My newest Guilty Pleasure: Party of One

Written by on July 1, 2016

Though I am off for the summer from my radio show, I wanted to share with you, my friends, a book that I’ve been enjoying thoroughly. Stick around, I promise it’s music related.


Now I’ve never met Dave Holmes in real life. In fact, I’ve never been in the same as him to my knowledge. I only know Dave from his life on tv and on Sirius radio. And yet Dave Holmes means the world to me and his book, Party of One- A Memoir in 21 Songs, could just as easily be my own story as his own.
You might remember Dave Holmes from his time as a VJ working at MTV during the height of TRL (you remember, that vote for your music video in the afternoon show that left a lasting impression in the universe in the form of Justin Timberlake) or you might remember him as the host of Say What, Karaoke. The point is, his life on MTV and my life watching MTV are linked somewhat in my memory.
Why Dave Holmes and not Carson Daly? I like Carson just fine, in fact, his is my favorite early morning show to watch while on the gym treadmill. But Dave and I have a connection since we’re both queer men in an entertainment industry that’s overwhelmingly straight and white. True, he’s much more in the industry than me, but I’m in the industry at least a little.
You might be asking yourself what any of this has to do with music. It’s all well and good to say that I like his book and I admire him, one gay man to the next, but why should any of this matter to you? Because my hero used to make mix tapes (then mix cds and for a short time mix Mini-discs). It was his form of devotion. He listened to Casey Kasem in the time when the Top 40 was all he had and certainly there was no internet. He faced the oddity of working at MTV with grace, humor, and aplomb. Because he’s funny and sweet and remembers a time when being gay was different and different was something you didn’t necessarily want to be. Also he knows his stuff when it comes to music and isn’t afraid to be a music nerd about it. There’s even a short section in the book where he recalls his friends debating what nationality the Thompson Twins were based on misheard song lyrics.
Reading Dave Holmes’ book is not just a memoir- it’s a love letter from a friend who always seemed to be trying really hard to fit in but always put himself into somewhat cringey situations that show how much he simply can’t fit but in the best possible terms. It’s a book about a man of comedy and music who faced life wanting to be a bee person from that Blind Melon video and then realized that Bee People are rare enough as it is and he should just do him instead.
It’s the kind of book that has faux old school hip hop interludes instead of all traditional chapters and at least one funny personal visualization about “I’ve Never Been To Me” by Charlene (it was the 80s, get into it).
I can’t recommend the book enough, though if you tend to laugh aloud maybe don’t read it in public. And you’ll also want to make a list of songs and bands he recommends, so keep a pencil handy.
Thank you, Dave Holmes, for this book treasure (I’m glad your publishers wouldn’t let you just release an Apple Music mix instead) from the bottom of my beating heart. And if you enjoy Party of One as much as I did, hey, feel free to leave a comment or let me know on my facebook page.





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