Party of One: A Memoir in 21 Songs by Dave Holmes

Posted August 24, 2016 by shooting in Uncategorized / 15 Comments

Party of One: A Memoir in 21 Songs by Dave Holmes

Review by Lauren

source: copy from BloggingforBooks; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryDave Holmes has spent his life on the periphery, nose pressed hopefully against the glass, wanting just one thing: to get inside. Growing up, he was the artsy son in the sporty family. At his all-boys high school and Catholic college, he was the closeted gay kid surrounded by crush-worthy straight guys. And in his twenties, in the middle of a disastrous career in advertising, he accidentally became an MTV VJ overnight when he finished second, naturally, in the Wanna Be a VJ contest, opening the door to fame, fortune, and celebrity—you know,almost


I watched a lot of MTV when I was younger, especially when TRL was popular (Total Request Live) where VJ’s announced the top ten videos of the day and celebrities stopped by to be interviewed or play games. Despite watching TRL and other shows on MTV, I have to admit that I didn’t recognize the name Dave Holmes. Maybe he wasn’t on as much when I really started watching, but at any rate, he was an MTV VJ for a bit and then moved around helping out with other non-music related MTV shows.

Reading his memoir was a lot of fun though because each chapter is is name of a song and it chronicles Dave’s life from before MTV to afterwards, when he had left the company and moved on to something new. Holmes is a great writer and he infuses a lot of humor into most of his stories. There are some more serious tales though, like being a young worker in NYC when 9/11 happened – this was his pre-MTV days. I find these stories interesting, as someone who was alive during 9/11. We all have that story of “where were you?”

As Dave is a gay man, I appreciated how he incorporated that in stories. He writes about being in the closet until college and how he tries to make it safer for other kids at his religious college to come out. He talks about his first boyfriend and others, until he tells you the story of meeting “the one” near the end of the book. This is definitely a book about Dave and his life and not just a who’s who at MTV, so you should know that before you dive in. It’s still an enjoyable memoir though and I appreciate it.

Finally, I want to mention the little extras that Holmes includes between some of the 21 chapters. Some of these are themed song lists, while another gives you a little inside information on some MTV guests – for those of you who like the juicy Celeb stories!

All in all, definitely a good one.

15 responses to “Party of One: A Memoir in 21 Songs by Dave Holmes

  1. I'm glad you explained who Dave Holmes is because I wasn't placing him at all. Then I realized he wasn't on MTV until the late 90's and that was long after I'd given up on MTV. 🙂 This sounds like a really interesting memoir, though.

  2. Yeah his name isn't familiar to me, either! I looked him up though and it rings a bell now. Glad you enjoyed this one, it seems like it's easy to get into and connect with.

  3. I'm glad he's doing well because from the summary it looked like he had a difficult time of it. And he met the one which makes me happy. I have never heard the term VJ but I do know what you are talking about. Don't they still play top ten sometimes? MTV is more reality shows and drama but there are two MTV channels so I don't know. Anyways, glad you enjoyed the memoir and it ended happily.

  4. I grew up on MTV – I remember the first video, the first VJs, and I actually remember watching the first season of The Real World. But I also remember Dave Holmes and the contest he did and idiot he came in second place to. OMG – the guy was a wanker!! But Dave Holmes stuck and he was pretty good b/c he was actually good at his job. I had no clue he was gay! And I never would have guessed he had a tough childhood or a tough career!

    What a great memoir to read! I would never of thought he would write one but the format sounds fabulous!!!

    Great review!!!!!

  5. I wish Blogging For Books would stop hating on me. :[ I miss reviewing books for em', but I've been stuck in book limbo for the past 1.5 months because my review won't go through. (sigh!)

    I've never read this book, but it definitely sounds like an interesting one! I didn't watch too much TV when I was growing up, but I bet the themed song lists would still kinda be like a walk down memory lane! :O

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