Many of us have experienced fleeting moments of not quite fitting in, but former MTV VJ Dave Holmes has felt like an outsider for most of his life. In fact, Party of One begins with Holmes’ statement that he most strongly identifies with the Bee Girl character in Blind Melon’s 1993 video “No Rain.” What follows is a series of stories from Holmes’s life, framed in 21 songs.
Dave Holmes realized he was different as a young boy in St. Louis when, as a soccer goalie, he was more interested in entertaining the crowd than guarding the goal. He was the artistic son in a sports-oriented family, but everyone came together over music. As Holmes grew up, he increasingly turned to pop culture as a haven from the world, and we learn about the music that influenced him as he came to terms with his sexuality in a Catholic school in St. Louis and later as a college student in Worcester, Massachusetts.
If you’re familiar with Dave Holmes, the chances are high that you “met” him as a VJ on MTV. Holmes’ story of his time in New York City, his decision to enter MTV’s Wanna Be a VJ competition, and his eventual career at MTV are where Party of One shines, and if you’re of a certain age, this will definitely leave you feeling nostalgic.
Dave Holmes’ writing is funny and relatable, and you may have to remind yourself that you are not actually friends with him (even though you feel like you definitely could be). Just like Blind Melon’s Bee Girl, Holmes finds his niche and learns to be okay with himself, and Party of One is an inspiring reminder that pop culture can be the key to finding yourself.