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Party of One’: Former MTV VJ Dave Holmes Shares Soundtrack of His Life

2014 Vulture Festival - Pop Culture Trivia Night
Television Personality/Host Dave Holmes attends Pop Culture Trivia Night during the 2014 Vulture Festival at Milk Studios on May 11, 2014 in New York City. Mike Pont / FilmMagic

“I grew up with music, and every story my parents tell has music in it," former MTV VJ Dave Holmes told NBC OUT. "Anytime a song from their courtship will come on the radio, one of them will be reminded of a story of when they were dating or first married.”

One could say music is in Holmes’ genes. Even though his parents grew up listening to artists like Frank Sinatra, while Holmes himself listened to Duran Duran and Madonna, music was a major part of his life growing up.

Holmes got his start in the music business when he was hired by MTV in the late 90s to be a VJ. Now Holmes, a contributor for Esquire.com and an on-air personality for SiriusXM, has decided to chronicle his life loving music and growing up gay in a memoir, "Party of One."

“It really felt like [the] more that I wrote for Esquire and the various other places that I worked for, the more I started to look at the first 40 years of my life and the things that drove me forward...Now that this part of my life is largely over, I wanted to tie it up in a bow and push it out into the world," Holmes said, when asked why he chose to release the memoir now.

While the memoir is a coming out story, it is also a trip down a memory lane for music lovers. The book is formatted like an album, and each of the 21 chapters is named after a song title from the time.

“I feel like a lot of people who have the same pop cultural touchstones that I do are now in their 30s and 40s and are readers. Life is a little bit crazy in 2016, and sometimes its nice to reflect back on something you loved when you were 13. It’s comforting.“

With chapter titles named after En Vogue’s “Free Your Mind” and LCD Soundsystem’s “Losing My Edge,” Holmes uses music to acknowledge the time period as he shares his journey from outsider to confident adult.

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The cover for Dave Holmes' novel 'Party of One.' 'Party of One' / Crown Archetype

“I look at the book now, and I feel like I am very much onto a different stage in my life. I feel like I am much more confident and self actualized now,” Holmes told NBC OUT.

One thing he said he purposely left out of the book – stories that put others in a negative light.

“I think its important in a book like this that I be the only one who looks like a jerk," he explained. "There are times I was wronged by a person, [but] I thought I should keep [that] out, because there are two sides to every story.”

While Holmes didn’t share specifics about how he was "wronged," he did say if he were to write a chapter about this time in his life, it would be named after the Moving Pictures song "What About Me."

Holmes’ said he hopes "Party of One" enables readers to see "something of themselves in the stories” and “identify that thing about themselves that they were never able to put into words.”

He also said the book has had a positive impact on his family life. He had felt a “gulf” between himself and his parents prior to releasing the book, but now they've become closer. “Now that I have put out a book full of stories revolved around music, and I listen to them tell their stories revolved around music, it’s like we’re just doing the same thing."

With the days of MTV's "Total Request Live" are long gone, Holmes reflected on the changes in the music industry.

“There is no one place for people to check in and take the temperature of pop culture anymore," he said. "Everything’s so fragmented and niche, and I don’t know what the kids are doing, but I know they are doing something.”

When asked what current music he's been listening to, he acknowledged "there's still some really great pop and rock music coming out," and he specifically mentioned Frank Turner and Tegan and Sara.

"Party of One" is out now, but Holmes said this may not be the last readers hear from him.

“My life is changing, but I am a storyteller first and foremost, so I am constantly taking notes and constantly writing, and as life continues to change I am going to write about it," he explained. "I think there’s equal humor to be found in getting your act together late in life.”

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