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Diamond Dave: What I’ve Learned From 26 Years in a Bar

Dave Hosley talks about his nights at Petar's.


Courtesy of Dave Hosley

Diabloland hipsters love Diamond Dave Hosley, the one-man band who has been rocking the dance floor at Petar’s in Lafayette for years. When the gossip website Gawker recently uploaded a video of the entertainer ripping through a set of hits by Louis Armstrong, the Bee Gees, Def Leppard, and Sir Mix-a-Lot, this local lounge lizard became a viral sensation. We caught up with Hosley to hear more about his life in music.

I started playing at Petar’s in 1986. If I knew I would still be here three decades later, I might have shot myself right then. But I took the gig, five nights a week, $60 a night. And I’m still here, every Thursday and Friday.

Three songs I played then that I still play today? “Piano Man,” “Brown Eyed Girl,” and anything by Sinatra.

Something like 200,000 people saw my video on Gawker. I was getting calls like, “Come play my wedding in Chicago!” This has been the busiest year in my career so far.

I’ve never been a good judge of people’s character. But the beauty of my job is that I just need to entertain people, and help them forget the crazy world for an hour and a half.

I’m a jazz guy, but this job has forced me to listen to every form of music—blues, rock, country, hip-hop, all of it. If you open your mind to music, and really listen to it long enough, you’ll find God in it. That’s what Quincy Jones says, at least.

When I first got a request for “Baby Got Back,” I thought, “This song is demeaning. I have three daughters; I can’t play this.” But I get requests—always from women—for that song at every wedding and party I play. Now, I get it: The song celebrates women’s curves.

I’ve been playing E-40’s “Tell Me When To Go,” for years. I played it at a wedding at Blackhawk Country Club, and someone pointed at a giant house up on the hill and said, “That’s where E-40 lives.” Music hasn’t bought me a mansion, but it has paid the mortgage, and will help put three girls through college.

Diamond Dave Hosley debuts his new music and comedy show at Town Hall Theatre in Lafayette on November 17. For information, go to davehosley.com.

Top Five Party Poppin’ Tunes

Taio Cruz

Flo Rida

“Sweet Caroline”
Neil Diamond

“Party Rock Anthem”

“Let’s Dance”
David Bowie


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