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:
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...
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
Stephanie Callahan is a native Bostonian who loves cooking, traveling, spa treatments, and being on the ocean.
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Emily Sweeney is a Boston native who goes out all over, from Irish pubs in Southie to the roller rink in Dorchester.
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