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Bring back V-66!

Posted by Emily Sweeney December 13, 2006 11:37 PM

v66

Once upon a time, Massachusetts had its very own music video channel. It was called V-66...and it was broadcasted live from Framingham. The V-66 studios were based inside a huge office building close to Route 9 -– apparently the same building where our Globe West bureau is located now...(check out the fab photo on ThisIsFramingham.com)

"Night Time" by Down Avenue

I found some message boards where fans have written about their fondness for da V. On this site, Ian O’Malley reminisces about working at V-66 and the memorable interviews they did with Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue, Cheech and Chong, and Howard Jones...

The Boston Globe published a few articles about V-66 during its heyday. On February 21, 1986, this story appeared in our paper:

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MUSICIANS, FANS CELEBRATE V-66 BIRTHDAY
By Jim Sullivan

"Are we supposed to all be doing this?" asked one woman, flashing a tentative V-sign as she leaned against a wall at the Metro. Well, yes, if she wanted to feel a part of the throng. During other eras, of course, the two- fingered V meant victory or peace. Here and now, WJVJ-TV, or rock video station V-66, has co-opted it as a sort of corporate logo.

There was a lot of V-flashing Wednesday night, the occasion being V-66's first anniversary party. Limousines, cabs and double-parked cars cluttered Lansdowne Street. The Metro was similarly packed, stuffed with celebrators and celebrities, rock fans and rock bands, local scenesters and national music- industry executives who had shuttled in from New York. The Jon Butcher Axis, the Del Fuegos and Down Avenue entertained; Peter Frampton and Fiona made appearances; and everyone looked quite happy, toasting the success of V- 66, the country's only 24-hour-a-day local rock video station.

Video has been very good to the Del Fuegos, noted guitarist Warren Zanes. "Since it's a fact," he said, "that the Del Fuegos are the world's ugliest band, you'd think that video is not for us. But you can shoot in 8 mm, so you can't see skin problems and road wrinkles. If you got a band as raw- looking as us and can make them look semisleek and caring, then you have a happening medium. We think video's the medium for Everyman!"

...Down Avenue's Don Foote explained that a major benefit for Boston bands is that suburban fans -- people who are, perhaps, less attuned to the Boston rock club scene or Boston radio -- have started to pick up on groups seen on V-66. ''It will give you real credibility," he said. "V-66 is a pretty major force."

V-66 does not consider itself simply a scaled-down version of MTV. "Apples and oranges," said music director Roxy Myzal, who considers V-66 more like a radio station with pictures, able to offer weather, traffic and concert reports.

From a programming perspective, Myzal noted that Boston's taste tends to be more sophisticated than the rest of the country's. This allows for less of a mass-appeal format, more black videos and many local videos. Myzal said V-66 airs 90 percent of the local videos it receives...

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Alas, V-66 did not stick around much longer after that party. Six months later – in August 1986 – the station was sold to the Home Shopping Network. No more music videos :(

I’m going to dig through the Globe’s library archives and see if I can find any photos of V-66 – if I find anything good, I'll post it here.

Did you watch V-66? Feel free to share your thoughts with FlipSide (and the rest of the world) on our message board.

-- Emily Sweeney

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Katie Johnston Chase likes dive bars, old country music, and pop art that has something to say.
Meredith Goldstein is keen on DJs who spin pop music and restaurants that serve real food after 11 p.m.
Emily Sweeney is a lifelong Bostonian who goes out all over, from Irish pubs in Southie to the roller rink in Dorchester.
Jeff Miranda has never heard a '90s alternative-rock jam that's not already a mainstay on his iPod.
Joan Charlotte Matelli digs movie singalongs, well-made cocktails, and alt-country rockers.
Courtney Hollands is a shopaholic and a music junkie with a penchant for tapas, chai, and Hall & Oates dance parties.
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