Today marks the official 25th anniversary of the death of John Curtis Holmes. In memory of John, we've posted a link (below) to a very rare interview John gave in 1986 where he discussed his new company, Penguin, and other various aspects of the industry in which he had been involved for more than 20 years. At this stage in his life, John was in good health, in good spirits, and was very hopeful about his future. Thanks to Laurie Holmes and to John Holmes Enterprises for granting us use of this clip: John Holmes 1986.
Throughout the years, family, friends, lovers, associates, acquaintances, and especially the media have offered countless opinions about John, some flattering and some not so flattering. Of those who knew John well, most are in agreement that John was capable of exhibiting great passion and compassion. He easily attracted others to him, and could make people laugh, as much as he was culpable of causing pain to those closest to him, particularly during his years of excessive drug abuse. Many are not aware that during his post-Wonderland years, John effectively turned things around as he rebuilt his personal and professional lives while integrating into other areas of the adult entertainment spectrum. Between the years 1984 and 1986, John was able to maintain control over his addictive tendencies, and he embraced hobbies such as fishing and hiking while enjoying family time with his partner Laurie and his step-son, Ian. When he received his positive HIV diagnosis in the spring of 1986, rather than deciding to fight for longevity and take the necessary life sustaining measures and medications prescribed to him by his physician which could have potentially given him 15-20 more years, John believed that death was a more desirable option. It was also his wish that very few people visit him after he was admitted into the hospital, and he prepared for his departure by giving away designated personal items to family members, including his beloved dog Charlie.
John Holmes passed away on the cusp of spring in L.A.'s Veteran's hospital with Laurie, Ian, his mother and brother at his side. He was in his forty-fourth year. Fulfilling his request, the group rented a small vessel a few days after his death, and took it out to just off the coast of the Channel islands where they scattered his ashes into the sea.
The following quotes are from chapter 14 of our book, John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches titled Remembering John:
"In short, I don't really care about the drug abuse, the adult industry or the mass murders. None of that affected my relationship with him. That's not who I knew. I miss him, and the kindness and bond between a scared, abused little boy and a man no one understood was a human being." ~ Sean Amerson
"Everybody has their pluses and minuses. If you spend too much of your life worrying about other peoples' minuses, you get caught up in it. It all kind of caught up to me after that. When I say there was the good and the bad, the best and worst of everything in John, I guess that's true in all of us. There's the best and worst in each and every one of us." ~ Buck Adams
"I wasn't terribly surprised that he met the demise that he did. I am sort of a believer that you are as strong as the support system that you create for yourself and John was essentially a loner who didn't let a lot of people close and get into him. That was kind of sad because I was really fond of him. I had a great affection for him. He really was, underneath all that bluster, really kind of a cool, nerdy dude." ~ Gloria Leonard
"He's always there, but the effect is that I've made it my life to protect him and I realize that sometimes I need to let go, but then he will come back and he will remind me or something will happen out of the blue." ~ Laurie Holmes
For those who are interested in reading more about the life and times of John C. Holmes, please check out our biography: John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches and also: Porn King.