From comedian, Esquire contributor, and former MTV VJ Dave Holmes, the hilarious memoir of a music geek and perpetual outsider fumbling his way toward self-acceptance, with the music of the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s as his soundtrack
Dave 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 kid in the sporty family. At his 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. But despite all the close calls, or possibly because of them, he just kept trying, and if (spoiler alert) he never quite succeeded, at least he got some good stories out of it.
In Party of One, Dave tells the hilariously painful and painfully hilarious tales—in the vein of Rob Sheffield, Andy Cohen, Josh Kilmer-Purcell, Paul Feig, and Augusten Burroughs—of an outsider desperate to get in, of a misfit constantly changing shape, of a guy who finally learns to accept himself. Structured around a mix of hits and deep cuts from the ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s—from Bruce Springsteen’s “Hungry Heart” to Wilson Phillips’s “Impulsive” to En Vogue’s “Free Your Mind” and beyond—and punctuated with interludes like “So You’ve Had Your Heart Broken in the 1990s: A Playlist,” this book is for anyone who’s ever felt like a square peg, especially those who found their place in the world, as we often do, around a band, an album, or a song. It’s a laugh-out-loud funny, deeply nostalgic story about never fitting in, never giving up, and listening to good music along the way. Download and start listening now!