don’t make a dime. The first year my book was out somebody sent me $400,000. That means they sold a lot of books and it was the right time to do it. A lot of people bought books- it’s in French, Spanish and Polish.

ARIANA PAPADEMETROPOULOS — Did you ever want to be an actor or in the Hollywood business?
SCOTTY BOWERS — No. I could have done it very easily because I knew so many good directors, producers and everyone in the show business. Very often when they were doing a picture they would ask if I wanted a part in the picture. Anyone can get a little part if you wanna. I said, I’m wasting my goddamn time.

ARIANA PAPADEMETROPOULOS — Why didn’t you want do it?
SCOTTY BOWERS — Why would I want to do it? Because it was a waste of goddamn time. Did you ever watch a picture being made? They shoot one of those scenes over and over again. One night they called me in to come watch them shoot a fella in the pool. They fucked around next to El Nido, the hotel near Wilshire Blvd on a rainy night for a little scene that’s a minute and a half. They spent all night. I said Bill, don’t call me anymore to come and watch these goddamn scenes.

ARIANA PAPADEMETROPOULOS — Was this the Sunset Boulevard scene?
SCOTTY BOWERS — Yeah, we spent all night doing the thing that was only a minute and a half on the screen.

ARIANA PAPADEMETROPOULOS — When you saw the movie Sunset Boulevard, did you think it was worth it?
SCOTTY BOWERS — No, because it was still a minute and a half. You could miss it by closing your eyes for a minute.

ARIANA PAPADEMETROPOULOS — And your life was pretty exciting at the time.
SCOTTY BOWERS — To watch or be in a film is a big bore, especially because they want you up at the crack of dawn to be there all day. That’s why Marilyn Monroe, you know I knew Marilyn well, and Marilyn did not want to be an actress. Because she didn’t like to get up till noon. And when she was doing a picture, they were waking her up two hours before they put her with the dialogue director, she would have to wake up at 4 am.

ARIANA PAPADEMETROPOULOS — Were you ever romantic with Marilyn?
SCOTTY BOWERS — Yes, I was. We went to Palm Springs together and with Milton Hale. He is the one who brought Dean Martin and Cherry Louis together as a team. Milton, one time at NBC, wanted me to meet Marilyn. We were going down the hallway when he pushed me into a little cubicle for an hour with her, but I already knew her well.  He thought he was introducing me to her. Two weeks later we went down to Chi Chi’s in Palm Springs and we all stayed in a little hotel together.

ARIANA PAPADEMETROPOULOS — How did you meet Marylin?
SCOTTY BOWERS — It was a friend of mine who owned her place. I installed a bidet for her. I put it like three or four feet from the toilet. And then I redid the kitchen for her. She would always open the door with no clothes on, because she hated the morning. That’s why she did not want to be an actress.

ARIANA PAPADEMETROPOULOS — Did you do anything on this house?
SCOTTY BOWERS — I did a lot on this house. I put a new roof on this house, I dug the pool, through the big side of the hill. And I threw every bit of dirt over the hill. My friend who gave me this house, he had fourteen houses up here and every house he bought.

SCOTTY BOWERS — He gave me two — one to sell and one to live in and $500,000. That’s pretty nice, huh?

ARIANA PAPADEMETROPOULOS — Then you sold all these books.
SCOTTY BOWERS — Yeah, that’s right. Everything, you know, worked out well.

ARIANA PAPADEMETROPOULOS — I guess you must not have any regrets in life.
SCOTTY BOWERS — No. If a person has regrets that means they were doing something wrong, right? Then if you don’t do anything wrong, you shouldn’t have any regrets. I always helped people out, and never charged anyone a dime. Ever. Even though they offered me some.

ARIANA PAPADEMETROPOULOS — In the end it seems being a good person always pays off.
SCOTTY BOWERS — Yeah, that’s right. It’s my philosophy. There were at least 8 or 10 people before they died who wrote me a letter. They would write ‘The nicest time in my whole life was the gas station, Scotty, for all you did made me happier and helped me be happier.’


Photo Sam Kristofski, Interview Ariana Papademetropoulos with Jordan Abrams

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