While we were on our mom’s weekend in West Palm Beach, we were having dinner at The Seafood Bar at The Breakers. We were sitting at a table in the bar area, so the tables were fairly close to each other. We were Air Dropping photos to each other and the name “John Holmes” kept showing up.
Kelli and I were giggling like 14-year-olds because we knew John Holmes was a porn star in the 70’s/80’s. We were looking around the bar area trying to figure out who this particular John Holmes could be. We settled on the table next to us to the right, an older gentleman and his much younger girlfriend. We were wrong.
Meet John C. Holmes
The real John C. Holmes was technically the first “porn star.” Yep, it was a man. His most popular character was Johnny the Wadd. I promise, I didn’t know that before a little online research. He made several films under this moniker, and in all starred in more than 544 films.
He was the inspiration for Mark Wahlberg’s Dirk Diggler character in Boogie Nights. It is also widely believed that he was involved in the Wonderland murders in the Laurel Canyon area of Los Angeles in 1981, where four people were beat to death in a known drug house. The murders are still unsolved and if you’re interested there’s a movie about them starring Val Kilmer and Kate Bosworth called, what else, Wonderland.
The life of a porn star was not what he imagined, and John C. Holmes eventually turned to drugs, which affected his “performances.” There was no little blue pill back then, so therefore his porn career came to a screeching halt. How sad.
He then took to selling drugs, selling himself, and stealing credit cards to pay for his habit. He was also into sex trafficking – which wasn’t known as sex trafficking at the time – after meeting a 15-year-old he groomed and abused, sexually and physically, for years before forcing her into prostitution.
Unfortunately, John C. Holmes died of AIDS in 1988.
Meet The Other John Holmes
Back to The Breakers. We struck up a conversation with the couple next to us on the left. They were from the east coast, had four kids and were on a weekend away. The wife however, was ready to ditch her husband and join our mom’s weekend. She bought us all shots of tequila and showed off her drinking skills by throwing it back like a college girl at a frat party. It was impressive.
She also wanted a photo with us. Her husband took the photo on Kelli’s phone and she said she would Air Drop it to him. “You’re not John Holmes are you?” she asked. When she said it, an older gentleman at the bar slowly turned around in his seat, looked at us, then looked at his wife and said, “Honey, I swear, I’ve never seen these people in my life.”
Mr. Holmes came over and introduced himself with, “Please don’t tell my mother, she has no idea.” At least he has a sense of humor about it. Mr. and Mrs. Holmes were from the south and were also parents on a weekend getaway. However, their kids were grown.
When we found out they had sons, we said, “Please don’t tell us there’s a John Holmes, Jr.” They laughed and replied, “Of course there is!” After several attempts to explain Air Drop to them and how we knew there was a John Holmes in our midst, they still didn’t get it. Hopefully Jr. has explained it to them by now.
While John C. Holmes appears to have been a real piece of shit, Mr. and Mrs. Holmes, from somewhere down south, spending the weekend in West Palm Beach, Florida, turned out to be quite delightful. Boogie nights are always the best nights.